The last practice before games start came Thursday for the Cardinals, and it went just like every other practice. Sam Bradford was out working with the 'ones,' Josh Rosen got plenty of work behind him, and never once has anyone wondered about the big picture -- that Rosen is the future quarterback of this team.
But for anyone who still wants to dial it back to early in the preseason, when coach Steve Wilks left the door open for Rosen the rookie to usurp Bradford on the depth chart when the season starts, it's time to put that thought away. It's not that Rosen has been bad. He's been solid, especially for a rookie. But Bradford is better at this point.
It was interesting to hear former Cardinals quarterback-turned-NFL Network analyst/personality Kurt Warner return to his old stomping grounds and interview both Bradford and Rosen for a segment. Late in the interview, Warner tries to put the duo on the spot, trying to ask Bradford first why he would/should win the job. He planned to ask Rosen after that, but Bradford shut it down.
"No, we're not going down this road," Bradford said, with a slight smile but insistent in his stance at about the 3:36 mark.
(Side note: Knowing Warner and how he handled things going against Matt Leinart, I'm going to say Kurt absolutely would have made an attempt to answer the question, given how strongly he felt about it at the time. He didn't shy away from the topic back then.)
Bradford knows there's no reason to stir up anything right now, and he basically protected Rosen from doing the same. Mostly, though, the first thing I thought about was that there wasn't much to say. Aside from the all-time Bradford caveat that as long as he doesn't get hurt, Bradford is going to be this team's starting QB.
As for the rest of practice:
-- With linebackers Deone Bucannon and Josh Bynes still sitting out of practice (and rookie Airius Moore, another linebacker), veteran Arthur Moats -- signed as a defensive end, but with a ton of experience playing linebacker in the NFL, albeit mostly in 3-4 defenses -- was working a little with the linebackers Thursday, mostly talking with linebackers coach Larry Foote.
-- Wilks noted another sluggish start to practice Thursday. He said he wasn't sure if there was a common thread to the few times he's noticed such, but added "I don't think it's something to be alarmed about. I think the guys will be fine. But the important thing, we need to make sure those guys understand that, in a game concept, we don't want to get off to a slow start."
-- DT Robert Nkemdiche came out of practice. Wilks said it was a little bit of tendinitis and that Nkemdiche would be fine. The reality is Nkemdiche is under the microscope after his first couple of seasons, and while he has had an impressive camp so far, everyone is waiting to see what he does in games.