Two anecdotes from first start indicate Cardinals QB Josh Rosen was ready
TEMPE, Ariz. — The game has not looked too fast for Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen.
Arizona head coach Steve Wilks felt like the rookie’s unflappable nature, along with his confidence and command, were satisfactory reasons to throw him into the fire, first in an attempt of a late comeback against the Chicago Bears two weeks back. Ditto for Wilks’ decision to move Rosen into a starting role heading into what became a loss to the Seattle Seahawks this past week.
Much has been made of Rosen’s confidence, but a great deal of it is because, reasonably or not, he doesn’t feel like the NFL game is all that different than what he faced in high school or college.
“It’s pretty much the same from high school, to college, to the NFL,” he said of his calm pocket presence that allowed him to extend plays and complete balls with defenders bearing down on him in a 20-17 loss last Sunday.
“Your offensive linemen get better with your defensive line and vice versa. It’s just when things go bad, it just hurts more.”
Two anecdotes from head coach Steve Wilks’ Wednesday press conference stand out about Rosen’s strong play that saw him complete 15 of 27 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown:
At one point Sunday, Wilks admitted he wasn’t as trusting in his rookie quarterback as he should have been.
“Clock was running down, we were about to get a delay of game. I called timeout,” Wilks said. “After that series he was coming over the sideline and he said, ‘Coach, I got it. I’m looking at the play-clock. Trust me, I got it.’
“I love it. I love the confidence. I love that he’s in control. I’m all for it.”
A handful of drops by Arizona’s receivers marred Rosen’s stat line, and while his encouragement of his teammates was caught on the sideline cameras a few times, another uplifting conversation was had between the 21-year-old rookie and the 43-year-old Phil Dawson, who missed two field goals that could have changed the complexion of the game in Arizona’s favor.
“He said Josh came up to him after the game,” Wilks said of Dawson. “Here’s an older guy, a veteran guy and he’s getting encouraged by a rookie quarterback. It just speaks volumes to what Josh can do not only on the field for this team but off.”
— Rosen’s first career touchdown pass from Sunday was also second-year receiver Chad Williams’ first career touchdown catch. That caused a minor dilemma regarding who gets to keep the football involved on the play: “See if you can cut it in half or something. Get like one side painted,” Rosen quipped. “We’ll figure it out.”
— WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring), CB Bene Benwikere (spine), DE Markus Golden (knee) and DT Corey Peters (elbow) did not practice on Wednesday, Wilks said. They are all day-to-day but expected to be healthy enough for Sunday’s game in San Francisco.