Arthur Smith: QB Josh Rosen handled last-minute Falcons audition 'pretty well'

Four NFL teams have jettisoned quarterback Josh Rosen. In the Atlanta Falcons, a fifth has opened yet another door for the former first-round draft pick from UCLA.

Less than a week after signing with the club, Rosen took advantage of his latest opportunity Sunday in second-half action against the Cleveland Browns. In completing 9 of 18 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown in Atlanta’s last preseason game, Rosen flashed the reason he was once a first-rounder on his scoring throw to Juwan Green, firing a pass off his back foot to beat tight coverage in the end zone. It was Atlanta’s lone TD in a losing effort.

“I thought Josh handled it pretty well,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Coming into a short week, he’s been in several systems, a very smart football player. We had a package for him in the game plan; he handled it well. I thought he showed his arm talent tonight. Again, I thought he did a nice job overall.”

It wasn’t all roses for Rosen, as he took a sack on a first-and-goal and coughed up a fumble as well.

Has he finally found the right fit?

As NFL clubs prepare for deep roster cuts in trimming their numbers from 80 to 53 by tomorrow, it appears he’s at least landed with a club he can stick with for the balance of a fourth NFL season.

A season-ending injury to backup AJ McCarron led the Falcons to turn to Rosen as a potential backup to Matt Ryan, competing with undrafted rookie free agent Feleipe Franks. For Rosen, it’s finally a situation where he could be settled behind an aging veteran rather than made expendable by a team’s next big thing. Remember, the Arizona Cardinals showed him the door after drafting Kyler Murray No. 1 overall. They sent him to Miami, which promptly selected Tua Tagovailoa at No. 5 overall the following year. And for the trifecta, he also landed in San Francisco, which invested a No. 3 overall pick in Trey Lance. It would be just his luck for the Falcons to install Ryan’s heir apparent next year with a first-rounder.

But for now, the QB depth in Atlanta looks to be thin enough for Rosen to stick around.

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