Steve Keim on Sam Bradford: Cardinals will carry three QBs ‘as of now’
As of Friday, Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim had yet to speak with coach Steve Wilks about what the team’s quarterback depth chart will look like for their Sunday game against the Seattle Seahawks. The coaching staff will huddle Saturday to determine how to manage their backups, demoted former starter Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, Wilks said Friday.
The only known is that rookie Josh Rosen will make his first NFL start.
Arizona will continue carrying three quarterbacks, but it’s not known if Bradford or Glennon will act as Rosen’s backup, nor which one of them would be on the inactive list. Glennon has been the odd man out so far, having appeared on the inactive lists through Arizona’s 0-3 start to the season.
“As of right now, we’ll carry three (quarterbacks),” Keim told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Bradford was pulled for Rosen in the fourth quarter of Arizona’s loss to the Bears on Sunday before being demoted. He completed 63 percent of his passes for just 5.0 yards per attempt this season, throwing two touchdowns and four interceptions while fumbling three times.
Adding to his questionable status, the veteran was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday with a pectoral injury.
Regarding their quarterback room, the Cardinals will operate by making the best “football decision” and will not “get consumed with the money part of it,” Keim said.
On a contract with $15 million guaranteed upon signing, Bradford’s future with the team, even if he remains on the roster, is in question considering the struggles on the field coming off a knee injury that limited him throughout training camp.
“The fact that we made the change would tell you that Sam obviously had struggles,” Keim said. “I think the one thing that probably comes to mind is when you watch Sam play in the past, his comfort level in the pocket, his ability to play balanced with his feet, his body, and to throw with the type of accuracy he is historically known for, those are the things that I thought escaped Sam in this offense.”
“And I didn’t quite see him as comfortable as I would’ve liked, which also affected his natural accuracy. Times where he made players move for the ball and just the placement itself of the football was not there compared to what I’ve seen in the past. Sam’s a diligent guy, he worked extremely hard. We’re very, very thankful for what he’s done here, but this is a results-based business.”
Now the focus turns to Rosen.
Keim knows the No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 draft will have a steep learning curve. Arizona will scale back the playbook, allowing Rosen to play fast.
The general manager wants to “just see growth” in how Rosen handles the tempo, play clock, line-of-scrimmage adjustments and how well he identifies defenses. How easily can Rosen then go through his progressions?
“To be able to do all those little things early on will be something that I will certainly look at,” Keim said.
“The position that he was put in last Sunday certainly showed that Josh has that potential. For a guy that jumped in there, I thought he let the ball rip a number of times and looked confident in the pocket. Again, I was very impressed with what I saw in Josh.”
— Keim, speaking on the offensive line play: “I would say ‘inconsistent’ is the word I would use. The disappointing part is they’ve showed the physicality, particularly in the run game that they can be an effective group running the football and they can create an identity there. You’ve seen some breakdowns there. Those guys have to learn how to play in unison.”
— The GM on the loss of playing time for linebackers and first-round picks Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick: “Both of those guys have all the necessary skills. To be able to play fast and to be able to play productive, you have to do the little things right. Certainly still have high hopes for both of those guys.”