Competitive advantage: Cardinals not naming starter ahead of Week 1

Aug 28, 2023, 2:32 PM | Updated: 6:30 pm

If you are anxiously waiting for Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon to name a starting quarterback before the team’s season opener, I’ve got some bad news for you.

At least publicly, the team will not be doing such a thing ahead of Arizona’s Week 1 matchup against the Washington Commanders.

Arizona might be the only NFL team entering the week without a known No. 1 quarterback, and that’s OK in Gannon’s eyes.

“I’m not going to name a starter, because I think it’s a competitive advantage for us going to Washington,” Gannon said Monday.

“But we’ll know who the starter is.”

Entering this week, Colt McCoy looked like the leader in the clubhouse given he had worked exclusively with the first-team offense and was among a handful of projected starters who sat out of Arizona’s preseason finale in Minnesota.

That all changed, however, when McCoy was surprisingly released Monday morning. Now, it’s seemingly a two-horse race between 2023 fifth-rounder Clayton Tune and newly acquired Josh Dobbs, who joined Arizona’s ranks on Thursday and has yet to take a snap for Arizona in a game or practice setting.

Despite Tune’s up-and-down preseason and Dobbs’ newness to the franchise, Gannon feels confident in what lies ahead.

“I think we got a pretty good plan in place, but I want to see them both go through the next two weeks,” Gannon said of the duo. “But I think that the plan that we have to evaluate that and to get that done and the team knowing the ‘why’ behind it. I think they’re comfortable with it. I feel good with where it’s at.”

Tune was easily one of Arizona’s training camp standouts, seemingly securing the backup spot behind McCoy on Day 1.

The rookie got a ton of looks throughout camp and the preseason, appearing in all three contests and seeing more snaps than any other Cardinals QB.

He’s shown growth since arriving as part of the 2023 draft class but is still very early into his NFL progression.

Dobbs on the other hand has been a Cardinal for a total of four days after the Cleveland Browns traded him and a 2024 seventh-round pick away to Arizona in exchange for a 2024 fifth-rounder last Thursday.

But while he’s not anywhere close to being familiar with his new surroundings, the signal caller does know a thing or two about working under offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, quarterbacks coach Israel Woolfork and a run-heavy offense from their time together last year.

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