MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Michael Floyd came to New England with baggage, but it didn’t take long for the wide receiver to win over his Patriots teammates.
Floyd, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals after being arrested on a DUI charge, already seemed well-liked by his Patriots teammates, but a hard-nosed touchdown reception and key block to spur a 77-yard touchdown reception by Julian Edelman in Sunday’s 35-14 win over the Miami Dolphins certainly didn’t hurt his standing in New England’s locker room.
“Unbelievable,” Edelman said. “Mike came in here, he’s been here for like two weeks, and he had a big opportunity this week to come in and help us. He made some plays. He’s tough, he’s physical. He can be in the room any time I’m here. I like him.”
As for the block by the 6-foot-2, 220-pound receiver.
“I felt it. I felt it,” Edelman said. “I felt some wind go by, and Mike’s playing well for us. He’s been here for two weeks, and to make an impact like he has, it shows he’s a mentally tough guy. He’s been through some stuff, and to put that aside and go out and help us win ball games, that’s huge.”
Floyd said his main focus was that it was a legal hit he delivered on Dolphins cornerback Tony Lippett. He didn’t want to draw a flag or get a fine in the mail.
“I thought it was excellent,” tight end Martellus Bennett said. “Great play. It sprung a — guys are making plays in different ways, and that was like, that’s an extra 50 yards because Julian’s not that fast. They were probably going to catch him. So, that block really opened it up, and that was a big play for us. We needed something to happen right there, and Julian read the blitz, made a good play, and Michael made an excellent play. Michael’s a really strong receiver. We noticed that. I told him, ‘Come on over here to the tight ends spot, know what I’m saying? But he was like, ‘Nah.'”
Floyd brought more physicality when he plowed through five Dolphins defenders to get into the end zone on his first touchdown with the Patriots and first since Week 13.
“I haven’t been in there for a while, so I wanted to get in there, for sure,” Floyd said.
“I think being a bigger guy, you have to bring that mentality. When you go in there, you have to make everyone know you’re out there.”
Floyd also made a leaping, contested catch down the sideline. It’s not only his physical play that’s impressing teammates and coaches.
“To come at this point is very tough, because there’s so much installation already done, we’ve talked about so many coaching points, and there’s really not the time to make mistakes anymore,” quarterback Tom Brady said. “He’s a veteran, he’s played for a long time, he’s played in some meaningful games. Today, that was an unbelievable touchdown, and then the block was awesome. He got open on the slant. I found him on another one where the pass got knocked down at the line of scrimmage.
“He’s done a great job. He’s put in a lot of time and effort. Jacoby’s done a great job helping him out. To take extra time with him and really nail some things down. He went out there and played with a lot of confidence, and it’s great to have good players, so that helps everybody.”
Floyd understands the work he needs to put in and that he can’t do it on his own.
“My homework now is the playbook,” Floyd said. “I have a great group of guys helping me, especially coaches and players putting in the extra effort, extra time and making sure when I get out here, I don’t make a fool out of myself, I know what I’m doing. So, I credit my teammates, for sure.”
Thumbnail photo via Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports Images