Cardinals’ Rosen chases perfection not worrying about rookie hurdles

Jun 5, 2018, 1:58 PM | Updated: 2:46 pm
Arizona Cardinals' Josh Rosen (3) throws during an organized team activity at the NFL football team...
Arizona Cardinals' Josh Rosen (3) throws during an organized team activity at the NFL football team's training facility, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen doesn’t get caught up in expectations.

He doesn’t think about where he should be weeks into his professional career. He only knows that he’s chasing perfection that he’ll likely never achieve.

Maybe that’s why he has drawn praise from his Arizona teammates and coaches over rookie mini-camp and OTAs.

“I try to think on a small scale from a day-to-day basis, hour-to-hour, just try and get better everyday — try to not think about the whole offense but think about that day’s installs,” he told Bickley & Marotta Tuesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “Regardless of the situation with depth charts or teams, OCs, whatever it is, you always are just trying to put your best foot forwards in any sense. Nobody is going to say you’re stepping on toes if you’re just doing as much as you can every single day. Because if other guys are seeing you doing that, even if you’re the backup, they’ll say, ‘Alright, he’s getting our starter better then.

“Really I hate cliches, but you’re really trying to get better every single day, ’cause it’s not very intelligent to do anything else.”

Rosen is getting a fighting chance to show the Cardinals that they did right by trading up from their 15th overall pick to draft him 10th in the 2018 NFL Draft. And so far, Rosen appears to be on the right track to proving that he was snubbed with three quarterbacks going ahead of him.

Nothing can be very telling at this point — pads haven’t even been thrown on.

But Rosen has a shot at growing into an NFL quarterback more quickly, especially with projected starter Sam Bradford being brought along slowly by the Cardinals after he missed most of last season with a knee injury.

Rosen has gotten many reps with the first team.

“With Sam, Mike (Glennon) and Chad (Kanoff), it’s a really awesome, productive, uptempo quarterback room,” Rosen said. “I’m finishing reps, coming off the two-minute period today and Sam’s giving me tips here and there — I’ll be there for him for anything he ever needs from me. He’s been flattening out the learning curve for me.”

Rosen said he doesn’t “have a real frame of reference for what rookies do,” so he’s not thinking about if he’s ahead of some vaguely-etched rookie curve.

The UCLA product doesn’t think in the terms of the grand scheme of things.

He just knows what drives him to be his best.

“It’s just sort of a never-ending pursuit for perfection,” Rosen said. “Perfection is unobtainable. You can never actually get it, but you can get closer day by day — actually stole that from Jeff Bridges and a ‘Tron Legacy’ quote. I see sort of competition as competing against yourself and constantly trying to better yourself each day. And hopefully you’ll get as close as you possibly can to perfect — you’ll never actually get there so you can’t drive yourself crazy in the process.

“I just want, whatever activity it is, I want to be great at it. I want to be the best at it. And football in particular, I wanted to sort of put school to the side for a little bit and put everything I had into this just to see how good I could be because I’m really curious.”

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