Arizona's Roberts shines after bad start to career

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 15, 2012
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By BOB BAUM AP Sports Writer Andre Roberts' first training camp with the Arizona Cardinals was bad, even by his own assessment. He says he was a ''bonehead rookie.'' ''Larry (Fitzgerald) always tells me it didn't seem like I was going to play in this league after my first training camp,'' Roberts said. ''But obviously I didn't see it that way.'' Three seasons later, Roberts is the No. 2 receiver for the Cardinals, despite the arrival of first-round draft pick Michael Floyd and the steady presence of Early Doucet. ''It's definitely a tremendous improvement, just on becoming a pro and learning how this game works,'' Roberts said. He has emerged as a speedy, talented player with a knack for making big catches, such as the 6-yarder from Kevin Kolb for the winning touchdown against Seattle in last Sunday's season opener. Roberts caught five passes for 54 yards against the Seahawks, including a crucial third-down reception that kept the winning drive alive, the pass thrown by John Skelton on the play the starting quarterback was hurt. Roberts also had a 15-yard run against Seattle. Coach Ken Whisenhunt stuck with Roberts through his early struggles. ''He's what you want to see in a guy you draft,'' Whisenhunt said. ''He's developed very well. He works hard. He's making some plays for us. He does a lot of things that you don't necessarily see statistically that have an impact on us. We're very pleased with how he's grown.'' Fitzgerald praises Roberts these days. ''I think it's all about confidence with Andre,'' Fitzgerald said. ''We talk about it all the time. The guy puts in the work. He's one of the last ones off the field every day, one of the first ones on the field, you see him in there watching tape by himself, he's in there early lifting weights. ''He's doing everything he possibly can to become a better professional and I think we're all starting to see that display onto the field.'' Roberts said he believes players get better when they put in the work. ''I feel like if I want to get better every single year, which I do,'' he said, `then that's what I'm going to do, in the offseason, in the season, just working hard every day trying to get better.'' Roberts started all 16 games last season, but had only 13 catches for 133 yards in the first seven games. Then he broke out. In the final nine games, Roberts had 38 catches for 453 yards. ''It all helps everybody,'' Fitzgerald said. ''When guys are playing at a high level, they create opportunities for themselves and when they start making plays themselves, defenses take notice and it leads to opportunities for other guys as well.'' Not coincidentally, Arizona was 1-6 to start the season, then won seven of its last nine. In 2010, the Cardinals drafted Roberts in the third round out of The Citadel, the highest draft pick from that school since Atlanta chose linebacker John Small in the first round in 1970. The Cardinals are confident that Roberts is only beginning to show the kind of player he can be. ''I think he has a tremendous amount of upside because of his versatility,'' Whisenhunt said. ''He can do a number of different things for us, play a number of different roles, whether it's an outside receiver, a slot receiver, does a nice job on the reverses running the football, he's a strong blocker. ''I think you've seen tremendous progress out of him. I wish that it was reflected more in his statistics but I don't think that's a big deal with him. He just wants to play and is doing a very good job of that.'' --- Follow Bob Baum on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Thebaumerphx
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker