Josh Rosen says pressure won't be a problem in first game

"I think a great pass in high school is a great pass in college is a great pass in the NFL," Josh Rosen said. "...The bad mistakes are worse in the NFL." Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A great many sets of eyes will be on Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen on Saturday night in the preseason opener, watching how well the young man handles his first true game action.

Rosen is ready for it. The 10th overall pick out of UCLA has exuded high confidence in his ability from the day he was selected by the Cardinals. He's more concerned about his own process than scrutiny from outside the locker room.

"It's part of the game," Rosen said Wednesday at Cardinals training camp. "The most pressure I feel from anyone is myself. I'm very highly critical of myself, almost too much at times. But I'm just trying to play ball and have fun with it."

The time for reflection on making it to the NFL is over.

"I'm fully in work mode. I'm trying to be the best that I can be and over the course of my career I'm trying to win Super Bowls," Rosen said. "And right now I'm trying to put my best foot forward in a preseason game."

Rosen called himself a perfectionist and said he's very rarely satisfied with himself when looking at game film from the previous day's work. But he feels he has progressed every day in getting better as an NFL quarterback, with the help of fellow signal-callers and the coaching staff.

"Most tangible is probably the playbook. I feel a lot more comfortable and fluid with it," Rosen said. "At the line of scrimmage I'm focusing more and more on what the defense is trying to do to me, rather than making sure I get the right snap count and the right protection."

Saturday will be Rosen's first chance to show what he can do in high pressure NFL situations. He's already used to working with center Mason Cole, since the two had been together with the second-team offense in practice before Cole was elevated to the No. 1 unit when A.Q. Shipley was injured.

Head coach Steve Wilks hasn't yet shared how much Rosen will play, but has said starting quarterback Sam Bradford figures to get very limited snaps against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Wilks wants to see the mechanics of Rosen running the offense, from putting the offensive line in the right protection positions and going through his reads to showing a mastery of fundamentals.

"He's been playing this game for a long time, and you've just got to get in there and relax and do the things that he's been coached to do, and I think he'll be fine," Wilks said. "We want him to play quite a bit and get into the flow of the game."

As he did early in camp, Rosen lauded Bradford for his professionalism and for helping him develop. Before joining the Cardinals, Rosen turned heads for his comments about the NCAA, various social media posts and saying there were nine mistakes ahead of him in the draft. But Rosen is, as he put it, "all ball" in camp.

"Josh, he asks the right questions. He's hungry for information. It seems like he's always trying to learn something," Bradford said. "It doesn't stop in the meeting rooms. Even at the dinner table. It's fun to be around someone like that."

Rosen doesn't seem fazed by the speed of the pro game.

"I think a great pass in high school is a great pass in college is a great pass in the NFL," he said. "A lot of it is just you can't second-guess yourself and you have to be very decisive. And when you catch yourself in the middle of a play kind of second-guessing the read a little bit, you just have to move on. You have to keep running through your progression. The bad mistakes are worse in the NFL."