PHOENIX — The idea that Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen doesn’t fit in new coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense is incorrect, Kingsbury said Tuesday at the NFL’s annual meeting in Arizona.
“No question,” Kingsbury said. “People have said a lot of things that are misconceptions, if you will. But Josh is a tremendous player, I’ve always thought, watching him at UCLA. He played his best football in a spread system, some similarities to what we do. He’s a tremendous thinker, very cerebral, can throw it with anybody, and we take a lot of pride in building a system around a quarterback.
“For someone to say he doesn’t fit our system, it doesn’t make sense.”
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Kingsbury wouldn’t divulge the content of his conversations with Rosen but said NFL quarterbacks “have to have thick skin” and an understanding of “the circus that comes with this position.”
Rosen can do both, Kingsbury added.
“He’s a confident young man, and that’s what you love about him,” Kingsbury said. “He’s got very thick skin. All of this kind of falls off his back and he’s ready to go prove what he can do.”
Kingsbury said with the first pick comes “tons of chatter.” And every word that he says regarding the No. 1 pick and former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has been dissected every possible way.
“I don’t feel that way, I know that,” Kingsbury said. “But, I know you all get tired of hearing it, but we are no closer to a [final] decision than the last time we spoke. You have to get all the information, you have to meet with all the players, and then you’ve got to get the best answer you can come up with.”
With less than a month until the first round of the NFL draft, the Cardinals, who own the first overall pick, are still in the “information-gathering process,” Kingsbury said Tuesday. Arizona’s personnel department will reconvene from after weeks on the road next week and will “start having those discussions heavily,” Kingsbury said.
One talking point will be who the Cardinals will draft at No. 1.
“I’m not sure when that decision will be made,” Kingsbury said. “It’s my first time through it. But there is a lot to talk about.”
Namely, whether the Cardinals will or won’t draft Kyler Murray first overall.
Kingsbury, who recruited Murray to Texas A&M when he was the offensive coordinator in 2012 and then to Texas Tech after becoming the head coach there in 2013, heaped heavy praise on Murray on Tuesday, calling him “one of the better dual-threat players to ever play.”
“I don’t know if I’ve seen one that can do both things as well as he does,” Kingsbury said. “You see the running ability, Mike Vick comes to mind, that type of explosion and escapability. He’s a true drop back passer when he wants to be. He’s a tough combination.”
When it comes to the Air Raid, Kingsbury said “there’s no fit” when it comes to a specific type of quarterback he’d prefer or needs. But Kingsbury wasn’t sure if the Cardinals’ thoughts on Rosen had evolved since he said Rosen was “our guy” in February.
“You just want to make sure you are thorough when you have that number one pick,” Kingsbury said. “That’s a pick that can change your organization for many years to come. If you’re not doing all your due diligence possible, then I think it’s a mistake. [General manager] Steve [Keim] and [team president] Michael [Bidwill] feel the same way. It’s been an extensive process, from the Combine and going out and seeing all these people, and I feel like we’re doing a good job gathering information.”