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Josh Rosen: ‘Very rarely do you get a second chance to make a first impression’

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Detroit Lions v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The 2019 NFL Draft featured the Miami Dolphins selecting the tenth-overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft. Using their 48th overall pick, Miami traded back to the 62nd pick, getting the New Orlean Saints’ second-round pick in 2020 in the process, then traded the 62nd pick to the Arizona Cardinals to acquire quarterback Josh Rosen, who became expendable when the Cardinals selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in this year’s Draft. Rosen was selected tenth last year, with the Cardinals moving up in the Draft to grab Rosen.

That 2018 trade saw the Cardinals give the Oakland Raiders a first-, third-, and fifth-round pick. That means, Arizona essentially traded the 15th, 79th, and 152nd overall picks in 2018 for the 62nd pick in 2019 plus a 2020 fifth-round pick.

It was a strange move for the Cardinals, and it was an odd time for Rosen, who was still showing up as the first person in the building and the last to leave each day for the Cardinals’ offseason training program and voluntary minicamp. Rosen, in meeting with the media in South Florida on Monday, downplayed the swirling uncertainty of the pre-Draft build up and speculation of Murray to the Cardinals. “I mean probably my last two or three days were pretty hectic, moving and coming over here,” he said. “But at least for the first three months of this year, (they were) pretty normal. I had a fun offseason and went back to school. I went back to Arizona (to) work out and (I’m) just trying to be the best player I can be. Business stuff happened, so I ended up in Miami. I couldn’t be more excited to be here. Hopefully (I will) hit the ground running.”

The Dolphins head into 2019 without quarterback Ryan Tannehill on the roster for the first time since 2012 having traded their former first-round pick to the Tennessee Titans this offseason. Miami signed free agent veteran quarterback Ryan Fiztpatrick as the presumed starter for the team, though the addition of Rosen could bring a position battle into training camp and the preseason.

“They just wanted me to come in and compete,” Rosen said of the team’s expectations of him and his place on the depth chart. “I’m excited and ready for it. At the end of the day, I just want to come in and play football and compete and have fun. The timing on when I play or not – or if – that’s not up to me. It’s kind of similar to the situation the last couple of days. I just control what I can control and take each day by day.”

Rosen has a reputation as a player who is hard to coach and is not always the best teammate - despite his teammates in Arizona seeming to like him. After the trade to the Dolphins, Rosen stayed an extra day in Arizona in order to play in Larry Fitzgerald’s charity softball game, honoring his commitment to the event. Fitzgerald spoke to The Arizona Republic and said of Rosen still appearing in the game, “I think that’s just a testament to who he is as a man. He could have very easily gone down to Miami already, or just said, ‘Hey, I’m not gonna do it,’ but it shows you his commitment, his character, and just friendship. I’m very fortunate to call him a friend. Looking forward to seeing him do great things in Miami.”

“I mean I think I’m a really good teammate,” Rosen told the Miami media when asked about that negative perception. “I think that’s not really up to me to judge. I think I was a little bit…I had a little bit of a bad perception at first; but what I’ve tried to do is not really say or do anything extra and just kind of be me and continue on and keep my head down, and eventually the story will straighten out. I think it has, for the most part. Like I said, that’s another thing that’s out of my control. What is in my control is just what I can do every day, basically to try and be consistent and be the same guy, and have the same kind of energy every time I step into the locker room and the facility so that all of my teammates kind of know what guy they’re getting. I think time and consistency is the best medicine to cure the narrative.”

Asked about how the negative perception started originally, Rosen continued, “I don’t know. I was thrown into the spotlight pretty quickly at UCLA. I was pretty young, so I didn’t really have all of my answers as perfectly crafted as I do now. I just kind of said some things kind of off the cuff about all different kinds of things and people misconstrued them in certain different ways. I think the core root of it probably came from when I said I don’t need football, but that was in the frame of reference of I walked in on a couple of my teammates sleeping in the players’ lounge, and that kind of struck me. Just kind of getting to know these guys and the backgrounds that they come from, it was in the reference that if football is taken away from me, I don’t need to go to the streets and start dealing drugs. I have a good support system. That ‘I don’t need football’ kind of got misconstrued a little bit and I think some people saw that as maybe being entitled or whatever. But I think, like I said, that over the test of time, just being consistent and trying to be a really good teammate every day, I think the narrative has started to straighten out a little bit.”

As a rookie, Rosen played in 14 games, starting 13 times, with a 55.2 percent completion rate over 2,278 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He played behind on the worst offensive lines last year, with injuries crushing any chance of Rosen finding success. No matter what, however, it was clear Rosen struggled as a rookie and now has to prove that was just a first-year issue. “I think (I learned) a lot of the little things,” Rosen said of turning his 2018 experience into lessons for 2019. “I think I got a lot better at a lot of the little things that have to do with football. Even small stuff like scheduling, like knowing how much time you need to allot yourself for pre-practice warmup, how much you need for post-practice, your recovery routine, how you ration out your studying Monday though Sunday. I think a lot of those little things, saving minutes here and there and just being more efficient with my time. That’s not even including all of the stuff on the field with the X’s and O’s. That’s a whole other conversation.”

Taking those lessons and turning them into growth will be key for Rosen’s future in Miami and in the league. Is he still a franchise quarterback? “Yes,” he stated simply. “Because I think I am a good quarterback and I think I’m a good leader.”

After being moved out of Arizona after just his rookie season, Rosen was asked about the chip on his shoulder - a chip that was firmly placed there in 2018 when teams passed him - and if that chip grew with this move. “I don’t think my chip has got to grow anymore. I might tip over,” he replied laughing.

Is Rosen ready to finally stabilize a quarterback situation that has had constant questions since Dan Marino retired? “I think I heard I was going to get that question, “ Rosen said laughing. “But yeah, I’m aware of the situation. Hopefully I can follow in some semblance of his massive footsteps.”

But is he the guy for the Dolphins? “I don’t know,” he explained. “I think on paper I am (the backup), but Coach Flores said we don’t really have any starters right now. I think that’s healthy to have good competition everywhere. Whether I was the first or seventh string, I wouldn’t change what I did every day.”

Rosen does realize he has work to do, both on the field and off of it. “Very rarely do you get a second chance to make a first impression,” he said. “I’m trying to get off to the right foot with all of these guys here and meet all of my teammates. I’m trying to break down this playbook as quickly as I can.”