Cardinals’ Jarrett Guarantano taking battle for roster spot one day at a time
Training camp for the Arizona Cardinals has brought a number of position battles, from the expected to the unexpected.
One that’s heated up heading into Sunday’s preseason bout against the Baltimore Ravens is the spot to be the Cardinals’ third potential quarterback on the roster.
Franchise quarterback Kyler Murray is etched into the starter role while veteran Colt McCoy has a firm grasp to be his backup.
That’s left a spirited competition between fourth-year quarterback Trace McSorley and rookie free agent Jarrett Guarantano.
For Guarantano, he said training camp has been a whirlwind, but everything he dreamed of. He took a quote from New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter that has helped him throughout the aspect of the quarterback competition.
“I was watching Derek Jeter and he said ‘competition eliminates complacency,'” Guarantano told media Friday. “I think when you have a team like that and when you have a room like that, then obviously you feel the competition and try to get better every day.”
The rookie said the veteran McCoy and QB coach Cam Turner have been a huge help in him learning the Cardinals’ playbook.
In college, Guarantano played in five different offensive systems, something he said made it difficult to develop a study routine.
The rookie understands the preseason can be seen as an audition for all 32 NFL teams, but is happy he is in Arizona.
“I’m thankful this organization gave me the opportunity to do this,” he said. “It’s been kind of crazy, kind of frantic but I’m loving every second of it.”
Guarantano saw action in the Cardinals’ preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, a 36-23 win.
He completed seven of his 10 pass attempts for 54 yards which included a five-yard touchdown pass to Jontre Kirklin.
While Guarantano was on the field, head coach Kliff Kingsbury did an experiment of having Murray call the plays.
“It was cool, probably do it again on Sunday,” Guarantano said of Murray calling plays. “You’ll see me probably laughing some times, he’s a really funny guy on the mic.”
The rookie said he likes to bust Murray’s chops on the sidelines with some suggestions, but reiterated that the Cardinals starter knows what he’s doing and maybe hinted at a future profession for the quarterback.
“He knows football better than anybody in the room and he’s gonna be a good coach one day.”
The Cardinals continue their preseason slate on Sunday, hosting the Baltimore Ravens at 5 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.