Changing hands: Cardinals opt to go with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen

Coach Steve Wilks said quarterback Josh Rosen (pictured) will have to communicate with his offensive line and learn to read defenses quickly going forward. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

TEMPE — Arizona Cardinals coach Steve Wilks thought he had finally caught a glimpse of the offense he envisioned the Cardinals having in the 2018 season.

Quarterback Sam Bradford had thrown for two touchdowns in the first half on Sunday, solidifying a commanding 14-point lead over the Chicago Bears going into halftime.

That vision quickly vanished.

Enter Josh Rosen.

After Bradford threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in the course of the second half en route to a 16-14 loss, Wilks knew he had to go a different direction.

“Looking at the situation, evaluating the film, evaluating the quarterback position, I decided that Josh Rosen will be our starter going forward,” Wilks said Monday. “Josh plays with a lot of confidence.”

Rosen was inserted into the loss against Chicago with 4:31 left in the game.

He had a shot to win in his first action under center, but he threw an interception to Bryce Callahan of the Bears with 1:16 left on the clock.

“He’s going to have some growing pains,” Wilks said. “That happens as a rookie. But you’re going to see some great things out there from him as well.”

Rosen was a standout during his three years at UCLA. He accumulated 9,340 yards to go along with 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. In his final year at UCLA, he tallied 3,756 passing yards, good for most in the conference and second team All-Pac-12 honors.

Wilks noted that Rosen brings a different set of skills to the table than Bradford does, which he said could allow for an expanded playbook.

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“I think just his mobility,” he said. “His ability to buy time in the pocket. I think he’s accurate. I think he has a strong arm. I think he can put the ball where it needs to be.”

Wilks said that he spoke to the team Monday morning to announce the decision.

“Sam Bradford is a pro,” Wilks said. “He’s going to do everything he can to help Josh out as he has before. Josh, again, was excited about the opportunity and I’m excited for him.”

Wilks wouldn’t commit to Bradford as the backup quarterback going forward, stating Mike Glennon and Bradford will both be backups.

Rosen will have a full practice week to prepare for his first game as a starter before taking on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

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