Cardinals QB Rosen finds rowdy crowds ‘fun’ with visit to Vikings next
TEMPE, Ariz. — Rookie quarterbacks in loud places tend not to mix.
Cardinals signal-caller Josh Rosen knows that Arizona’s visit to U.S. Bank Stadium to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday might be cause for concern. But that’s only because the offense is still waiting to break out of a year-long slump that hardly looked better in the team’s first win of the year at San Francisco last week.
Rosen likes a deafening, hostile environment. That, or the rookie was lying on multiple occasions Wednesday when asked about loud-crowd experiences from his collegiate days at UCLA.
“Texas A&M was really fun, especially when they’re all chanting specifically at you. That was a really awesome place to play,” the rookie quarterback said.
He’s certainly not lying about his experiences again raucous crowds. In that visit to Texas A&M two years ago, Rosen riled up the Aggies’ crowd — known as one of college football’s best home-field advantages — before he even stepped foot on the turf.
“After about 50 thousand fans, it all sounds the same — or doesn’t sound the same, because you really don’t hear anything,” he said before that game.
His comment went viral when the backend of his explanation was clipped off, taking away a bit of context: that it wasn’t a slight at Texas A&M’s home field. But there’s no doubt Rosen leaned into and even enjoyed the aftermath.
During the game, Rosen gestured for the fans at Kyle Field, which has a capacity over 100,000, to stand up and cheer. After he’d thrown three interceptions in an overtime loss, the entire crowd was chanting “fifty-thousand!”
“I love, like, people yelling, screaming at you,” Rosen said Wednesday. “That’s part of sports, it’s why it’s fun.”
What’s less fun is playing for a Cardinals offense that put together another anemic performance against the 49ers last week. Arizona ran just 49 plays to 92 for San Francisco, recorded 10 first downs to 33 for its opponent and was outgained 447-220.
Rosen completed 10 of 25 passes for just 170 yards and a touchdown, though he didn’t turn the ball over.
“We have just sort of one-off mental mistakes everywhere,” he said. “When you have eight or nine people making one mistake on separate plays, you almost want to be like, ‘Alright, let’s all screw up this first play together and then play great from then-on.'”
Arizona’s only bit of success came on the first play, when Rosen threw a 75-yard touchdown to receiver Christian Kirk.
The Cardinals obviously would love to reproduce that start against the Vikings, taking their loud crowd out of it in the process.
“Scoring on the first drive, scoring on the first play, whatever it may be — we really have to take that crowd out of it because it can get a little noisy out there,” Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said. “Haven’t been in that new stadium yet, but being in that division back in the day (with the Chicago Bears), that crowd, that fan base is pretty good.”
— Wilks said the team needed a change as it searches for better production from its wide receiver spot, and that’s why the team signed veteran free agent Kendall Wright earlier in the week.
“Wright’s doing well,” the head coach added. “We’ll see how he progresses throughout the week and if he’s ready to play on game day.
— Rosen on one detail he looks into as he attempts to build a rapport with receivers: “I’ve got a list of every route (to expect from) a receiver in press man (coverage) … ‘You two are the only people on planet earth and you’ve got to get open, what route do you want?’ I want to get a little bit of a unique taste of each player and what they like.”
— S Tre Boston (shoulder), WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring/back), OT D.J. Humphries (knee), OG Mike Iupati (shoulder), DT Robert Nkemdiche (foot), OT Andre Smith (hamstring) and TE Jermaine Gresham (Achilles) did not practice on Wednesday.