Ken Whisenhunt addressed the New Orleans media in a conference call on Tuesday. Surprisingly, Early Doucet was the focus of many questions. Out of six, Doucet was the topic of three.
Whisenhunt says he is pleased with Doucet's performance last Sunday against the Packers and his overall progression.
"He played really well," Whisenhunt said. "He's been playing very well. He's been improving as the year's gone on. It didn't really start out that great for him in camp this year when he got injured and missed a lot of time and was actually not active the first couple games. He had to work his way back on the field. It's always great when some of your young players, especially ones you drafted, like we did with Early in the third round start to perform like you envisioned. I think even more rewarding is how he's had to work to get to that point, the time that he's put in, plus being around guys like Larry (Fitzgerald) and Anquan (Boldin) and Steve (Breaston) have helped because now he has an understanding of how he has to prepare. We're obviously very excited to see him do it, especially at the level he did last week in a playoff game and we're excited about continuing to see him blossom."
Not all young receivers have the opportunity to work with arguably the best receiver in the league but Fitzgerald had been hands on with Doucet who isn't letting the opportunity go to waste.
"Like I mentioned with Early Doucet, the younger players understand how they have to work because they're seeing one of the best players in the league, the way [Fitzgerald] works, the standard he sets," Whisenhunt said. "It's meant a great deal to our football club just from that aspect, not to mention what he does on the field, especially we all know what he did last year in the playoffs."
This year, Doucet is making playoff contributions. After some injury problems in his first two years, Doucet is embracing the playing time. But it doesn't mean the down time was difficult.
"It's always frustrating, especially for a player that had had success in the college ranks in a big time program like LSU," Whisenhunt said. "I think these guys want to play and when they're injured and can't play, it's very frustrating. I think when you have a good group of guys around him that support him, that helps, but he's learned now what he has to do to fight those things and keep his focus where it needs to be in order to prepare himself. That in my opinion makes him even more ready to be a good player in this league. Sometimes you have to go through those things to reach your potential and I think that we're seeing a little bit of that with Early."
So what attracted the Cardinals to Doucet in the first place?
"He was obviously a productive player, strong player, very good run after catch, good in the slot, being able to win their, so we felt that he was a good addition to our team, especially with as many three and four receiver sets as we run," Whisenhunt said. "He had the versatility to play inside or outside. He was physical in the run game, good hands, did a good job of catching the ball in traffic. Those are qualities that you look for in a receiver, especially one that will go in and play the slot. Now he gives you the confidence that he'll fit in here."
Become friends with AZRedReport.com on Facebook by clicking here.
Doucet Shares Time in the Spotlight
CardinalsSource Top Stories
Floyd enters concussion protocolThe Arizona Cardinals suffered through a dismal outing Sunday, and wide receiver Michael Floyd took some of the blame from head coach Bruce Arians.
Upon further review: Palmer's interceptionsThis week's 'Upon further review' for the Cardinals' offense analyzes Carson Palmer's four interceptions and what went wrong.
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 4:49 PM
Palmer disappointed in his own performanceThe Arizona Cardinals' quarterback was hard on himself after Sunday's game, but said he knows there's a lot of football left to be played.
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 9:06 AM
Arians calls Sunday worst start in four yearsThe Arizona Cardinals were trounced by the Buffalo Bills by a final score of 33-18 to drop their second contest of the season Sunday.
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 8:12 AM