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Bruce Arians believes Cardinals QB Josh Rosen has chance to start

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians watches his team during the first day of the team's NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 22, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said it wasn’t a long shot.

While veteran Sam Bradford is Arizona’s expected starting quarterback for the 2018 season, the job, like any other, is an open competition. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen could theoretically win it, as could backup Mike Glennon.

While most Cardinals players and coaches have expressed a positive first impression when it came to Rosen’s confidence, command and smarts, the rookie’s readiness won’t be accurately examined until Arizona puts the pads on.

But buying into the possibility that Rosen could steal the starting gig from Bradford, who agreed to a two-year contract with $15 million guaranteed this offseason, is former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians.

One reason why: Rosen’s actually got a chance to perform.

“He’s gotten the opportunity that a lot of rookies don’t get. With him getting first-team reps with Sam sitting out, that’s his opportunity to show that he can beat him out,” Arians told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

“I think he’s probably the most-ready guy in the draft, you know? He played in a really good offense, he’s a bright guy. I would say, ‘Hey, just let your football do the talking and just blend in.'”

Rosen has gotten that chance to run with the first team because of Bradford’s knee injury that cost him all but two games of the 2017 season.

The Cardinals began the offseason exercising caution by limited Bradford’s participating.

“The biggest thing that we’re going to do with Sam is to make sure that he’s ready to play 16-plus games,” Wilks told reporters in April. “I’ve seen what he can do over the years. I’m not concerned about trying to get him out there as quick as possible to be able to throw the ball. We’re going to make sure that we’re giving Sam everything that he needs to be successful.”

Arians, who is preparing for his new job as an in-game analyst for CBS Sports, said a quarterback in Rosen’s mold could be ready to play immediately considering Arizona’s situation around him.

“I don’t think it’s hard at all. It’s the cast around you,” the former coach said. “You got Larry Fitzgerald, you got veteran offensive linemen. You just do your job. With that defense, don’t try to do too much. Don’t try to be nobody you’re not, and the guys will accept you.

“I think like all young quarterbacks, it’s winning over your locker room,” Arians added. “I did a show the other day about (Philadelphia Eagles quarterback) Carson Wentz and did he need to change the way he plays the game, and he probably can now because he’s won over his locker room. They know he’s tough. They know he’s all-in. For a young quarterback, a lot of times that’s the hardest thing, just letting them know that, ‘I’m all-in.'”

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