Old Friend Aids Floyd

Eight former Irish auditioned for their NFL futures today at the Loftus Sports Complex and the LaBar Practice Fields. The headliner was wide receiver Michael Floyd and the record-setting pass-catcher had an old friend on hand to help him realize his dream.

Eight NFL hopefuls, two current NFL players, (at least) two current NFL head coaches, a few healthy handfuls of pro scouts, and scores of Irish players and coaches were in attendance today at the Loftus Sports Complex for Notre Dame's annual Pro Day.

The team's top prospect, senior wide receiver Michael Floyd, benefited from a familiar face unleashing darts 40 yards downfield during position-specific drills, as current Carolina Panthers backup Jimmy Clausen traveled to South Bend to throw to Floyd for his official Pro Day.

"The reason I came back was for Mike," said Clausen. "He called me and asked me to come back to throw to him. Giving back to one of my best friends; I just said ‘yes' and tried to get him the ball.

"We talk all the time," Clausen continued. "He wanted me to come out and throw to him. I just had to get the okay from Carolina (Panthers) and the coaches here."

Asked for areas in which he's seen improvement for Floyd, Clausen noted. "Getting in and out of his breaks. Learning how to run routes; obviously he knew how to run routes in high school. Getting in and out of his breaks and stay low. He's come a long way and seems to be doing really well."

"The biggest thing he needs to do is learn the playbook. You can't go out there if you don't know what you're doing. The second thing is work your tail off."

Floyd, who did not run the 40-yard dash or lift after a strong NFL combine in late February, ran both the 3-cone and shuttle drills (not yet available to the media). He had no doubt who he wanted throwing to him Tuesday morning.

"I just asked him if he could come throw for me. That was the only dude that I had, you know, that I had a good relationship with him," Floyd said of Clausen. "I knew he would come back to throw for me. He got the opportunity to make his dream come true to make the NFL; I just wanted his help to get to the top.

"It's just the chemistry between us. Real good friends…it's just the great relationship that we had."

The pair didn't miss a connection in our viewing period, the highlights included a 50-yard go-route that Floyd snared at full acceleration, and a deep out he engulfed before dragging both feet in front of his former teammates on the sideline bleachers. In fact, Floyd's only drop during the media session was the second pass in a series of drills without Clausen as the triggerman.

"He's one of the hardest workers I've ever seen and that's what this whole league is based upon, producing, and he's going to do a really good job." Clausen concluded of Floyd.

Note: Irisheyes.com's complete Pro Day notebook is forthcoming.

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