Andre Smith: Cardinals’ Rosen ‘demands our attention’ in huddle
It’s just the second day of the Arizona Cardinals’ organized team activities, or OTAs, and one offensive lineman is impressed with what he’s seen so far under center.
“The command, he demands our attention in the huddle, the way he speaks out the play, there’s no mumble or jumble, he says it very well,” offensive lineman Andre Smith said of rookie quarterback Josh Rosen while on with Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station Wednesday. “He’s just a great leader and he’s showing it right now.”
Even compared to veteran quarterback Sam Bradford, Rosen, who has seen work with the first-team offense, is holding his own.
“Him and Sam are identical almost, but Sam’s a little older, of course.”
Smith has seen his fair share of quarterbacks since coming into the league in 2009 as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.
During his time in the trenches, Smith has played with a couple of high draft picks, including former Cardinal Carson Palmer and current Arizona quarterback Sam Bradford, both former first round picks in the 2003 and 2010 NFL Drafts, respectively.
He also played with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who went No. 35 in the 2011 NFL Draft.
When asked how he felt the rookie signal caller compared to the other quarterbacks he’s played with, Smith wasn’t shy in answering.
“It’s right at the top, he’s a little bit better than Andy (Dalton) early on in his career as far as like demanding our attention and calling out plays and knowing what to do with the ball, attention to detail, so it’s been really good to see that.”
With Dalton under center in his first season with the Bengals, the team went 9-7. Dalton threw for 3,398 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 16 games played.
But while the talk of the town continues to be centered around Rosen, what about the offensive line?
After being one of the worst lines in terms of protection and injuries, the Cardinals revamped the line by bringing in Smith and former New York Giant Justin Pugh through free agency. They also drafted Mason Cole in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
And while some believe the o-line will continue to struggle, Smith and the others are using the doubt as motivation.
“You’re not supposed to focus on the outside noise, but of course we hear it as humans. Of course it puts a chip on our shoulder as an organization, as a team to go out there and be successful every Sunday, because we are working so we might as well win.
“That’s the mentality that we have and we’re just going to continue to push each other and take it one day at a time to get better.”