Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt's philosophy of easing rookies into the mix is well known, and that made Arizona Republic columnist Paola Boivin's report that "it wouldn't be surprising" for No. 13 overall pick Michael Floyd to start the season on the bench, well, not surprising.
Whisenhunt himself only put expectations for Floyd this year at "putting (Floyd) in packages" if he "shows he can do some things," according to Boivin.
Now, details are beginning to emerge that give credence to the idea that Floyd's first few months with the team aren't putting him on track to start even if the Cardinals were eager to get him on the field. It started with teammate Larry Fitzgerald jokingly charging Floyd with DWI (don't want it) after missing workouts during the break between minicamp and training camp:
A few days later, Fitzgerald gave credit Floyd for "another strong workout" after leading the group in drills, even going as far as calling him a "beast." It's still impossible to not read into Fitzgerald's decision to call Floyd out, with his knowledge that it would be noticed and picked up by football media.
Arizona Republic beat writer Kent Somers pointed out that Fitzgerald "wasn't the hardest working man in football as a rookie", and it is good for Floyd's future that Fitzgerald is taking such an interest in his development.
Somers had a better reason to pour cold water on any expectation of Floyd starting. He isn't as good as Andre Roberts or Early Doucet yet. Somers also opined that Floyd needed to lose weight.
Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange also reported that Floyd was "slow in spring workouts to adjust to the NFL-level work ethic," which could keep him no better than the No. 4 receiver at the start of camp.
Floyd has gotten messages that he needs to pick it up, whether directly from teammates or indirectly from those that cover the team and the game. We should get a good idea over the next month whether he received those messages.