Arizona Cardinals: Clayton Tune has the mentality every NFL rookie should have

Houston v Texas Tech
Houston v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Say what you will about Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Clayton Tune, but the kid displays the exact mental attitude that every rookie should emulate.

New Arizona Cardinals quarterback Clayton Tune has a rare opportunity. Sure, he was a fifth round pick, and fifth round picks, especially quarterbacks, aren’t supposed to start as rookies. But despite the logjam at quarterback, Tune couldn’t have landed in a better situation, with an aging veteran and two cast-offs ahead of him on the depth chart (for now, at least), and an incumbent starter working his way back from a torn ACL. 

But not only does Tune have a legit chance to be a starting quarterback in this league from Week 1, he also displays sheer confidence, recently claiming to be the best quarterback in the draft class. While some may see this as arrogance, let’s not mix it up with confidence. Here is a snippet of what Tune had to say.

" “I elevate everyone around me. I’m a natural leader, people follow me and see the work that I’m putting in and the mindset that I have, and they want to follow suit. I have that no-flinch mentality when things get going tough. Those are some of the intangible things, and then being able to make every throw on the field, being able to make plays off schedule and being more mobile than people realize.” "

Clayton Tune

Source: Could rookie QB Clayton Tune become the Cardinals' version of a 'Brock Purdy solution?' by Bob McManaman,

Something about the above quote is that Tune doesn’t just claim to be the best, but he tells us why he is the best. Further, if you really look at his words, his claims of what he is are literally 180 degrees from what Murray actually has been over the first four seasons of his respective career. 

Arizona Cardinals rookie oozes the right mentality

While it’s true Tune could just be blowing smoke and talking the talk, we know the 139th overall pick has sound experience, and over his final two seasons at the University of Houston, he compiled a 20-7 record. No, he couldn’t upset the University of Cincinnati in the 2021 AAC Championship Game, he did win the Birmingham Bowl over Auburn, and the Independence Bowl against the University of Louisiana.

So yeah, Tune has every right in the world to take a confident approach, and in a way, he reminds me of a young Tom Brady. When Brady first met the Patriots owner, the legendary quarterback had a few confident words for Kraft. 

Not that Tune is the next Brady, though that would be great. But when I’m getting at is, there is nothing wrong with having a confident outlook and being sure of yourself. And that’s really all Clayton Tune is doing. 

Sure, some will see it as cocky, and it’s likely we’ll see anchors criticize Tune over the words. But really, this is the exact mentality you should crave from all players, regardless of their status on the team. 

Be confident that you’re going to come in and impress, and always act as though you’re heading into each game as the starter. Tune will be doing that. 

It will be interesting to see how the Arizona Cardinals utilize Tune this season, and whether they insert him into the starting lineup early, or let him sit and learn behind a veteran like Colt McCoy. Overall, and with the current uncertainty regarding Murray, if Tune makes strides in camp and believes he is ready for the big time, why waste any? Let the kid play and see if he can at least become a high-end backup in the league, if not more.

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