Josh Rosen has shown the Cardinals everything he can thus far, but Arizona is determined to stick with their plan to start Sam Bradford Week 1.
When the Arizona Cardinals spent a first round pick on Josh Rosen they unofficially named him their starting quarterback of the future. Evidently, he isn’t going to be their signal caller of the immediate present though. Steve Wilks is powering ahead with his plan to make Sam Bradford the team’s starter when the 2018 season opens.
The Cardinals’ official site reports Rosen showed “accuracy” and “impressive arm strength” during minicamp. Furthermore, the former UCLA star also showed off better than expected mobility in camp. Unfortunately for Rosen, Bradford also impressed the team in his limited activity.
Bradford wasn’t allowed to do as much on the field as Rosen due to his recovery from injury, but apparently, he’s done enough. Those same reports claim he showed off quality accuracy and arm strength as well. That, combined with his experience advantage, have allowed him to keep the top spot on the depth chart.
It’s not surprising that the team’s rookie coach would opt for some stability at quarterback to open the year. Wilks was hired for his defensive acumen. He hasn’t arrived in Arizona with a reputation for being any sort of offensive guru. The former Panthers defensive coordinator will put a premium on protecting the football early in his tenure.
As long as Bradford stays healthy, he should be the safer bet under center. Veteran quarterbacks tend to turn the ball over less frequently than rookies. Bradford might not present the same upside that Rosen could provide the Cardinals offense, but he’s much less likely to lose the team a game.
The good news for Rosen is that he shouldn’t have to wait long to get his opportunity. Bradford has one of the worst injury histories in the NFL. The chances of him making it through a 16-game season in one piece are remote at best. If Bradford’s season stays consistent with his history, he’ll give way to Rosen because of injury sooner rather than later.
Cardinals fans probably won’t get a chance to see their exciting rookie quarterback in Week 1, but Bradford isn’t the long-term answer in the desert. Rosen will get his chance to take over the Arizona offense soon enough.