Arizona's Roberts shines after bad start to career

Associated Press Modified: September 15, 2012 at 4:16 am •  Published: September 15, 2012

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — 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."

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