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Cardinals rookie Josh Rosen showing characteristics of a veteran

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The lone rookie with a locker in the veterans’ room belongs to the Arizona Cardinals‘ most talked-about first-year pro.

That’s quarterback Josh Rosen, the 10th overall pick from the 2018 draft, and his stall is situated next to veteran quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon so he can try to soak in their knowledge. Rosen might be learning on the job like all rookies, but he’s already showing the characteristics of a player with more experience.

Rosen is working as the No. 2 quarterback at Cardinals training camp, but he’s learning what it takes to be the starter.

“Command in the huddle is sort of a microcosm of command of the offense overall, and the team,” Rosen said. “You just have to be confident when going out there, and at some point, you just have to own it. You have to know everything that’s going on.”

Rosen threw an interception in his first NFL training camp practice on Saturday, but he’ll remain aggressive. His goal is to make the basics of lining up and playcalling second nature so he can do what he was drafted to do: zip the ball all over the field.

“You can never give the ball to the other team,” he said. “But I’m not going to play overly conservative and not play like who I am. But you just kind of have to feel that soft spot. I’m aggressive and like to take shots, but you have to be aware of situations and not make it too easy for the other team to get the ball.”

Rosen admitted it was the first time he’d practiced in front of so many people. Observers saw the arm strength and accuracy; Rosen saw a need for more playbook review and repetitions — and less thinking.

“Then you start to focus more on the physical side, when you’re not thinking as much,” he said.

Rosen got a few snaps with the first-team offense on Saturday, somewhat unexpectedly. But that could happen more often as the Cardinals try to give Bradford, the projected starter, a few snaps off to rest his surgically repaired knee.

Bradford has pledged his willingness to help Rosen pick up the pro game, and Rosen feels fortunate to have someone like Bradford to learn from.

“I think people forget how good he is,” Rosen said. “He’s just unbelievably quick and decisive with everything that he does. The ball just doesn’t touch the ground. It’s his first year in this offense, too, and it seems like it’s been his fourth. I’m very fortunate that that is the standard that I get to see coming into the NFL.


“He’s a really good quarterback, and I think a lot of people are sleeping on him.”

As for Rosen, his new teammates — even the most tenured with Pro Bowl credentials — have observed his intelligence, leadership and awareness and are impressed. Bradford talked about his inquisitive nature on Saturday, and others chimed in before Sunday’s practice.

“Josh is special. For him to come in the week after he got drafted and being able to put guys in position, being able to make those tight window throws, those seam throws … that goes to show that he’s NFL-ready,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said. “You can tell he’s a footballer. He’s a player, for sure, and I’m definitely happy that we finally found this one in the draft.”

That doesn’t mean he’s perfect, though. “His decision-making sometimes, we’ve got make sure we shore that up,” said Cardinals coach Steve Wilks. “But for the most part, you can see his arm strength, as well as his accuracy.”

Wilks even went so far as to show a completion he liked of Rosen’s from Saturday’s practice during a team meeting.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said the competition between Rosen and Bradford is healthy and beneficial for both and noted that Rosen seems motivated.

“I love his confidence,” Fitzgerald said of Rosen. “He’s not shy, he’s not boastful, but you know he’s confident in his ability. He has a chip on his shoulder, and I really like that. That’s the way you should be at that position.”

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