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Leinart is a long way from being the Cardinals' starter

So the retirement of Kurt Warner means that Matt Leinart is the new starting quarterback in Arizona, right?

Um, no.

Leinart has to earn the job, as coach Ken Whisenhunt told Bickley & MJ of Xtra Sports 910 in Phoenix on Tuesday, via Mike Sando of ESPN.com.

Though Whisenhunt said he has a “great deal” of confidence in Leinart, Whisenhunt also said that he won’t hand the job to the tenth overall pick in the 2006 draft until he “goes to three Pro Bowls” and the Super Bowl.

So, in other words, the job will never be handed to Leinart.

If Whisenhunt truly believed in Leinart, he wouldn’t have been unexpectedly benched on the eve of the 2008 season for Warner, and Leinart wouldn’t have been routinely yanked from games during the 2007 season (before Leinart’s collar bone when “crack”) so that Warner could pull the offense’s bacon from the bonfire.

The deeper problem here is that Denny Green drafted Leinart, not Whisenhunt.  Thus, Whisenhunt wants his own guy, either via free agency or the draft.

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32 Responses to “Leinart is a long way from being the Cardinals' starter”
  1. Hovenaut says: Mar 9, 2010 8:03 PM

    Duh.
    Pete Carroll is already thinking LAH – life after Hasselbeck.

  2. anjelmanning says: Mar 9, 2010 8:05 PM

    Poor Matt Leansky

  3. CanadianVikingFan says: Mar 9, 2010 8:07 PM

    Though Whisenhunt said he has a “great deal” of confidence in Leinart, Whisenhunt also said that he won’t hand the job to the tenth overall pick in the 2006 draft until he “goes to three Pro Bowls” and the Super Bowl.
    So, in other words, the job will never be handed to Leinart.
    ———————————————
    It should be, if he can stay on the field without getting benched for 3 games straight.

  4. mclark says: Mar 9, 2010 8:11 PM

    I think Whiz has a ton of confidence in Leinhart… But whiz has always based his decisions on creating depth, and competition between positions.

  5. stnmmc says: Mar 9, 2010 8:14 PM

    Send Big Ben out there, Whis would take him in a minute, and Ben would take the young nubile girls in a second. Hell, send Maualuga out there too, just keep these AFCN predators away from my daughters!

  6. ICEWALKER says: Mar 9, 2010 8:15 PM

    OK, I’ll have to give the Cardinals for trying to stick with him.
    Being a Packer fan I also had my doubts on Aaron Rodgers and if he could play QB at a high level and also play without getting hurt. So far the last two years he’s proven he is a Pro Bowl QB. I would say many football fans wouldn’t have been too confident in Rodgers as well. He has played outstanding.
    Maybe once given the starting job (this time, again) he’ll finally put things together.
    Alas, I have a feeling Whisenhunt will want his own QB. For Leinart’s sake, I hope he’s traded or cut early enough for him to sign on in, oh, maybe Cleveland. Between Brady Quinn and Leinart Holmgren will have two young-ish QB to mold and teach the art of playing QB in this league.

  7. milehiclown says: Mar 9, 2010 8:18 PM

    I would trade Leinhart for Orton strait-up.

  8. ICEWALKER says: Mar 9, 2010 8:19 PM

    @ Hovenaut
    Duh.
    Pete Carroll is already thinking LAH – life after Hasselbeck.
    ———————————————
    I’ll say D’oh! Seattle never crossed my mind. Good thinking.

  9. dhunter says: Mar 9, 2010 8:22 PM

    What the heck thats there only guy they have other than there 3rd string i think he is fron Walmart

  10. FumbleNuts says: Mar 9, 2010 8:22 PM

    “The deeper problem here is that Denny Green drafted Leinart, not Whisenhunt.”
    Can Troy Smith crawl to Arizona?

  11. elengineer says: Mar 9, 2010 8:25 PM

    The Cardinals should trade Leinart. Leinart was a better fit for the Denny Green offense than their current one.

  12. SirSuperSouthern says: Mar 9, 2010 8:43 PM

    I know everyone likes to hate on Leinart, but as a high(ish) stakes fantasy footballer, I have to look at the situation as bit closer and be completely honest so I can make the right choices. And honestly I expect decent things from Leinart next year – statistically.
    Not saying AZ is gonna win their division and go to the playoffs or anything, but statistically I see Leinart as a top 15 QB who can be had in the 10-12 round range and score points. Taking QBs early is a big no-no for me because guys who’ll put up similar numbers can be found so much later…

  13. Youngone says: Mar 9, 2010 8:47 PM

    As a 9er fan you gotta love this

  14. kazkal says: Mar 9, 2010 8:47 PM

    Trade him to Seattle for a 3rd and then Draft a QB & Sign Jeff Garcia

  15. bh103 says: Mar 9, 2010 8:53 PM

    Another QB drafted high that doesn’t give a return for the money.

  16. billsfan1 says: Mar 9, 2010 8:55 PM

    the difference between leinart and rodgers is that rodgers was a studious player and wanted to be a good qb…
    … leinart wants all the accolades (aka he wants sloppy seconds on all of big bens conquests) that come with being a superstar

  17. Buck Stallion says: Mar 9, 2010 8:58 PM

    Kazkal you’re nuts. Why would anyone give a 3rd rounder for this guy? Even Kurt Warner had nothing good to say about the guy when he was retiring.

  18. dragonrider2300 says: Mar 9, 2010 9:17 PM

    If Coach W does not believe that Leinart is ‘the guy’, then now is a good time to trade Leinart to Philly, along with a 3rd round pick, for Michael Vick and a 5th round pick. Vick would give the Cardinals a viable Wildcat option, and Whisenhunt always liked gadget plays when he was with the Steelers. Vick still has decent mobility, as compared to Leinart, who would probably have trouble outrunning a fire hydrant.
    If the Cardinals can continue the development of their running game, Vick would not have to do it all himself-he can get time to throw from play-action, and he would be throwing to arguably the best receiving corps in football. He would certainly be successful for 2-3 years while the Cards find and develop the next ‘franchise’ QB.

  19. Da' AZ Bookie says: Mar 9, 2010 9:22 PM

    As a rookie Leinart started 11 games in 2006 and all things considered (Green was who we thought he was?) was pretty decent when you consider the porous run game that averaged 3.4 ypa, a qb rating of 74, and a respectable 6.8 yards per pass attempt in that time. He is an improving play-faker in the pocket and throws a nice deep ball too. However, he has a tendency to throw the ball high on crossing routes causing potential leg injuries to receivers (just ask departed #81 about that), has shown questionable decision-making at times and I’m unsure of his red zone abilities. Leinart is also unsettled in the pocket on 7-step/longer pass plays. Considering he’s played film-jockey to the hall of famer since ’06, he may be mentally ready to step in and be a good qb. I’m hoping for a mental maturation. He has the emergence of Benny Wells now as another tool for his & the team’s success. With all that’s considered, Leinart’s a good risk, but I would’ve like to seen Pennington or Carr as a great alternative. Whiz seems to only draft “his guys”, and obviously it continues to build success in terms of wins, leading games instead of the trailing in games traps that 8 wins or less teams fall into; the Cards’ historically know that reality all to well. Build the depth year after year and injuries will not hurt you…

  20. WaccoSteve05 says: Mar 9, 2010 9:37 PM

    Leinart does not fit in AZ. Nor was he a good enough QB to start on most teams. Troy Smith would have a better shot in AZ. Maybe AZ can take him and our Ravens can take a draft pick back for him. An unlikely possibility, but one of many out there.

  21. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says: Mar 9, 2010 9:50 PM

    I think it’s a bit soon to stick a fork in Leinart, but I also wouldn’t be confident in his ability to lead a team. Glad I’m not a Cards fan.

  22. JaggedMark says: Mar 9, 2010 9:53 PM

    This whole “not his guy” thing is overstated all the time.
    I don’t think Norv Turner is having any problems with Philip Rivers (a guy he didn’t draft).

  23. nobodybeatsdawiz says: Mar 9, 2010 9:54 PM

    look at the niner kids….all giddy and full of themselves…

  24. polishkingski says: Mar 9, 2010 9:57 PM

    its easy. if the cards take a qb down to 4th rnd lienart is done but they gotta play him and see whats gonna happen. i couldn`t believe bufffalo took an osu safety over him. now?….not so much.

  25. CYGNUS X-1 says: Mar 9, 2010 10:00 PM

    let’s see he was drafted by and played decently for green as rookie before he got hurt. was doing pretty decent again his second year before he broke his collarbone. next year they bring in a new coach and he chooses warner and he has no chance after that so that makes him a bust?if I am linehart I say fine and collect my paycheck until they cut me and go where a coach will give me a chance to play. just because you were not invited to the party florio is no reason to be on this guy the way you are.

  26. Hooby says: Mar 9, 2010 10:03 PM

    we can all agree that the nfc west just went from the worst division in football to the worst division in the history of football

  27. Garbanzo says: Mar 9, 2010 10:27 PM

    SirSuperSouthern says: March 9, 2010 8:43 PM
    I know everyone likes to hate on Leinart, but as a high(ish) stakes fantasy footballer, I have to look at the situation as bit closer and be completely honest so I can make the right choices. And honestly I expect decent things from Leinart next year – statistically.
    _______________________
    LMAO You are an artard. I guess high stakes FF roller knows something the rest of the NFL and the Cards don’t know.

  28. Axabad says: Mar 9, 2010 10:37 PM

    Maybe Pete Carroll will give up a 3rd for him (maybe). If so, Cards should use their 3rd( or later if they can) on a trade for San Diego QB Charlie Whitehurst. Thus they get a QB itching to start, dumping one that doesn’t really care about starting, and they would save a TON of money in the process. Leinart is due to earn a 2011 salary of $7.36 million in base salary Plus a $5.5 million roster bonus. They could afford Whitehurst at a much lower level and be able to sign/extend other players to improve the team. Leinart has only a career QB rating of 70.8 over 29 games played in. BTW, Seattle doesn’t have a 3rd round pick in 2010 as it was traded to Philly in 2009.

  29. comment_submission_error says: Mar 9, 2010 10:59 PM

    Lienart got his ass beat a couple years ago in a preseason game against the Raiders, of all teams, and nobody has trusted him since. He couldn’t earn a job when Eli Manning could. Too bad for you, Larry Fitzgerald.

  30. jordanv says: Mar 10, 2010 12:01 AM

    Ya you know good ole best guy in the world Kurt Warner went on Dan Patrick anmd instead of saying the right things, he ripped Leinart.Then again i never though Kurt was really that nice of a guy!!!

  31. NOwillrepeat says: Mar 10, 2010 1:56 AM

    Always knew Leinart was trash. Even when everyone, esp the nat’l media, was sucking his d!ck in college. Thank God the Saints signed the Breesus that year or we might have drafted this clown

  32. Jeff0621 says: Mar 15, 2010 11:41 AM

    Really no story here -if the Cards were pursuing acstarting QB type, its much more intriguing
    let’s admit it though, we cards fans would rather have Leinert at QB moving forward then the old man (Warner)

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