Drops don't faze Josh Rosen during impressive first start

Clark sees signs of Aaron Rodgers in Josh Rosen (1:47)

After Josh Rosen's first career start, Ryan Clark says he sees poise and other intangibles that remind him of Aaron Rodgers. (1:47)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Josh Rosen stood in the pocket, waiting for something to develop.

The Arizona Cardinals needed a touchdown. They were down seven. The clock was approaching 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Rosen waited. Nobody from the Seattle Seahawks' defense was within a few yards. Rosen later said he felt like he was back there for an hour.

Then he saw his opening and fired a laser-like pass to his left, aimed for wide receiver Chad Williams. The throw was just low enough that Williams was the only person who get there, despite two Seahawks closing in.

Williams hauled in the pass on the ground. Touchdown. Game tied at 17.

For once Sunday night, Rosen got the help he needed. But it didn't happen often and cost the Cardinals, who dropped to 0-4 with a 20-17 loss to Seattle at State Farm Stadium.

Rosen was impressive, although the stat line in his first NFL start won't reflect that.

Officially, Rosen was 15-of-27 passing for 180 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. What his stat line didn't show were the qualities that made him the 10th overall pick.

"Very poised," coach Steve Wilks said. "Confidence is there. You see the athleticism to be able to get us out of certain situations. Low snap, he's able to get that ball, get outside the pocket, throw it away.

"A couple times you saw that throughout the night, just made it into a fourth and rush, step up and get outside. Very athletic. Again, it's not too big for him. Guy's poised, a lot of confidence and we have a very bright future with him."

Arizona could've had a win Sunday if his receivers came down with a few more passes.

Larry Fitzgerald dropped a pass on Rosen's second throw of the game early in the first quarter.

Later in the quarter, fellow rookie Christian Kirk dropped what would've been a likely touchdown.

In the second quarter, J.J. Nelson, who had his first catch of the season Sunday, dropped a deep ball that he could've sprinted with into the end zone. Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones dropped another.

There wasn't one "blatant issue" with the drops, Kirk said. And playing with a quarterback who can put the ball where he wants, the receivers need to "be on point every single play," Kirk added.

"We didn't make the plays when given our opportunity," Wilks said. "Too many drops, missed tackles on defense and of course the penalties hurt us.

"We have to execute. We can't drop passes and we can't miss field goals."

Through it all, Rosen didn't waver.

He didn't let the drops distract him. He didn't let a deficit derail him. He was the definition of cool, calm and collected. And he kept a smile on his face throughout.

"When I'm not smiling, you definitely should be worried," Rosen said.

Rosen didn't see the point in getting on those receivers who missed passes. That's not his style. He kept his body language positive. Kirk said there was never a point of discouragement with Rosen. The receivers understand that if they're the last read on a play, with Rosen they need to keep their route alive because he'll go through all his progressions if the first isn't open.

"The other alternative is all bad so you might as well keep pushing on, trying to encourage everyone," Rosen said. "If something happens bad, let's get better and if something happens good, let's keep going.

"So, that's kind of how sports work, is you just kind of always have to have a positive attitude."

That type of quarterback -- "Relaxed but not uptight, sort of carefree a little bit but always focused and locked in" -- is who Wilks wants.

Especially in the first half, when the most important of those drops happened, Rosen stayed the course, Wilks added.

"We're going to let Josh be Josh," Wilks said. "Josh understands the [climate] of this team, most importantly running the offense and he's doing a good job."

Fitzgerald thought Rosen played "fantastic" but felt he didn't "do him any justice" with his performance of three catches for 28 yards.

But Fitzgerald saw reasons to be hopeful.

"The balls were where they were supposed to be," Fitzgerald said. "And that's encouraging."

Rosen will give his receivers another chance to make more plays Sunday at San Francisco. He's not fretting their play this week.

He's keeping a smile on his face.

"We've all got things we've got to work on," Rosen said. "I think everyone had a couple mistakes and if maybe one of those mistakes didn't happen, we'd be sitting here with a W. So, we're all accountable."