Arizona Cardinals

Are the Cardinals worried about Josh Rosen’s mental toughness?

Cardinals fans are ready to see Josh Rosen take over for Sam Bradford, but the front office seems to have concerns about his mental strength.

Baker Mayfield’s terrific comeback win over the Jets has Cardinals fans wondering what their rookie quarterback can do for their struggling offense. Don’t expect to see Josh Rosen under center this week for Arizona. The front office remains committed to bringing their first round pick along slowly.

That philosophy obviously doesn’t have anything to do with Sam Bradford’s start to the season. He’s only managed to throw for 243 yards on 61 pass attempts. Even worse, he’s thrown two interceptions without a touchdown. His inability to push the ball down the field is a big reason why the Cardinals have scored a total of six points in their first two games.

Judging by GM Steve Keim’s recent comments, it seems the organization is very concerned about throwing Rosen to the wolves too soon. He insists his rookie signal caller will play when the “time is right.” It’s what he said after that declaration that’s much more interesting.

Keim went on to reference how previous rookie quarterbacks have seen their careers “crippled” by playing too early. Predictably, he opted against naming any names, but he is correct on his historical account. The history of the NFL is littered with talented young signal callers who’ve seen their careers derailed by playing before they were ready.

The truth is the team’s decision to keep Rosen on the bench has more to do with their inability to protect the quarterback than anything else. To his credit, Keim openly acknowledges the fact that the Cardinals have a lot of problems on offense outside of the quarterback position. Bradford has only been sacked three times on the season, but that number is artificially deflated by his obsession with getting the ball out of his hands as early as possible.

Expect Bradford to remain the starter this week when the Cardinals come up against a pretty ferocious Bears pass rush. The level of defense drops pretty significantly after that though. It’s very possible Rosen could get the nod at home against the Seahawks next week.

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If the Cardinals don’t choose to give him a shot soon, it’s really going to be time to start asking questions about what they’re trying to hide. Arizona is walking a fine line between patience and foolishness at the moment. Unless there’s something wrong with Rosen we’re unaware of, he should be on the field soon.

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