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The Mental Progress Of Josh Rosen

Rookie quarterback challenged by exotic defensive coverages

Quarterback Josh Rosen will remain at the Cardinals facility with the other rookies for the next two weeks, but with offseason work finished, it's a good time to take stock of his progress.

The first-round pick saw plenty of action over the past couple of months with projected starter Sam Bradford on a limited throwing plan to manage his health. Rosen said the main adjustment has been dissecting the more exotic defensive coverages that are prevalent in the NFL.

"I've just been exposed to a lot that I've never really been exposed to before," Rosen said. "It's exciting to get to solve some new puzzles, solve some new challenges, see some blitzes and coverages I've never seen before. … Out there they're bluffing cover zero (an all-out blitz) and then they dropped eight. In my head I'm just like, 'How did they do that?'"

Rosen has a toolbox of exciting traits. His mechanics are clean and he has a nice mixture of velocity and touch on his throws. It's the mental side of things that derail many quarterbacks. Rosen believes the ability to process information quickly is one of his strengths, but also realizes he isn't at the same level of veteran teammates Bradford and Mike Glennon.

"I'm working on it," Rosen said. "It's tough, because football is a mixture of reactions and thinking. You have to think pre-snap and try to dissect as much as you can, and then turn the brain off a little bit and react. But then, at the same time, in the middle of the play, you have to understand the situation. You can fit it in on a game-winning fourth down, but maybe in the middle of the second quarter, a red zone trip of third-and-whatever, sometimes you just want to kick a field goal if it's not open. It's all situational football, and that's what Mike and Sam are unbelievable at, understanding situational football and the little nuances of the game. That's what I'm trying to get to."

QB Josh Rosen at the line of scrimmage during OTAs.
QB Josh Rosen at the line of scrimmage during OTAs.