New era notes: Clayton Tune bringing right mindset to Cardinals’ starting QB battle
Aug 31, 2023, 1:45 PM
TEMPE — A lot of quarterback talk surrounding the Arizona Cardinal this past week has centered firmly around newcomer Josh Dobbs and rightfully so.
Added out of nowhere last Thursday in a trade with the Cleveland Browns, Dobbs comes in as the likely Week 1 starter with veteran Colt McCoy no longer on the team despite not taking a training camp or preseason snap with the team.
For rookie-turned-incumbent signal caller Clayton Tune, it’s yet another example of how quickly things can change in the business that is the NFL.
But while the recent amount of moving and shaking in the room could make some rookies’ heads spin, Tune remains locked in at the task at hand.
“(He’s been) awesome. He’s got the mentality you want in your trigger guy,” head coach Jonathan Gannon said Thursday.
Physically, Tune still has to go out and earn the starting job. But mentally, Gannon believes he’s right where he needs to be amid the QB battle with Dobbs.
And despite the overall murkiness under center with the season opener against the Washington Commanders just eight days away, it could always be worse.
“I’ve been in some unique spots on some different teams that we didn’t know that we didn’t know who the starter was going to be until the Friday before the game, so I feel comfortable with where we’re at,” Gannon added.
Daley not available
It is unclear which Cardinals quarterback will play in Week 1.
The same can’t be said for offensive lineman Dennis Daley, who will not be available for the season-opening tilt against the Commanders, per Gannon.
It’s certainly a blow to Arizona’s depth at guard given Daley’s role as a backup.
With Daley sidelined, Arizona’s 53-man roster options include Trystan Colon and Keith Ismael, a pair of interior offensive linemen claimed off waivers on Wednesday.
There’s also the practice squad to keep tabs on. While the roster has yet to be announced, center and guard Hayden Howerton could be an elevation candidate for Week 1.
With Thursday’s conclusion, the Cardinals will have three days off before getting back on the practice field on Monday.
Prep work will still be a thing for many, but so will getting some R&R before the grind of the regular season takes hold until February.
“It’s kind of a bunch of things, setting up Week 1, which is kind of set up, but a little bit of game planning, a little bit of downtime,” Gannon said.
“I told the coaches they need to get a little mental break. Players too, especially with the bye being so late (in Week 14). … We’ll be refreshed and come back in here and get after it.”