By Nick Shook
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INDIANAPOLIS — Scott Quessenberry has blocked for Josh Rosen for two seasons at UCLA. As Rosen’s center, Quessenberry has naturally gotten to know his quarterback better than almost anyone.
He’s tired of hearing the negativity surrounding his teammate.
“I don’t know where it comes from. It drives me insane,” Quessenberry said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine of negative perception of Rosen as a teammate and leader. “I have a really good relationship with Josh and he’ll tell you the same thing about me. We talk. For him to get the rap that he gets, I think it’s BS because of the type of guy he is and the type of stand-up human being that he is. The type of pro that he’s going to be.
“He’s a great dude, I love hanging around him and being with him and whoever gets him is extremely lucky. They’re getting a once-in-a-millennium talent in my opinion.”
If anyone is going to put all of his/her eggs in one basket, it’s going to be a teammate. The support for Rosen is no surprise, even with the once-in-a-millennium comment. But Quessenberry wasn’t just giving the question lip service — he was impassioned in his response.
“I don’t think he’s hard to get along with,” Quessenberry said. “I don’t know where that came from, I don’t know why that started. Is he opinionated? Yeah. Everyone’s got their own opinions. Does he believe in his opinions and will he waver on his opinions? No, but I don’t know when that’s ever been a bad thing. Everyone gets along with him, he gets along with everybody. No one in the world is going to see eye to eye on everything, so I don’t understand where that comes from. It drives me crazy. I can only imagine what it’s like for him.”
For Rosen, the questions center on his durability — he suffered multiple injuries (including two concussions) while at UCLA — and his personality. There have been rumblings of him being a bad teammate, which Quessenberry addressed above and chalked up to the quarterback being opinionated. Rosen is undoubtedly intelligent, but do his counterparts like him?
“It frustrates the heck out of me. I love Josh to death,” Quessenberry said. “He’s one of my best friends, somebody that might be in my wedding someday. We have a great relationship and that stuff, what I just said on a personal note, that doesn’t happen if it’s a guy you don’t like. … For people to say that his teammates don’t like him, I think it’s ridiculous and they need to move on from that.”
Quessenberry wasn’t the only UCLA lineman to stand up for the quarterback. Tackle Kolton Millerbacked him, too, when asked about Rosen as a teammate.
“Josh came in No. 1 high school guy, a little cocky,” Miller said on Thursday, “of course you hear off campus stuff about him, but as the years went on he really matured, he’s really well-rounded, he doesn’t try to be more than what he has to be, a really good leader. I don’t really have anything negative to say about him.”
More from Quessenberry and Miller on Rosen:
Quessenberry on how Rosen responded to adversity: “He performed great in situations where we needed him to perform great. Our backs were against the wall against Texas A&M and we looked to him to lead us, and he did that. … When things go wrong and things aren’t looking the way you want them to look, Josh is the guy you want to have in the backfield commanding the offense and making all the throws and making all the reads.”
Miller on rumor team didn’t rally around Rosen: “No, I mean, our offense was a pretty tight clique. I don’t believe that at all.”
Quessenberry on how Rosen has been outspoken on issues in college football: “We’re always in tune with the latest lawsuits and stuff like that and that’s because of Josh. Josh is very insightful on things going on in college football. He wants to be an advocate for players in college football. He loved being in college and loved playing in college and loved the relationships that he made and he wants to see everyone from No. 1 to No. 120 get the same treatment. That means he’s going to rub some people outside of college football the wrong way. It doesn’t bother him because he knows in that elusive college football fraternity, the people that are going to support him are the people that are his contemporaries.”
Miller on outside perception of Rosen: “It seems like there’s a little negativity from previous questions. But I don’t see the politics, I think he’s a great guy, well rounded, a talented player, does his work on and off the field. And he proves it every week.”
Quessenberry on how Rosen has matured: “Everybody loves Josh. You saw progression year after year of the type of leader he’s going to be and he’s still only a kid. People forget these true juniors that are coming out early are 19 or 20 years old still. He’s going to progress as a leader throughout his career and just continue to grow up. He’s a tremendous football player, there’s no doubt. He can make all the throws, make all the reads. He can carve up a defense. But the type of leader, the type of person that he’s going to get, he’s going to be a great locker room guy and people are going to rally behind him.”
Miller on if Rosen is a strong leader: “Yeah, I would say so. He always did his work on the field and always off the field. He probably worked the hardest off the field. Really smart guy. Really well respected.”
Quessenberry on if Rosen is all about football: “I would say yes. He’s always up late studying film. Sometimes he doesn’t watch pro football, but a lot of guys don’t. He does watch it more than a lot of people do, but that’s another question that’s arisen and I don’t understand where that comes from either. He loves the game. He loves learning about the game, and learning all the ways he can get better.”
Miller on why teams should draft Rosen: “We had a pretty productive offense, I’d say, this year. I would want to pick him if I were the team choosing. What does he do wrong? That’s the question. Of course, I don’t watch him as much as other people, I just try to protect him.”
Quessenberry on if Rosen gets bad rap for being outspoken: “I don’t know. I don’t know when people started raising red flags for boisterous opinions. I don’t know why that’s something you wouldn’t like. Somebody who’s opinionated or passionate about something … he knows what he likes and he knows what he wants for other people. He wants to win mainly too. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to draft that as a quarterback.”
Miller on if Rosen is misunderstood: “I think so. There’s been some negative stigmas about him. Coming from a player, he’s a great player, he does everything right, well rounded, nothing negative to say about him.”