Cardinals QB Clayton Tune settles in, gets extended look vs. Broncos

Aug 12, 2023, 7:45 AM

Clayton Tune looks on...

Arizona Cardinals QB Clayton Tune looks on during training camp on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

GLENDALE — We all knew Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Clayton Tune would play in Friday’s preseason opener against the Denver Broncos.

We just didn’t know how much.

Forty-nine snaps (62%) — the second-most on the team behind tight end Blake Whiteheart — and an 18-17 comeback victory later and we now have our answer.

After watching veteran Colt McCoy go 4-for-4 in his lone drive, Tune was handed the keys to the offense for the majority of the evening outside of about nine minutes of game-winning David Blough ball in the fourth quarter. He even got some run with the first team.

And for the most part, the rookie held his own.

“A rookie in his first NFL game, he probably wants a couple throws back just like I want a couple things back. What I did during the game and during the week, too, but I thought he settled down,” head coach Jonathan Gannon said postgame. “I thought he made some plays with his legs, which is huge in today’s NFL. He’s a mobile guy.

“He placed a few throws in there, but like I said, he’ll go back in there and all our guys will go back in there and say, ‘All right, let’s get into details and how can I get a little bit better?’ But I was pleased with the operation from him.”

Completing 13 of 23 passing attempts for 135 yards, a touchdown and an interception, the rookie definitely had his fair share of highs and lows Friday night, though the pick is more on wide receiver Rondale Moore for falling.

Tune’s touchdown, however, was all him.

Turning a 10-play drive into points, the rookie connected with Kaden Davis with the first touchdown of Arizona’s preseason.

The throws Gannon mentioned likely had to do with another wideout in Greg Dortch, who watched the ball sail over his head on more than one occasion with a man beat.

Tune, much like Gannon alluded to postgame, sees the missed throws as an easy fix to what is going on.

“I feel good to have played my first game,” Tune said. “It felt really good to be playing football again. Got some things to work through.”

“It was a lot of fun, there’s a lot more responsibility,” the QB added. “Play calls, tags, motions, seeing rotations from the defense, it’s fun to have a lot more on my plate and I felt good about it.”

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