Michael Floyd excited after Patriots debut: 'It feels great'

ByMike Reiss ESPN logo
Sunday, December 25, 2016

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Wide receiver Michael Floyd made his New England Patriots debut in Saturday's 41-3 victory over the New York Jets, finishing with one catch for 6 yards in a limited role that was acknowledged by fans who twice gave him loud ovations.

"To have support from the crowd and teammates, it means a lot," Floyd said after the game. "It feels great."

Floyd's first play came on the Patriots' second drive, as quarterback Tom Brady targeted him down the left sideline. Floyd caught the ball out of bounds, yet that didn't stop the crowd from cheering him.

Then Floyd heard more cheers when catching a 6-yard pass from backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter.

"I'm just glad I got a catch under my belt," Floyd said. "I'm excited for that, and the plays that I was in, I think I did pretty well. That's all you can ask for."

In all, Floyd was charted on the field for 18 snaps, two of which came in the first half. Most of his action came on the Patriots' final three non-kneel-down drives when the game was all but over.

"It was good to get him out there," coach Bill Belichick said, noting that Floyd has participated in only three practices with the team. "[He gets] better each day, hopefully that'll be better this week, and we'll just see how it goes. I'd say we're going in the right direction, but we've got a long way to go."

The game was Floyd's first since he was released by the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 14, two days after he was arrested and charged with DUI in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Police said Floyd had a blood alcohol level of .217, and the 27-year-old could face jail time if convicted of charges stemming from his arrest. He faces six charges: obstructing a roadway, DUI impaired to the slightest degree, DUI blood alcohol content above 0.08, 0.15 and 0.20; and failure to obey a police officer. All charges are Class 1 misdemeanors.

The Patriots claimed the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Floyd on waivers to add depth to their short-handed receiving corps. With No. 4 receiver Danny Amendola still sidelined by an ankle injury, Floyd has stepped into his role behind top receivers Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan.

"He's one injury away from going in and being in there every down," Brady said. "I think just him getting acclimated to being in the huddle and play calls, he's been with one offense [the Cardinals] for a long time, and our offense is quite different than that. ... He's a big, physical player that competes hard for the ball. We've got to find ways to try to keep getting him the ball."

Floyd said playing under former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis at Notre Dame provided him a head start in New England, even though that was seven years ago. Floyd estimated about 60 percent of the offense is something he remembers.