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Cards GM Steve Keim on Josh Rosen injury history, outspokenness

Cardinals GM Steve Keim (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals General Manager

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim thinks the Cardinals were able to accomplish two goals by drafting Josh Rosen without having to trade a second-round pick or a 2019 first rounder.

However, there are reasons the former UCLA quarterback was available at No. 10 despite high praise from analysts about his play.

Concerns over Rosen’s durability stem from the quarterback missing eight games over the last three years. He only played six games in 2016 before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the rest of the season.

Then, in 2017, he had two concussions and sat out the Cactus Bowl due to injuries and the need to stay healthy for the draft.

The Cardinals medical staff looked into his injury history but found no signs for long-term concern, Keim said. There were no chronic issues or degenerative changes with his shoulder.

“We’ve drafted guys here that have never been hurt in college, and their whole NFL career was riddled with injuries, and then vice versa, guys who had medical concerns coming out and then played for 10 years,” Keim said. “It’s hard to forecast, but at the same time, you have to trust in your doctors and your medical staff.”

When healthy, Rosen shined. He threw for more than 400 yards five times in 11 games last season, finishing the season with 3717 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

In his career, he threw for 3,900 yards with 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions over 30 games.

However, he also made new off-the-field with antics and his outspokenness. In 2015, he brought a hot tub into his dorm room.

After the draft, Keim addressed the topic by saying, “Wish I had one.”

Rosen is known for speaking his mind, including calling out the NCAA and quarterbacks perceived as better than him in the past. Former coach UCLA Jim Mora said he “needs to be challenged intellectually.”

Keim doesn’t mind. He said Rosen wants to have responsibilities, comparing him to two former disciples of Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy: Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning.

“The guy’s extremely cerebral, and to me, that’s what it takes to play the position,” Keim said. “To be able to go up to the line of scrimmage, to manipulate defenses, to call the checks … that position, as we know, it’s so important to be able to play between the ears.”

He liked Rosen’s confidence and called him a perfectionist.

If the quarterback can speak his mind to the coaches, that’s fine.

“You want a kind of guy, or a leader to be able to tell your to coaches, ‘What am I comfortable with,’ ‘What are we doing at the line of scrimmage,’ to ask for more responsibility,” Keim said. “The guy wants to have a lot put on his shoulders.”

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