ARIZONA CARDINALS

Larry Fitzgerald says Josh Rosen handling Cardinals draft buzz well

Apr 22, 2019, 3:46 PM
Josh Rosen #3 of the Arizona Cardinals warms-up before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Cen...
Josh Rosen #3 of the Arizona Cardinals warms-up before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 30, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals have had plenty of time to consider who they’ll take with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

That’s the bittersweet reality of having the No. 1 overall pick: The Cardinals can take whoever they want, but it also means no team in the NFL needs more improvement than Arizona.

“I would’ve loved to be 13-3 and drafting the 28th pick of the draft or the 29th. That’s where you want to be,” Larry Fitzgerald told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Monday. “That’s what you aspire to have year in and year out, to be like the Patriots, and not have a long time to think about who you want to pick.

“But it’s an exciting time but also a nerve-wracking time, because you want to make the right choice for your organization moving forward.”

Nerve-wracking, maybe, for nobody more than Josh Rosen. The soon-to-be second-year quarterback has surely heard all season long the speculation that has surrounded the Cardinals and their plans at quarterback. He admitted recently to SI that he’s aware of the rumors that the team could select Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray.

“I definitely understand the situation. It’s annoying but it is what it is — football’s a business,” Rosen said. “I definitely respect the higher-ups and their decisions.”

Fitzgerald likes what he’s seen from the 22-year-old.

“I applaud his position of how he handles his business,” Fitzgerald said. “He literally, he just, ‘Only thing I can control is me and my effort today and how much I can learn this offense to be the best quarterback I can be for the Arizona Cardinals until something else changes.’ Really, as a 22-year-old kid, I love his demeanor.

“I love the way he approaches life. I love his insight on things. We have great conversations about a lot of different things every single day, and I like Josh as a man and I think he’s going to be a good ballplayer. What area are we going to go in, what move are we going to make? I have no idea. But I like the way he’s taking his approach.”

That being said, Fitzgerald doesn’t claim to be a quarterback scout. He answered as such when asked of his thoughts on Murray.

“I watch more the receivers,” Fitzgerald said. “So if you ask me about such-and-such receiver at this school, I would have a little bit better understanding. I’m not a quarterback evaluator. That’s not my strong suit. The guys that get paid the big bucks do that.

“Now, I watched him play the Big-12 Championship game and I saw [Murray] play Alabama. I mean he balled out in both of those games.”

In defense of Rosen, Fitzgerald added while talking to Burns & Gambo that the injuries last year made it hard for Rosen to showcase his full talent.

THOUGHTS ON KLIFF

What better player to give his thoughts on a new head coach than Fitzgerald, a 15-year veteran of the NFL?

“That’s a cool cat, man. That’s a cool dude,” Fitzgerald said of Kliff Kingsbury, the first-year coach who had only coached at the college level prior to this coming season. “I like his approach and his demeanor every day. He’s about his business but extremely personable.

“He’s the kind of guy you walk in the hallway, he doesn’t have that, ‘I’m the head coach, get out of my way’ mentality. He’s, ‘How you doing? How was your weekend? How are the kids?’ And it’s not just me. I see him do it with everybody. He’s trying to build a relationship with the 53rd man on the roster, just like he’s trying to build it with Josh or David Johnson or Chandler Jones or Patrick Peterson.”

Fitzgerald also said he was a fan, specifically, of Kingsbury’s positive reinforcement approach.

“I mean, he’s outgoing, and his coaching staff is the same way. A lot of great, positive energy, a lot of positive affirmation. They coach on things that guys can do as opposed to things that guys can’t do. I mean the first thing he said, ‘Look, I have a system here, it’s been successful, but my job is to get the best out of you guys and build my system around what you guys do best,’ I mean I’ve never heard a head coach ever say anything like that before. It’s, you know, “You guys are going to do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it.’ That’s not his approach.”

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