Being the backup quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons is like being Alex Moran from the hit television series "Blue Mountain State." The person plays the most important position on the field, but never has to suit up.
He gets all the glory of being a QB and just holds a clipboard while making small talk with teammates. In the end, he better know the playbook in case of a disaster.
Maybe this is exactly what Josh Rosen needs?
The Falcons agreed to terms with the former top 10 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft following the season-ending injury to A.J. McCarron. A former starter for the Arizona Cardinals, Rosen is now on his fifth team in four years.
At least he is expected to be on the active roster instead of the practice squad this time, right?
Rosen might learn a thing or two from new head coach Arthur Smith. It's evident that Smith made strides with former Miami Dolphins' starter Ryan Tannehill in his two years as the Titans' offensive coordinator.
Tannehill has looked the part of a top 10 quarterback during his time in the Music City. Maybe a location change can change the tune of any player.
Of course, in Atlanta, Rosen likely isn't seeing the field in 2021.
Since being drafted in 2008, Matt Ryan has missed three starts. In fact, in that same span, twice the backup hasn't seen the field altogether— coming in 2008 and 2017.
All three games, all three losses.
The most a backup ever saw the field during the 13-year span of Ryan's reign in the ATL was six games. That came in both 2009 with Chris Redman and 2019 with Matt Schaub.
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Ryan has played in 205 games since being the No. 3 overall pick. Until his body declines, that number is only going to rise throughout the 2021 season if not longer.
Rosen, who won't turn 25 until February, maybe has potential in Smith's system. Still, he must master the intricate playbook that worked in Tennessee before he even takes the field. Even then, it all comes down to Ryan and the team's play.
In a close game, don't expect Rosen to take a snap. In a blowout, will he even be ahead of rookie QB Feleipe Franks?
Franks is limited as a passer entering the final week of the preseason. Still, he offers value as a runner as evidenced by his 76-yard rushing performance against Tennessee in the first outing.
Rosen offers better tools in the passing game, but is he that much of an upgrade? Keep in mind that while the Cardinals did little to build around him during his rookie season, Rosen struggled with Brian Flores in Chad O'Shea's system with the turnover rate.
All-time Rosen is 3-13 as a starter. His completion rating sits at 54.5% and he has more turnovers than touchdowns (12:19 TD-INT ratio).
The real question turns to if Rosen will be ready for the preseason finale game against the Cleveland Browns? Smith isn't going to force anything as of now, but he's hopeful for at least some growth during practice.
"I just think it's unfair to throw somebody out there and say here here's the entire game plan, you better be able to operate," Smith told reporters Monday." "So, depending on who we sign, you know they'll be ready to go."
Rosen's 6-4 frame plays into the "prototypical" QB mantra. Learning from a teacher like Ryan should also help him benefit and adapt quickly to how things are done in Atlanta. At best, Rosen competes, shows growth and proves to be a viable asset as a backup.
Worst-case scenario; Rosen lasts a week and is back to finding a new team come roster cuts next week.
Honestly, right now both options should be on the table for Rosen and the Falcons. That's the life a fizzled out quarterback looking for "one more shot" for the umpteenth time.
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