ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cards QB Josh Rosen didn’t light up the stat sheet, but he showed promise

Aug 11, 2018, 8:53 PM | Updated: Aug 12, 2018, 6:15 pm

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws against the Los Angeles Chargers during the fir...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Quarterback Josh Rosen showed solid footwork and an accurate arm in his first appearance as an Arizona Cardinal.

It was particularly on display in his second drive.

After grabbing a low snap, Rosen was able to avoid pressure and complete a 21-yard throw to Gabe Holmes.

Then, two plays later, two defenders converged on him.

With a man around his ankles, Rosen not only got the ball off, but completed the pass to running back D.J. Foster.

While the Cardinals were still forced to punt, it was a good look from the rookie.

“I thought (Rosen) was good,” head coach Steve Wilks said after the game. “I thought he tried to command the huddle. I thought he did a good job of really trying to go through his progression.”

Low snaps were a theme; Rosen was forced to handle several on Saturday night. Later in the second quarter, with his back against the goal line, he received another that nearly touched the ground.

He fielded it and chucked it deep on third down.

It was a solid throw, but wide receiver Greg Little couldn’t handle it with the defensive pressure on his back. The incompletion forced Arizona to punt.

Despite the difficulties getting the ball from his center, Rosen didn’t put blame on the exchanges.

“What makes you a good quarterback is the resolve to not let little things phase (you) like that,” he said.

Rosen’s stat line was mediocre, completing 6 of 13 passes for 41 yards, but he didn’t get much help from teammates in the second unit.

Protection was inconsistent. Getting hit on his first throw of his career was a precursor to the rest of the half, and the running game didn’t provide any assistance. Foster and T.J. Logan combined for two yards on four carries.

Rosen got a chance to lead the Cardinals in a two-minute drive, getting the ball with 1:16 remaining in the second quarter.

He struggled initially. Rosen immediately threw a ball that should have been intercepted but sailed through the defender’s hands. Then, he was sacked but bailed out by a facemask penalty.

For the remaining minute, he made solid throws that the receivers couldn’t hang on to. He made a pretty back shoulder throw to Greg Little, but the receiver couldn’t get both feet down; then, he threw a pass to J.J. Nelson, but Nelson didn’t come forward and the ball was batted away.

“I thought I did some good things, some bad things, but for the most part, I think it was a step in the right direction,” Rosen said.

The Cardinals failed to score with Rosen at the helm. It likely wasn’t the start he was hoping for, but the rookie held his own.

As the preseason progresses, Wilks expects Rosen to get more time with the first team.

“He’ll have an opportunity moving forward of being there with the ones,” Wilks said.

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