CARDINALS CORNER

Cardinals WR Michael Wilson seeing ‘night and day’ change entering Year 2

May 21, 2024, 4:55 PM

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Wilson enters Year 2 filled with a lot of possibility and even more pressure.

But unlike this time last year, Wilson has his bearings and his head firmly screwed on tight.

More importantly, he’s fluent in the playbook and has a good grasp of what the offense and his quarterback need from him in order to be successful.

“Truthfully, it’s night and day. It’s not even comparable,” Wilson told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Tuesday. “The game I feel like is so much slower. It’s not college ball, but the speed of the game has slowed down by a significant amount because my head’s not spinning about the playbook, my head’s not spinning about making mistakes, my head’s not spinning about what guys I’m going up against. I’m way more confident in my game.

“Last year, I was just out there doing my best. I didn’t understand the offense. Now, I’m looking at it from sort of the offensive coordinator’s perspective and (Kyler Murray’s) perspective. I understand the coverage we’re trying to exploit, the matchup we’re trying to exploit. I can’t even articulate how night and day it is from last year to this year.”

Despite the battle to fully grasp the offense last year — and dealing with should issues — Wilson managed to reel in 38 balls on his way to 565 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games played. He came in tied for second in receiving touchdowns with tight end Trey McBride and was third in yards. Wilson, however, was first in yards per catch (14.9).

He now slots in as a prime WR2 candidate within a new-look wide receivers room.

Wilson has been the leader in the clubhouse to secure the role throughout most of the offseason, though the addition of veteran wideout Zay Jones adds some high-level competition for the second-year pro.

Regardless of who’s vying for the job or not, Wilson is focused on proving he’s taken the necessary steps forward in the areas he needed to improve on the most, whether that be avoiding body catches, running through balls, trusting his hands, running with open strides or staying tight against press coverage.

“(Monday) was our first day of going full speed and truthfully this whole OTAs, what they told me to work on, I feel like I’ve made significant strides and put on tape that I was intentional and deliberate on focusing on the things they told me I need to get better at,” Wilson said. “I’m excited to see it on display come September time.”

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