Wilks takes stock in Cards’ preseason turnover figures; Rosen’s status TBD
TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardale Jones. Taysom Hill. Cooper Rush.
Those are the starting quarterbacks the Arizona Cardinals have faced in three preseason games so far. Next up: Chad Kelly.
Arizona head coach Steve Wilks hasn’t seemed to care who the competition is thus far. He remains pleased that his Cardinals have pressed those quarterbacks and their backups into six interceptions. And Wilks is plenty content that Arizona has created an additional 10 turnovers for a 16-to-1 turnover ratio with a preseason finale against the Denver Broncos looming Thursday.
There’s no asterisk over that number at Cardinals headquarters.
“I think it’s really the standard that’s what we’ve set,” Wilks said when asked if he puts much weight into those preseason figures. “It’s what we’re emphasizing, it’s what we teach and what we preach as coaches. Taking the ball away, we create drills for that. (Defensive coordinator Al) Holcomb and the defensive staff work on that daily.”
In a 27-3 Sunday Night Football road victory against the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona forced eight turnovers.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson accounted for two, once jumping a sideline pass for a 30-yard pick-six and a possession later jarring a ball loose to force a fumble that Arizona recovered.
And if Wilks’ comments about his evaluation of the gaudy turnover ratio this preseason aren’t telling enough, he’s also showing how important it is to him.
“I just finished showing the team the interception that Patrick had and I backed it with the interception he had in practice along the exact same sideline,” Wilks said Monday. “I always say in order to do something in the game, you have to first do it in practice, and this guy is doing it at a high level.”
Rosen’s status still TBD
Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen’s status for Thursday remains undecided after he missed Sunday’s game due to a swollen thumb.
Wilks said Monday he’d not decided whether Rosen would play in the preseason finale and, if so, how much.
“Health is one and then also his ability to make sure he keeps his timing and those types of things as well,” Wilks said. “We want to make sure that he has an opportunity to go out there and keep the mechanics and things that we expressed throughout training camp — and the things he’s built upon so far, I don’t want him to lose that.”
Rosen banged his right thumb into a teammate’s helmet last Monday and was held out of the game Sunday.