The Cardinals will start newly acquired Josh Dobbs in Week 1 at Washington, putting to rest a controversy that never was. Rookie Clayton Tune will assume the QB2 role. Fortunately for fans, NFL Network reporter Ian Rappaport reported what most knew after Dobbs came to Arizona.
Sources: The #AZCardinals are expected have Josh Dobbs as their starting QB this week, with rookie Clayton Tune getting backup reps. They’ll evaluate the situation each week, but this is how it begins. pic.twitter.com/eXqXUFj7qv
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 6, 2023
Cardinals Give Josh Dobbs the Opening Start
So why the charade in Arizona? For a week now, Jonathan Gannon has been trying to play coy with who would start. But why trade for Dobbs if he wasn’t going to be the starter until Kyler Murray was good to go?
The one thing fans now know is that the position of Cardinals quarterback has no answers, even beyond Murray. Dobbs, nor Tune are serious contenders for long-term answers. Frankly, if GM Monti Ossenfort was under truth serum, he would admit his starting quarterback is in Los Angeles preparing for Stanford. To believe anything else, is a Fool’s Paradise.
More than a few in the NFL believe Murray will not see the season again in Arizona. Another injury or worse, underperforming, could spell doom if the Cardinals want to scrap the would-be star quarterback. If Ossenfort wants the most bang for his buck, Murray sits. That scenario, in and of itself, would better explain bringing Dobbs to the Cardinals.
In a battle between Josh Dobbs and Clayton Tune, the former is better to start the season than the latter. Ossenfort and offensive coordinator Drew Perzing know Dobbs up close and personal, and fans would be wise not to think of him as a safety valve. Both the GM and OC have shown great faith in giving him the keys to the organization. It will be up to him to justify Tune holding the clipboard.
Sunday’s game at Washington will be an interesting watch for fans. The familiarity of a team that had Murray under center, and DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver will see a new offensive set. The same can be said for the defense as Isaiah Simmons is gone to New York and J.J. Watt is enjoying retirement. Also gone is a regime that is now embroiled in a “burner phone” controversy, and a head coach in Kliff Kingsbury who was the ringleader of dysfunction.
Is the Cardinals Dysfunction a Thing of the Past?
But is that dysfunction gone? Say what you want about the changes in GM, head coach, and coaching staff, but the last week harkened back to a lot of what we saw last year.
The quarterback shuffle aside, the preseason seemed to be an exercise in “what’s next”. White Arizona deserves a ton of praise for moving on from Hopkins and Simmons, the cloak-and-dagger Gannon deployed did not show well to the smarter fans or NFL observers. To think he was building a competitive edge by NOT naming a starter before the Week 1 game against the Commanders is at best sophomoric and at worst, a first-time coach out-thinking professional football logic.
Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said the team knows who’ll start at QB on Sunday against the Commanders.
But he won’t reveal it publicly.
“I ain’t telling you anything,” Gannon said today. pic.twitter.com/pMjwmcdmt7
— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) September 6, 2023
As for “what’s next”, Week 1 will say more about the thinking inside the Cardinals brain trust than how Dobbs performs. Perhaps he emerges as a feel-good story like Geno Smith in Seattle. Or maybe, just maybe, Gannon is the 2023 version of Nathaniel Hackett.
Main Photo: Phil Masturzo / USA TODAY NETWORK