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Cards' Christian Kirk expects Bradford to start Week 1

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New coach Steve Wilks' policy of opening all positions to competition means that rookie Josh Rosen is not relegated to longshot status for the Cardinals' starting quarterback job.

While Rosen does have the opportunity to state his case with a strong performance in August, Wilks has also made it clear that a healthy Sam Bradford is penciled in as the starter.

In Wednesday's interview with NFL Total Access, rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk suggested that the coaching staff is already counting on Bradford being under center in Week 1.

"To be honest, just with what the coaches have said and just the way it's looking, I'm pretty sure Sam is going to start," Kirk said. "But you never know. Training camp provides a lot of opportunities for Josh to go out there and show what he can do as well. I think either way, if Josh were to start Week 1, I think they both put us good position to go out there and win some football games."

Desperate for a quarterback following Carson Palmer's retirement, the Cardinals imported the injury-prone Bradford to direct Mike McCoy's offense. Presented the opportunity to trade up for Rosen in a buyer's market, though, they felt compelled solidify the future beyond this season.

Even if Rosen is the most NFL-ready of all the first-round quarterbacks, Wilks has maintained that Bradford is "one of the best in the business right now."

Wilks isn't alone in that sentiment. All Pro tailback David Johnson believes the Cardinals have a legitimate chance to boast the league's top offense if Bradford stays healthy this season.

This battle will be one to monitor closely in August. Rosen already has command of the offense and respect from teammates and coaches. Unless he thoroughly outplays Bradford in training camp and preseason action, though, the former UCLA star is going to start his career as the understudy.

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