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Josh Rosen shines in Cards' preseason win over Saints

NEW ORLEANS - Quarterback Sam Bradford is the Arizona Cardinals' present as the clear starter.

Bradford made the most of his limited preseason action during Friday night's 20-15 win over the New Orleans Saints, completing 6 of 6 passes for 61 yards for a 109.0 passer rating.

Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, however, provided a glimpse into the future after replacing Bradford early in the second quarter.

Rosen, whom the Cardinals selected with the 10th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, excelled in three offensive series to close out the first half. He completed 10 of 16 passes for 107 yards, including a 13-yard scoring strike to rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk. In total, Rosen engineered two scoring drives on 27 offensive snaps.

"I was very happy with tonight," said Rosen, who finished the night with a 102.9 passer rating. "I think I still have things to work on, I mean, a lot of procedural stuff, just keeping my eye on the play clock, my second delay of game (penalty). A lot of good has come from practice."

Rosen rebounded from his first preseason game, where he completed 6 of 13 passes for 41 yards and finished with a 53.7 passer rating. The rookie quarterback said in the locker room Friday night that he focused on reads and the entire playbook following his preseason debut, an approach which certainly showed against the Saints.

"He looked pretty good to me," Bradford said with a smile. "I thought he did some really good things out there tonight. Arm talent-wise, I mean, he is just extremely talented. And some of the throws he made tonight, it's the same throws we watch him make in practice for the past three or four weeks. I thought he did a great job tonight."

Rosen also made an impression in the opponent's locker room, where Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins complimented Rosen's ability to quickly process information on the field and then execute.

"The moment is not too big for him," Rankins told "I think the way he kind of approached each play, the way he attacked our defense was that of somebody who has been there before.

"I think the decisions he made in knowing where to go with the ball, knowing his reads, knowing what we were in was pretty impressive for a young guy. Coming into this league, everything happens a lot faster and he definitely made some throws out there that made you think -- kind of showed you -- that he's going to be special at this level."

In the meantime, the Cardinals have two preseason games remaining on the schedule before kicking off the regular season on Sept. 9 against the Washington Redskins.

In the coming weeks, Rosen can further cement his role as Bradford's primary backup over veteran Mike Glennon, who did not play Friday night because of a forearm injury.

And with Bradford as the present and Rosen the heir apparent, the Cardinals firmly believe the offense is in good hands with two capable signal-callers.

"We've thought that way all along," coach Steve Wilks said after the game. "Sam does a tremendous job of really trying to help Josh out and really showing him the way. Josh has embraced it. He's doing (a good job) of really trying to absorb all of that information and knowledge. (Offensive coordinator) Mike McCoy does a really good job of putting these guys in position."

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