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Michael Floyd: 'Glad to Be Home' in Minnesota

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Michael Floyd's second day of organized team activity practice involved stepping into two types of huddles on Wednesday.

The first was with teammates that he's working to acquaint himself with, and the second was a gathering of media members, many of whom have covered him since his high school days nearby at Cretin-Derham Hall.

On the way to his first interview as a Viking, Floyd paused for a moment to give a quick hug to *Star Tribune *legendary columnist Sid Hartman.

Floyd expressed his excitement for the opportunity to continue his NFL career in his native state. An arrest for DUI in Arizona ended his time with the Cardinals, but Floyd joined New England last season before becoming a free agent.

"Glad to be home," Floyd said. "I never expected something like this to happen, but I'm excited to be home and playing with guys that I know and to be with my family."

Floyd said he appreciates the opportunity extended by the Vikings organization.

"I think overall, everything I've been through is an eye-opener," Floyd said. "The stuff that you go through, positive and negative, grows you as a person. I couldn't be in a better position right now, especially with being at home with friends and family and having teammates on this team that I can lean on for anything.

"When they said they wanted to sign me, I was happy, jumping up and down to come home," Floyd added.

Floyd's return to Minnesota also reunited him with former Notre Dame teammates Harrison Smith and Kyle Rudolph. Floyd and Rudolph were roommates with three overlapping years in college, and they are under the same roof again. Floyd is staying in the basement at Rudolph's house but hasn't been pulled on diaper duty for Rudolph and his wife's twin daughters.

"I just texted him and told him I was sleeping downstairs," Floyd said. "We've known each other too long to say, 'No.' "

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said he and Head Coach Mike Zimmer "spent numerous hours" talking with Floyd before deciding to sign him.

Floyd received permission to leave Arizona and attend Vikings OTA practices.

"I know our support staff has also spent a lot of time with him," Spielman said. "We're very excited that the legal process let him come to Minnesota so he could start participating in OTAs.

"Just to get him out on the field, get him some familiarity with our offensive scheme and system and start evolving him into the offense and see where it goes," Spielman added. "It's us trying to add another good football player to our roster."

Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur said two days of practices have provided a limited but solid look at Floyd.

"What we've seen so far, he's a fast learner," Shurmur said. "He's the guy that is probably most behind, even behind the rookies, because they have another week on him. But, he's a fast learner. He's a really good route runner, you can tell that he's a guy that can make plays."

Shurmur said the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Floyd has shown that he knows how to use his body on tough catches.

"He also moves extremely well, and he's got good ball skills," Shurmur said. "So, I think he can separate. We just need to get him up to speed, as I just mentioned, he's probably the guy that is most behind right now. But, he's a fast learner, he's a pro and he'll get that done."

Floyd said when he was younger he wanted to explore and meet new people, leading to his decision to go to Notre Dame. Now, he is thankful for the friends and family who have remained in his life as well as his new teammates.

"They've welcomed me with open arms," Floyd said. "A lot of guys, you come on a new team and feel like that random rookie. I know a lot of guys on this team, and they've welcomed me in with excitement and joy. I'm ready to get to work."

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