Sam Bradford will play more snaps in New Orleans against the Saints this week, coach Steve Wilks said Monday, and rookie Josh Rosen will see playing time with the starting unit as well.
Rosen’s work with the first team will be eagerly anticipated, not only to see his progress but to see how he can do with the starting offensive line – because the struggles of the second-unit offensive line did not help the quarterback in his debut.
“We need to improve with our second offensive line,” Wilks said, adding “I’m not really concerned about it.
“I think we have a good group. They made progress back from OTAs and minicamp. It was an opportunity to see where we are right now. We’re going to get better. I think we have some guys in that second group who will step up and perform well.”
There were multiple issues with the line and the offense during Rosen’s first game, but none were as apparent as the low shotgun snaps from backup center Daniel Munyer – including one that rolled to Rosen on a play during which he still managed to attempt a pass.
“A lot of stuff happens in football and I think what makes you a good quarterback is the resolve to not little things phase you like that,” Rosen said. “It was no big deal.”
Munyer, however, knows it’s a big deal, especially when he estimated he had “five or six bad ones.”
“I got in that rut in that second quarter, and I ended up getting out of it but I did feel bad because it was when Josh was in at quarterback,” Munyer said. “I told him, ‘Man, I’m sorry.’ I didn’t even know I was doing that until it was too late. That definitely killed some momentum. I’m aware of that, but as a player, you have to bounce back.”
Wilks said there was a conversation with Munyer and big picture with the team. Munyer remains confident, noting that he had fixed his issues in-game. The second offensive line played into the fourth quarter.
“It wasn’t my best performance by any means,” Munyer said. “We have to come back as a unit and play stronger, and me personally, I’ve got to do what these coaches and this organization know I can do. That’s why I’m here. I’m a center. I’m here to snap the ball.”
CAP CAPI MAKES HIS PUSH – AGAIN
The hero of the 2017 preseason, defensive end Cap Capi, was cut at the time. The Cardinals re-signed him after 2018 camp started and all Capi did was dominate in his playing time with three sacks and a forced fumble. It was impressive.
But for anyone looking for a sign Capi locked up a roster spot, Wilks put the brakes on that – noting Capi needs to play the run as well as rush the passer.
“This game is all about production,” Wilks said. “He had a great game. Hopefully he can put another one back-to-back. Biggest thing … we need to see him do a much better job anchoring at the defensive end and holding the point in the run game. But he is definitely very exciting to watch when it comes to getting after the quarterback.”
DAVID JOHNSON’S PLAYING TIME
Recently, running back David Johnson said he didn’t think he needed to play much if at all in the preseason. He was on the field for just two snaps Saturday, getting carries on both and breaking off a pair of 14-yard runs.
But that isn’t enough to satisfy Wilks. Not yet. Johnson needs to play more.
“David didn’t play last year,” Wilks said. “And you talk about the timing … I think it’s important he plays quite a bit. When I say quite a bit, I’m talking my standards.”
Those standards, Wilks added, doesn’t mean playing necessarily into the second or third quarter. But it won’t be a two-and-out scenario the next couple of games either.