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Keeping Josh Rosen In Lineup Is About The Finish

Notes: Wilks wants rookie to get reps and for Cardinals to avoid "giving up" mentality

Quarterback Josh Rosen is sacked Sunday in Atlanta, one of six sacks of the Cardinals' rookie.
Quarterback Josh Rosen is sacked Sunday in Atlanta, one of six sacks of the Cardinals' rookie.

Given a day to think about it, Steve Wilks not surprisingly had not changed his thinking.

Josh Rosen needed to come out of the game Sunday in a bad loss in Atlanta. Josh Rosen needs to remain the starting quarterback for the Cardinals the final two weeks. And was there any thought otherwise?

"None whatsoever," Wilks said Monday.

"He was disappointed a little bit, wanted to stay in there," Wilks said. "Sometimes great players like that, you have to help them help themselves. But going forward we're not going to take a defeated attitude and say we're going to put him on the shelf."

Wilks took that a step further during an appearance later on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station, saying that sitting Rosen the last two games would be the "mindset of giving up and quitting."

Rosen was sacked six times Sunday, throwing two interceptions (although Wilks absolved him of the first, a batted ball that was returned for a touchdown) and losing a fumble. The rookie came out of the game midway through the fourth quarter, with backup Mike Glennon taking over.

The tipped interception/touchdown was a touchpoint for Wilks, since the Cardinals had a 7-0 lead at that point and proceeded to give up 40 straight points to the Falcons – an indictment of both sides of the ball.

"We have to find a way to be mentally tough," Wilks said. "When certain things happen, we tend to go south."

Rosen said he was unhappy with being benched "but I understand it," Rosen said.

"The decision was made, and you've got to deal with it," he added. "Hopefully, you never put your coach in a position like that again."

Wilks still believes Rosen's reps the last two games will help him learn and progress going into 2019.

"I don't want to say it would hurt him more to bench him," Wilks said. "I'd say you'd hurt his development and growth. He's so competitive, he wants to be out there, and I want him out there as well."


With speculation going on about his own future as coach, Wilks was asked how he handles it.

"I don't really listen to the outside noise," Wilks said. "I come in here with my nose down and just grind away. I'm trying to get these coaches and players all on the same page and trying to get a win."

Wilks did acknowledge this season was the most difficult of his coaching career.


Wilks repeated that cornerback David Amerson and right tackle Joe Barksdale are both in the concussion protocol. He also said again he was "hopeful" wide receiver Chad Williams would be back this week. Williams, Wilks confirmed, was not healthy enough with his troubled hamstring to be available in Atlanta.


With Amerson's injury, Brandon Williams was forced into playing cornerback for literally the first time this season – Williams, the 2016 third-round pick, had not played a defensive snap all season until Sunday. Against the Falcons, he played 61, with Pro Football Focus giving Williams a good coverage grade of 78.8.

If Amerson cannot go, Williams is expected to remain in the lineup, and Wilks praised his play.

"I have a lot of confidence in Brandon," Wilks said.

Some of the top images from the Week 15 matchup in Atlanta