TEMPE, Ariz. — It took Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen a little while during Friday’s rookie minicamp to knock off the rust accumulated from not playing football since late last year and settle down in his first NFL practice.
But when he did, Rosen stopped throwing his passes low and showed the Cardinals why they traded up to draft him 10th overall last month.
“I think you can tell that he had some little jitters early on,” new Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said. “But he’s so confident, and you can see that as he went on with practice. He settled down a little bit, settle in. Throws were on time. The accuracy was there. Everything that we know about him, you saw later on in practice.”
Rosen, who felt he shook off that rust early, thought his first NFL practice went “really good.”
“It’s just nice to get out there after such a long draft process to actually start playing football again,” Rosen said.
His “welcome to the NFL” moment came early in practice during one of his first few times stepping into the huddle. He looked around at his teammates and Rosen said he was like, “This is pretty cool, isn’t it?”
Rosen said working on the “procedural stuff” on the field — breaking the huddle, getting up to the line of scrimmage, calling out the cadence and getting a real snap — helped him knock that rust off.
Wilks felt Rosen was “phenomenal” at calling plays and working out of a huddle.
“The guy is extremely smart,” Wilks said. “We’ve said from day one, he’s picking up the offense. He’s doing a great job there taking control of the huddle and getting everybody aligned, identifying the Mike linebacker, etc.
“So, no questions about that from a standpoint of his leadership.”
Rosen felt Friday’s start to rookie minicamp was an extension of college football, making it difficult for him to decipher the differences between college football and the NFL. He thinks he’ll have a better answer next week when he takes part in Arizona’s first veterans OTA.
“It’s a pretty big pill of a playbook to swallow, but for the most part we’re breaking it down day by day, and just working.”
While Rosen displayed his athleticism roll outs throughout practice, he did so in a climate he’s not accustomed to. Friday’s practice took place in temperatures that hovered in the high 90s, weather Rosen hasn’t played regularly in having grown up and played his college football in Southern California. But Rosen approached the weather as another hurdle to overcome.
“It’s not too bad,” Rosen said. “I imagine it’s definitely getting worse as we get closer to summer, but for the most part, it’s another level of adversity you kind of have to keep pushing through. It can’t faze you.”