TEMPE, Ariz. — On the day that Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was scheduled to arrive in Arizona for his official visit with the Cardinals, quarterback Josh Rosen was not made available to the media on Tuesday, the first open day of the team’s offseason program. But Rosen’s teammates did the talking instead in support of the second-year quarterback.
Asked how he would feel if the Cardinals drafted Murray first overall later this month, running back David Johnson didn’t hesitate.
“I like Josh,” Johnson said. “I don’t know. It’s a business and we all know that.”
As rumors and speculation about Rosen’s future with the team continue to swirl a little more than two weeks before the NFL draft, Rosen and the offense did not work out in the Cardinals’ weight room in front of the reporters. The defense and specialists were on display. After, some of Rosen’s teammates said his leadership should not be questioned.
“He handled himself like a quarterback, like any other quarterback would,” outside linebacker Chandler Jones said. “He was a leader. I was impressed with how he spoke to the huddle. I wasn’t in the huddle all the time. Being in practice, you heard what he’s saying and he was good at grabbing everyone’s attention. He was a leader, for sure.”
Third-year safety Budda Baker said “it was nothing different” to him that Rosen was the first player to arrive Monday morning for the opening of the offseason program. Baker called Rosen a “great guy.”
Johnson called Rosen a “great leader,” adding that some of Rosen’s tendencies as a leader were similar to those of former Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer.
“I think the biggest thing is he came ready to learn,” Johnson said. “And he was talking to everyone and he was trying to communicate, especially when he got the starting job. He was trying to take the playbook and make it into his words so he understands, then he talks to us about it. We had our groups with the running back and [offensive line] only, talking about pass protection and he would talk to us about what he thought. He would talk to the center about what he thinks what’s going to happen throughout each week for the games and stuff.
“I felt like he was doing everything that comes with being a leader, especially with me.”
Johnson knows what it’s like to deal with outside noise. He’s been constantly bombarded by fantasy football chatter throughout his career and said he’s learned how to block it out — something he told Rosen to do with all the trade chatter.
“I told him, ‘ignore it,”’ Johnson said. “I definitely figured out how to ignore it, and I know he has, too. We don’t really know what’s going on and what they’re talking about with the draft, so come ready to play, learn the playbook and let the chips fall.
“Everyone says he’s a young guy but he’s very mature. He knows it’s a business. I know he knows how to handle [it].”