Arizona Cardinals rookie signal-caller Josh Rosen’s introduction into the NFL was not made easy for him by his head coach
Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks was looking for a spark. The player who would be looked upon to provide a lift was an obvious choice. Rookie Josh Rosen was inserted into the game against the Chicago Bears to save the day, but the situation he was thrown into was anything but ideal.
As it turned out, Wilks did the Cards’ latest franchise quarterback no favors this past Sunday. It’s true that Rosen is now playing with the big boys, and professionals are expected to handle any scenario placed in front of them. Even so, the 21-year old’s introduction into the NFL was a particularly difficult one.
According to what was revealed following the club’s latest loss, the decision to go with Rosen was made with 11:33 to go in the fourth quarter. Veteran Sam Bradford, who was seemingly trying to singlehandedly blow the contest for the Cardinals, had just committed his final blunder of the afternoon. Arizona’s $20 million free agent pickup coughed up the ball at the Bears’ 21-yard line, and Wilks had seen enough.
Rosen would spend a long time on the Cards sideline before making his debut. Bradford’s fumble led to a 13-play Chicago drive that ate up almost seven minutes of the game clock. The long trek resulted in a field goal that put the Bears ahead for the first time, and Rosen would enter the game with his squad trailing by two points.
A touchdown was not a necessity. The fact that the Cardinals 2018 first-round draft pick would need only to lead his teammates into field-goal range for a possible victory was certainly a positive. A storybook ending was there for the taking, and Rosen wanted nothing more than to provide it for the team and it’s fans.
It didn’t happen. On the eighth play of the ill-fated drive, Rosen served up an interception. The miscue occurred on a fourth down and five from the Chicago 45, a turnover that for all intents and purposes put the nail in the coffin for Arizona.
Rosen completed four out of seven passes on the day, for 36 yards. Obviously, the pick was a killer. But for a guy who had never before played in the league, Rosen’s overall performance was more than respectable.
Apparently, Wilks was impressed. The 10th-overall pick of the draft has been named the starter for the Cards’ upcoming tussle with the Seattle Seahawks. With a full week to prepare this time around, perhaps this weekend’s end-result will be much more positive for Rosen and the Cardinals alike.