Michael Floyd Praised for Attitude
Vikings wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell likes Michael Floyd’s attitude but he wants the Minnesota native, who joined the team last month, to master the subtleties of his position.
Floyd, the former Cretin Derham-Hall High School All-American, has played five seasons in the NFL. Most of his five year pro career was spent with the Cardinals where he was a sometimes starter. Three of his seasons in Arizona he had 840 yards or more in receptions. Hazell has been working with Floyd in spring practices and was asked Tuesday where the 27-year-old needs to improve.
“The details of the position,” Hazell answered.
The former Purdue head coach, who joined the Vikings last winter, spoke footballese in providing examples of those details—talking about positioning the body and catching the ball in minimum time. “All those things are so important,” Hazell said. “The details of it. I mean that’s where we’ve got to get him to take the next step.”
No doubt, Hazell emphasizes mastery of details when talking about his other wide receivers, too. Floyd, though, is a focus of attention by Minnesota fans and media because of his background. His history includes not only Twin Cities roots and successes at Notre Dame and with the Cardinals, but an incident last December when he was charged with driving under the influence. In February he spent time in jail.
“His attitude has been great,” Hazell said. “He’s fit in well with the guys. You always wonder how guys are going to mesh. They are so welcoming to whoever is in the room and they help each other. They coach each other, and that makes my job that much easier.”
Floyd was released by the Cardinals after his DUI in mid-December and picked up by the Patriots. The Vikings signed him in May as an unrestricted free agent. He then reunited with Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph who was a teammate at Notre Dame.
Rudolph had reached out to Floyd after his incident. “We all make mistakes,” Rudolph said. “It’s about what you do after and the lesson that you learn from it. He realizes he made a mistake, and he is in a great place right now. He’s happy to be home. I am just here as a friend and now as a teammate to try to help him out.”
Floyd and Rudolph have communicated almost every day for years. “We have been friends since we were 16 years old,” Rudolph said. “Anytime he used to come in town he stayed at my house (and) when he’d come…to workout in the summer, or see family. More times than not, he stayed at the house, so just kind of a natural fit.”
Since joining the Vikings, Floyd has been living in Rudolph’s basement. “As long as he is okay putting up with my 8-month-old twins, he is welcome to stay as long as he wants.”
Rudolph talking about running back Dalvin Cook, the Vikings 2017 first round draft choice: ”He is really fun to watch. You can tell why he had so much success at Florida State. He is a special runner. He is a guy who has great vision, and always seems to make the right cut.”
Jerick McKinnon started seven games for the Vikings last season and rushed for a career high 539 yards in his third NFL year. He spent a few months during the offseason training with Adrian Peterson and another advisor in Houston. “I think it’s going to pay off tremendously, so I am excited to see,” said McKinnon.
McKinnon is 5-9, about 211 pounds. Last season he had just two rushes of 15 yards or more, running for 25 yards against the Giants and 36 versus the Bears. “I feel more explosive now,” he said.
J.D. Spielman, the son of Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, could be a starting wide receiver for Nebraska this season as a redshirt freshman.
Dom Barber is leaving his administrative position with the Gophers football program to work in private business. The Wayzata High School graduate played defensive back for the Gophers from 2004-2007.
Former Gopher wide receiver Tony Levine from St. Paul is part of the new coaching staff at Purdue where he has varied duties including co-offensive coordinator.
Despite losing two of three games this week in Seattle, the Twins have the second best road record in Major League Baseball at 18-8. Minnesota, 12-18 at home this season, hasn’t had a winning road percentage since 2010 when the club was 41-40. The Twins’ world title team of 1987 was 29-52 in regular season away games, while the 1991 club was 44-37 on the road.
Miguel Sano has 15 home runs in 189 at bats and could join some rare company by season’s end. Only Bob Allison, Brian Dozier, Harmon Killebrew and Josh Willingham have hit 35 home runs or more in a single season for the Twins.
MLB Network will cover Monday’s Major League Baseball Draft, with the Twins selecting first overall and their announced choice expected to come shortly after 6 p.m. The Twins are holding a draft party for ticketholders attending Monday night’s game against the Mariners at Target Field. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and patrons can follow the draft via the MLB Network and other sources at the ballpark.
The 46th annual Tapemark Charity Pro-Am Tournament, benefitting people with developmental learning disabilities, is Friday-Sunday at Southview Country Club in West St. Paul. Learn more about the tournament at Tapemarkgolf.org.