Glendale, Ariz. — For Arizona Cardinals rookie Michael Floyd, the moment was long overdue.
The 13th-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the receiver was having a fairly quiet preseason through four games.
Then came the fifth game, which featured the catch.
Floyd leapt between a pair of Broncos defenders to come down with a Ryan Lindley pass. The play was good for a 22-yard touchdown, the receiver’s first in the NFL.
It was Floyd’s only reception of the night, but it was easily the highlight of the game.
“It feels good,” Floyd said of finally reaching the end zone. “I haven’t had one since I was back at Notre Dame. I was hoping and praying that I would get one.”
In truth, few were ever worried the former college star would never reach NFL paydirt. While he hasn’t been torching opposing defenders on a regular basis, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt gave no indication there was any concern over how the rookie had done thus far in his NFL career.
“He’s had a good camp,” the coach said, adding that Floyd may have gotten lost a bit with regards to the coaches trying to get a look at other wideouts. Besides, Whisenhunt said, sometimes the ball just doesn’t go the receiver’s way.
As for the grab Thursday night, though, Whisenhunt said the play was designed to give Floyd a chance to come up big.
“That’s the thing that you expect out of Michael, and I think he’ll make a lot more of those going forward,” he said.
That could get expensive, as Floyd said he’s planning on keeping every ball he scores a touchdown with.
Chances are they won’t all be as tough to come by as the one he got Thursday night.
“I would say just good concentration; just making sure I keep my eye on the ball the whole time,” Floyd said of how he did it. “Once it hit my hand, I was just focused on it the whole time.”
It’s a promising step in the receiver’s development because, as everyone knows, Floyd could go a long way towards freeing up Larry Fitzgerald. Anyone who can draw attention away from the Pro Bowler would be helpful, and if Floyd continues to make catches like the one he scored on he’ll do just that.
“That was a circus catch, he did a really good job of going up there and making that play,” Fitzgerald said of his teammate. “That’s a play we’ve seen him make at Notre Dame over the years, and I’m sure he’s going to be doing that for the Cardinals as well.”
The catch can be seen below, and H/T to SBNation for providing the video.