Cardinals pleased with QBs, Rosen a game-time decision vs. Cowboys
TEMPE, Ariz. — It was pointed out to Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Thursday that his starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, had yet to throw an incompletion on seven pass attempts through two preseason games. McCoy’s response said at least a little bit about how good Arizona feels about its quarterback situation heading into the third preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
“Why we talking about it then?” he quipped. “Let’s keep it that way.”
Head coach Steve Wilks hasn’t tipped how much he’d play his quarterbacks throughout the preseason, but he has maintained that playing his starters — at least a bit — is on the agenda. The same can be said about rookie quarterback Josh Rosen if a swollen thumb injury doesn’t keep him out.
Rosen is a game-time decision for the Arizona Cardinals’ Sunday Night Football matchup.
“He was out there today, did some good things, but we’re going to wait and see how he really feels right before the game,” Wilks said Friday. “Really just (want to see) how he’s throwing the football. Is he able to grip it consistently? Those type of things.”
Rosen went 10-for-16 for 107 yards and a touchdown last Friday in a win over the New Orleans Saints, rebounding from his first NFL action, a 6-for-13 night marred by poor offensive line play in front of him.
Put that next to Bradford’s seven completed attempts for 67 yards over two games, and Wilks feels good about where the Cardinals stand.
“This guy can throw guys open,” Wilks said of Bradford. “I think the competition in that room is good. As you saw last week, Josh is performing, he’s picking things up, he’s performing well. I like where we are in that room.”
Beyond the first two quarterbacks, Arizona also has gotten good production from rookie Charles Kanoff, who is 8-for-15 for 109 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. If Rosen isn’t healthy, Kanoff and veteran Mike Glennon will split reps Sunday, Wilks said, with Glennon getting the first look.
Glennon, who went 2-for-7 with a pick in the preseason opener, was back at practice this week after missing the Saints game with an forearm injury.
Wilks wants whoever lines up behind center to gain more continuity with the rest of their teammates against Dallas.
“I just think it’s just more timing,” Wilks said. “Getting in there, identifying different looks we’re going to see, particularly from a blitz standpoint, communicating well with the offensive linemen so we can pick it up. I think it’s more continuity than anything.”
Atrophy along the D-line
Opportunities are aplenty along the defensive line.
Robert Nkemdiche, Corey Peters and Olsen Pierre — along with cornerback Jonathan Moxey — were ruled out of Sunday’s game by Wilks. That means Rodney Gunter, Pasoni Tasini and Siupelia Anau, who are next up on the team’s official depth chart, will have the first crack at impressing the Cardinals’ coaching staff.
A battle for regular season reps will continue at defensive end, where former Cowboy Benson Mayowa and Vontarrius Dora are battling with Markus Golden still recovering from his ACL injury
“To me, Benson’s done a fantastic job,” defensive coordinator Al Holcomb. “Vontarrius has done a really good job. There’s some other guys in the mix there as well.
Wilks also mentioned rookie Alec James, who went undrafted out of Wisconsin, as a player who has impressed.
“Benson’s had a pretty good two days, the last couple of days there, so we’re pleased with where he’s at,” Holcomb said Thursday. “Again, it’s a constant battle, it’s a constant rotation. It’s true, there’s no entitlement. Every man’s got to come to work every day and earn their right to be on this team and on the field.”