Cardinals’ Josh Rosen handling unfamiliarity in first NFL season
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Just like anyone else coming out of college, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen is learning what it means to be a professional at his first post-college job opportunity.
The 21-year-old has had an offseason to observe some of the disparities between the Pac-12 and the NFL, aside from the obvious difference in talent. But even still, Rosen is learning more than just how to navigate a new offense under head coach Steve Wilks and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
“I mean I’m not going to lie, a lot of times you walk up to the ball, you snap it, you do something, you’re kind of a little confused on what’s going on,” Rosen said Sunday. “So the more you can just basically own everything that’s going on in the offense, I think that’s the confidence that people want to see exuded.”
Confidence has been a popular word for Rosen, a term used by prognosticators when evaluating his draft stock several months ago as to what made him unique from the other quarterbacks in the draft class. His infamous line in which he said “nine mistakes” were made in front of him, referring to the number of players chosen before Rosen’s name went off the board, was consistent with the swagger and smirk that he carries with him.
“I love his confidence, I really do,” Larry Fitzgerald said. “He’s not shy, he’s not boastful. But he’s confident in his ability. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and I really like that. I think that’s the way you should be at that position. And playing in the National Football League, you have to have confidence in yourself.”
But as confident as Rosen may be, he’ll admit that there’s a lot he’s yet to figure out.
“Rookie year, it’s just exciting,” he said. “It’s like your freshman year of college, you don’t really know what’s going on the next day and you’re just always on your toes for everything that can possibly happen. I’m definitely excited and looking forward to what comes next.”
Rosen also made note of the professional cadence of life in the NFL, perhaps a change from the jovial and fraternal nature of college football. He knows that it won’t be long before many of those whom he’s shared a hotel with during this training camp will be cut.
And now, immersed in a world of unfamiliarity, it’s up to Rosen to perform — even after Wilks said Saturday that Sam Bradford is the current starter.
“It’s very clear-cut what your duty to the team is in the NFL,” Rosen said.
He also said he would practice as though he’s the starter.
“Football’s a very violent sport, particularly over any other sport, because injury rates are basically at 100 percent throughout a career. Like even if he said, ‘Josh, you’re 100 percent the backup,’ I’m still going to practice like I’m the starter because I very well could be in there, and vice versa.
“Anything can happen. I think the last year the Cardinals literally ran through like two, three quarterbacks.”