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Quarterback Decision Between Joshua Dobbs, Clayton Tune Still Unsaid

Gannon reiterates he won't be saying anything about starter before Washington game

Quarterbacks Clayton Tune (left) and Joshua Dobbs (9) at practice Wednesday for the Cardinals.
Quarterbacks Clayton Tune (left) and Joshua Dobbs (9) at practice Wednesday for the Cardinals.

Jonathan Gannon acknowledged the Cardinals already know who their quarterback will be Sunday when the team opens the regular season in Washington.

"Players know the plan," the coach said Wednesday.

But no one is going to give out hints when the cameras and recorders are rolling whether it is veteran Joshua Dobbs or rookie Clayton Tune will officially be starting.

"If I am the guy," Dobbs said purposefully, "then I'll be excited to go out and perform the way I can perform, represent the Cardinals and lead the team."

NFL Network reported that Dobbs will be the one getting the nod on Sunday, but Gannon has said multiple times he won't be making an announcement and was blunt in his press conference when asked if he still might say something at any point before the game.

"I ain't telling you anything," Gannon said.

(It was interesting to see that the NFLN report still said that the Cardinals "are expected" to go with Dobbs, leaving some wiggle room if it turned out to be untrue.)

Dobbs has two starts in his career, both coming in December last season with the Titans, although he has been in the league since 2017. Tune was a fifth-round pick who played the majority of the Cardinals' preseason snaps and is the only QB left who played for the team in preseason after both Colt McCoy and David Blough were released.

"There's been a lot going on but I just focus on what I can control," Tune said, adding "everyone is worrying about doing their role to the best of their ability and helping this team win."

The mental ability of Dobbs – he is a aerospace engineer, after all – gave Gannon confidence the quarterback would assimilate quickly to the offense despite a short run-up time (and giving him a legitimate chance to run the offense if he was starting Week 1.) Having worked with current Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing last year in Cleveland, where Petzing was quarterbacks coach, made a difference too.

Dobbs acknowledged he feels more relaxed this week, after showing up Aug. 27, just after the Vikings preseason game, following a trade from Cleveland.

"I figured I would get (the offense) down pretty quick," Dobbs said.

Still, the Cardinals aren't talking. Rookie wide receiver Michael Wilson was talking about his own practice reps this week and being a starter, and impressively slipped in that he knew he had to go on the field with "quarterback X," revealing nothing.

Petzing declined to talk about how the reps would be split between the two.

"It's been a great process," Petzing said. "I have a lot of faith in them, the way they work together."

The answer, officially, will come in a few days.

"We had last week, we have a full week of preparation this week, there is plenty of time to get in the film room, get extra reps with my teammates," Dobbs said. "This is our life, football, so there is plenty of time to lock into the game plan, hold down details, work out any kinks and nuances, and get ready to play."

Images of the Cardinals practicing at the Dignity Health Sports Complex before the Week 1 regular season matchup against the Washington Commanders

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