Matt Leinart benched for Saturday; could be done in Arizona

For the second time in three years, it looks like Ken Whisenhunt is giving up on Matt Leinart as a starting quarterback before the season even starts.

Whisenhunt announced that Derek Anderson will start Arizona’s preseason game this week against the Bears.  The plan is for Leinart to come off the bench late in the second quarter and play into the second half.

Whisenhunt stressed the change wasn’t necessarily permanent, but it doesn’t take a genius to see this is now Anderson’s job to lose.  The third preseason game is every team’s chance for a final “dress rehearsal” for the season. 

As ESPN’s Mike Sando writes, “Whisenhunt would not demote his starting QB in third week of preseason if he thought that QB had earned the respect of the locker room.”  It will be tough for Leinart to recover from this.

Leinart played only nine snaps last week, and now he’s not even starting.   The only question left is where Leinart will remain with the team. (It looks like NFL.com’s Mike Lombardi had great information here.) Whisenhunt is essentially giving up on Leinart, no matter how this move is spun in the short term.

It’s at this point we have to mention a tip sent us earlier today, warning us that Leinart was already told Anderson was already the starting quarterback.  We didn’t feel confident passing it along at the time, but the tipster just earned some major points. So now we can’t ignore the second part of the email.

The source claimed that Leinart was told the Cardinals were working on a trade to Seattle, where Leinart and Pete Carroll could try to party like it was 2004.  That’s certainly just a rumor for now, and sounds a little off the wall.

Then again, the idea of Derek Anderson opening the season as Arizona’s starter sounded off the wall just a week ago. 

133 responses to “Matt Leinart benched for Saturday; could be done in Arizona

  1. Didn’t the Seahawks just invest serious draft picks in Charlie Whitehurst? And already they’re willing to bring in another option?

  2. In two years we will be reading the same thing about Nacho Sanchez.
    Another USC QB not ready for the NFL.

  3. I knew that Ultimate Fighter training to toughen him up was a bunch of hooey. You either have it or you don’t. You don’t learn to be tough by taking a few days worth of lessons.

  4. Wo what a waste of a high pick. Arizona is going back to being the arizona we all remember a few years back. 4-12.

  5. the cardinals do not appear to be ready to win their third NFC west championship, hell not even a winning season, to many questions on offense (head coach has no confidence in qb ML and the defense has too many questions on LBs, secondary and his defense coordinator, I will not be surprise if they don’t even win 7 games…

  6. I don’t think this is out of the ordinary. When they brought in Anderson it was with the stated intention that he compete for the starting job. He is older than Leinart and has more NFL experience, so it doesn’t come as a total shock that he would be given equal opportunity.

  7. Why do I have this sick feeling in my stomach thinking the bears are gonna make Anderson look all world?
    If the Bears D lays another egg against this horrible Cards team that is in obvious disarray then all hope is lost for the 2010 season.

  8. Wonder why he hasn’t called Jeff Garcia yet. Garcia has to be an improvement over either of those two. Hell, Jeff George might be an improvement.

  9. Matt Leinart is not a bad QB, he was put in a pad situation. Derek Anderson is more of a Whisenhunt type of QB. He wants big arm guys that can sling it deep. Leinart is more of a timed pattern, accuracy guy.

  10. please send sage to the cards for something. we don’t need 4 qbs on the team. even if its just for a 4th round pick.

  11. This has to be purely about confidence, because Anderson has been horrible this preseason.
    Anderson: 58%, 4.7 YPA, 1 TD, 2 INT
    Leinert: 77%, 6.7 YPA, 0-0
    Sometimes, a guy that checks down 70 percent of the time is better than a guy who is a career 52.9% passer.

  12. “There’s just no reason to think Derek Anderson would be in a better position to help the Cardinals win in 2010. ”
    It’s alright Ken – you can say it: “I was wrrrr….wrrrr. wrrrooo… wrrrooonnn….. mistaken.”

  13. Wisenhut is screwing the pooch big time. You aren’t going to find your magical cure at QB right now, why not at least give ML a chance to actually start some games? What does he have to lose? Anderson has proved devoid of big upside already.

  14. A guy named Connor Byrne who used to write for a football site called Leinart the “Michael Jordan of football”. Obviously, he was talking about Jordan the baseball player and not Jordan the basketball player.

  15. How long until Ken and 4 players show up at Warners house and beg him to come back? We know it’s not about the money, but will will give you $20 a year…

  16. Leinart to the Seahawks?
    I don’t think the Cards would get much for him, but they’d get more than they would if they cut him.

  17. yes, leinhart is junk!!
    He’s needs to go home to CA and be with Paris hilton, that’s the best place for him!
    Is not, and will never be a NFL caliber QB!!

  18. Somehow, somewhere, in a distant land and time, I can hear Dandy Don Meredith singing “The party’s over, turn out the lights…”

  19. Ok this is step 1. Step 2 is making him give Adrian Peterson the Heisman that Matty (couldnt cut it) Twice stole. This dude needs to be on MTV not in the NFL.

  20. Good luck, Arizona. We Browns fans know what you’re in for. Cool guy, but not great at quarterback.
    Well, scratch that… he may do great for your first 8 games… then it’s all downhill. Whatever you do… do NOT cheer if he gets injured. DA doesn’t like that. Just some advice from your friends in Cleveland.

  21. No QB will be successful in Arizona till they fix that Oline. Not Lienart, Anderson, not even Manning or Brady. Watching that Monday game this week the Titans made the Arizona Oline looked like swiss cheese. 1-2 Titan defenders were getting through to the QB or RB unblocked on every play. I see it being a very down year for Zona compared to the last 2 when they made the playoffs. They will be lucky to win 5-6 games and it will not matter who’s playing QB unless they fix their oline.

  22. If preseason means ANYTHING…the guy they currently have at third string is better than both of the other two! I know he was moving the team against the third string defense…but he was MOVING THE TEAM! I really should look up that guys name…but I’m way to lazy and I really don’t care. Whoever that guy is…he’ll be starting by week two. I’ve met DA at a function here in Cleveland…really nice guy…really humble…I wish him the best of luck…I really wish he would see a specialist about his accuracy…if he fixes that…he would be a pro bowler again.

  23. Wow, if Lienart is really that bad why didn’t Arizona go after Bulger or Mcnabb? Maybe even draft someone like Clausen ( pretty sure skeleton isn’t the answer). What, we are supposed to believe that they just figured out Lienart is no good?

  24. derek andersen is a upgrade lololololol,arizona fans should get ready for a long year,well the weather is nice

  25. Carroll hasn’t shown to be loyal to his former USC players. But, how could he not jump on this?

  26. Leinart to Seahawks would actually make a fair deal of sense. They’ve got no heir to Hasselbeck, and if he doesn’t work out, they’re probably due to draft a QB next year anyway. Pretty low-risk move.

  27. They both suck. Jamarcus Russel’s next stop, HAH! Couldn’t happen to a better owner, other than Granpa Al.

  28. Steelers display Dennis Dixons ability for the first 4 weeks of the season then trade him to Pittsburgh West after KW realizes DA is garbage as well…

  29. Interesting…I knew this guy was a bust on draft day 06. Please tell me I’m not the only one that could see this.
    Whoever was in AZ before Whisenhunt pissed that draft pick away.

  30. Being a Niners fan is great right about now! Not only are we not going to have any competition in the division but Alex Smith will come out to be the best QB in the NFC west. hahaa
    Go NINERS!

  31. Seattle isn’t gonna trade squat to get Leinart. They already have 3 QBs , and Leinart hasn’t shown anything to justify replacing any of them. His best chance would be as a #3 replacing Loseman, but he doesn’t even have the experience of JP. CArroll might pick Matt up if he is released, but where would he fit him on a 53 man roster?

  32. I bet Mcnabb is really regreting the trade with the skins now more than ever. Is this not where he wanted to go to start with. Go skins, even though I think nothing is going to change from the years before.

  33. Got to give Adam Schien props……. He pretty much called this about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Hell, he may of called it 3 years ago

  34. I am no football player evaluator but just watching Leinart on tv this past Monday, he looked like someone who didn’t want to be there. The dude just doesn’t have it

  35. Whisenhunt is a boob, like Derek Anderson is the answer. Leinart might be captain checkdown but Mr Anderson is the Overlord of the Interception.

  36. Bigdaddy237 says: August 26, 2010 3:34 PM
    Larry Fitzgerald just got a big smile on his face. Anderson is good at the deep ball
    —————————————————-
    He also throws a lot of INTs and can’t hit the 10 yard outs…. The funniest thing is that i haven’t seen any AZ fans talking sh!t about how they are going to beat the niners… Specially Docket.

  37. In two years we will be reading the same thing about Nacho Sanchez.
    Another USC QB not ready for the NFL.
    ————————————————–
    So true ampats

  38. Just shows how important qb’s are in the NFL. A great qb can turn a bad team into a Super Bowl contender. Then when you lose an elite qb, a great team looks bad. It will happen to the Vikings as soon as Favre retires.

  39. Thats the second disappointment that came out of USC from that class. What a shocker too, everyone thought he would have a long and exciting career.

  40. Ohh and then to turn to Derick A.. good luck Cards fans this will be a long season.. Anderson Sucks

  41. My question is if Anderson did it for a year in Cleveland with a decent supporting cast and scheme, why couldn’t he do it again???
    I don’t believe you can throw 29 TD’s in 15 games in the NFL, by accident.
    Noticing that Anderson was sacked only 14 times the year he threw 29 TD’s makes me believe that if he gets time, he is obviously going to put up decent numbers.
    I think this was a wise (pun intended) move by Kenneth – if Leinart ain’t ready by now, another pre-season game won’t make any difference.
    The Cards are much better at protecting the passer, and they have weapons. Warner was sacked 24 times in 2009 – respectable. I think 26 TD’s, 15 INT’s are reasonable numbers for Anderson in 2010.

  42. LMAO the line item immediately below this one in the rumor mill is Cardinals Have Not Discussed Dumping Leinart.
    So which is it ?

  43. Seattle?
    Pete Carroll = Dan Snyder, West
    Close but no cigar my friend! I think you’re thinking of this?
    Pete Carroll = Steve Spurrier
    Let’s all start talking about how Carrol’s fun and gun offense will reinvent the NFL!
    By the way, the fun and gun culminated in a 27-0 loss and Spurrier “resigned”. Turns out Russian roulette (his qbs threw more ints than Tds) wasn’t so much fun for the home team. Even the most pedestrian fan should have known this.

  44. To the magnitude Leinart must suck for a professional Head Coach who’s job is contingent on the ability to evaluate talent, choosing Derek Anderson over him, is immeasurable.
    Derek Anderson was a Pro Bowl (alternate) in 2007. Note to Cards fans everywhere……..
    He replaced Charlie Frye after a horrid 1st half of the 1st game of the season. Golden Boy Brady Quinn (1st round pick) sat behind him. Derek Anderson had no pressure on him to perform, as it was widely assumed he was keeping the seat warm for Quinn. Important also to note- he had taken no prior NFL snaps. Translate that to- no team had game film of him.
    Now, add to that mixture a 1,300 yard rushing performance by Jamal Lewis, Kellen Winslow Jr. and Braylon Edwards (I can’t believe I’m writing this) catching everything in sight, and an over-achieving defense.
    He had 29 TD’s that year, with 19 INT’s. Not bad. But as any miserable Browns fan will tell you, of which I am one, games 1-11, those numbers were 21-9. You know, when all the Pro-Bowl voting in going on. As soon as enough game film of him was gathered??? Games 12-16?? 8 TD’s and 10 picks. Oh, our playoff lives on the line against the Bengals?? 0-3. (Yes, we lost that game).
    Derek Anderson is slow, and immobile.
    Derek Anderson makes JaMarcus Russell look like Drew Brees in terms of accuracy. (Yes, I actually just said that).
    Further, many have confused Derek Anderson’s stupidity as some sort of aversion to pressure, or the infamous term, “moxie”.
    Sorry, Cards fans, but I’ll take Delhomme over Anderson all day, and by about game 6, you will too.

  45. Why didn’t they go out and get McNabb? Maybe that is asking a lot but what about Bulger? Or Troy Smith? Or Chad Pennington? Or several of the options that would have been better than choosing between Matt Lienart and Derek Anderson.

  46. I was so looking forward to watching Mattie go out with a little dignity, like being carted off the field with a career-ending injury after almost leading the birds to a come-from-behind win.
    But I’ll get over it.
    I’ll setttle for this, coupled with another 30+ years of mediocrity from the club that for a few short years was allowed to be counted as an NFL franchise.

  47. @ Coliwood
    With all due respect, don’t you think that Leinart’s had enough time? He has Fitzgerald and has had Boldin and Breaston too before and still couldn’t get it done. I’ve seen other guys do more with less.

  48. Do the Cards have fans or are tickets just complimentary with a round of golf? Lineart is the poor mans Tom Brady, all the models with none of the talent. The only way Arizona finishes higher than Seattle this year in that division is if they give him up to Seattle. Fitzgerald is the only winner in this whole scenario.

  49. My God!! Leinart must be just plain god awful if DA can wrestle the starting job away from him. I thought their 3rd stringer looked better than either Leinart or Anderception. Other than the the high throws, low throws, interceptions, his obliviousness of game conditions and his penchant for putting receivers into harm’s way he is a pretty good QB.

  50. “Mr Anderson is the Overlord of the Interception.”
    @Jaxeagle,
    Nope that’s Jay Cutler. Anderson is just an underling in that respect.

  51. McNabb doesn’t need to regret his trade to the skins… he can walk to Arizona or Minnesota, SF, whoever, if he so chooses next year. He just has to hope his Eagles resume wins him some money because this is going to be a down year.

  52. How can this not end positively?
    The Browns flipped their quarterbacks (Anderson included) several times during the last couple pre-seasons and they turned out just… fine…
    … oh, sorry about your luck Arizona.

  53. The Seahawks aren’t going to be trading for leinart when they could get him once he’s cut since trading for him would entail picking up his contract which would mean paying him $12 million next year? So if they actually want him he won’t be acquiring him through a trade.

  54. He’s the Whis, nobody beats him…
    LOL @ Buckhead… “…and we let ’em off the hook!!”

  55. Cardinals really messed up by not trading for McNabb. Anderson is garbage too, this is why I passed on drafting Larry Fitzgerald in my fantasy drafts

  56. Have you guys (bloggers) EVER broken a sports story? How much “investigating” goes on in those cubicles? Seems the teeth of these stories are always hyperlinks to another website.
    Here’s a million-dollar trivia question for you: give me an example where another sports site referenced your reporting in one of their stories.

  57. Leinart just isn’t an NFL Caliber QB. At first I thought it was because he didn’t work hard enough but now I know he just doesn’t have it. Weakest arm ever even worse than Pennington. HE can’t read a blitz or maneuver away. I think it is the end of the road for Leinart.

  58. Leinart has never been treated like the guy in AZ. He started his rookie year, and we all saw massive improvements in his game. He hasn’t taken very many snaps at all in real games since his shoulder injury.
    Whisenhunt amazes me for his lack of giving this guy an opportunity. .. How can Lienart have any confidence in himself after being treated like he was never any good? The guy was a first round pick for a reason.

  59. # D says: August 26, 2010 4:06 PM
    One time, DA went 2/17 for 22 yards and an INT. That time, was last year….
    —————————————–
    I believe that was against Buffalo, and the Browns won anyway. Wacky.

  60. Jaxeagle says:
    August 26, 2010 4:08 PM
    ……..Mr Anderson is the Overlord of the Interception.
    ___________________________________
    What the hell does that make Brett Favre then…?

  61. So DA was a better choice than Jason Campbell or Donovan McNabb? Way to both that one “Whiz.”

  62. Bigdaddy237 says:
    August 26, 2010 3:34 PM
    Larry Fitzgerald just got a big smile on his face. Anderson is good at the deep ball.
    ———————————————————
    True, but what about the rest of the throws? He sucks.

  63. As a hawks fan this is great, Leinart sucks and will be cut, Bradford is in a bad situation, and Alex smith AKA bust is palying his last year, and not only that he has missed more games with in the last 3 years then Matt has his career, this division will make matt look like Tom Brady

  64. And yet Chris Landry is still running around saying Leinart is the best quarterback ready for the NFL and Vince Young will never make it.

  65. Why the hell would Seattle do that? They just traded a tidy sum to get Whitehurst, who was listed as a 3rd string QB.
    That part of the story doesn’t add up.

  66. How can anyone blame Whis? He didn’t draft the party boy. Whis has done more for the Cards then anyone almost ever

  67. At least Anderson has put up decent numbers in the past, not to mention won 10 games in a season with the Browns of all teams. That’s more than you can say for Leinart…

  68. @green man
    Really? You’re using the preseason to make assumptions about the regular season? Really?

  69. Aaron Rodgers had three years behind Brett before he got his chance.. and he has made the most of it.
    Matt was in the same situation with Kurt Warner but looks like his story will not have the same ending.
    There could be an opening for Matt with the Bears.

  70. If checkdowns are the problem, send Leinart to Washington for Grossman. He never saw a wideout he didnt think was open and honestly he is better than Anderson

  71. Oh come on, Cards.
    Matt never had a real shot at QB, he is a solid QB who can easily provide a 3000 yds and 15 TDs season.
    Just trust the kid, Anderson on the other hand, had his chances and he messed up, badly.
    Go with Leinart, you won’t regret.

  72. I’m a Niners fan…I was really hoping Leinart was going to start the season. (darn it!)
    He simply does not have what it takes to be a NFL QB. He might work as a back-up…maybe. Back to the beach…SON

  73. D says:
    August 26, 2010 4:06 PM
    One time, DA went 2/17 for 22 yards and an INT. That time, was last year….
    ————————————————-
    Believe me, I’m not about to defend Derek Anderson. I know better than that.
    HOWEVER, for anyone who doesn’t remember, let’s qualify your statement by noting there were either 8 or 9 passes in that game where the ball was catchable by the receiver and it was dropped or muffed. Maybe too much zip on the ball, maybe a core of receivers who’s confidence level had sunk into the toilet by that point- whatever.. but the fact of the matter is that at least half of those incompleteions were catchable. I remember that game. You had a bunch of receivers who were quitting left and right.
    Alas, it really doesn’t matter. Anderson has to be the most mental QB I’ve *ever* seen. he could play lights out all day- but once a few plays in a row go wrong- or once Anderson gets it in his head that the D has figured him out, IT’S OVER for him. He has the raw physical skills, but he doesn’t have the mindset and the mental toughness required for the job. Thus, he’ll never succeed in a consistent sense. He can be ok off the bench, but he’ll never be a reliable starter. Cleveland ruined him.

  74. For a mid-round pick, I’m sure Chilly would be happy to give Wisenhunt the manual on sucking up to your old retired QB to save the season.

  75. Buckhead says:
    August 26, 2010 4:08 PM
    Dennis Green just stated that Leinart is who we thought he was.
    ———————————————-
    AWESOME LOL!!!!!!!

  76. Someone call Dennis Green and tell him that Leinart isn’t who he thought he was… (apparently neither is his son, but that’s another story).
    And someone said that DA has a good deep ball… ROTFLMAOBBQTTYL!!!!! My ass he has a good deep ball!
    Birds heading south line up in formation around his passes as they sail 5 yards behind the guy on the 9 route.

  77. Whoever suggested that they trade for Sage Rosenfel’s is a genius! Sage has game experience and he has proven that he can do great when asked.
    Miami, Great Comeback.
    Houston, 2007 Season, 4-1.
    Houston, the Indy game. Trying to hard.
    Vikings, could easily beat out T-Jax if Favre didn’t come back.
    The point is, this guy is more than deserving of a starting shot and the Cardinals are the perfect place for him. But who could the Vikings get in return.
    A second round pick? Steve Breaston? Either would be fine for me.

  78. is it really off the wall to think derek anderson might start over Leinart? what are you talkin about lol

  79. I bet Matt wished he had not gone back to USC his senior year,he lost a lot of money doing that,he would have been the #1 pick.

  80. I love that local spin from Whisenhunt that the demotion doesn’t mean anything. He actually said that they just want to see how he reacts to being benched and see him run the two minute drill, lol. You’ve already seen how he reacts to being benched, and I don’t think you need to bench him to start the game to see him in the 2 minute drill. Just let him play into the 3rd quarter, but we’re morons, Ken.
    Biggest blunders of 2010, Cardinals not trading for McNabb or Bulger. Everybody is laughing at them. Look on the bright side, you’ll be in competition with the Bills and Seahawks for a chance to draft Jake Locker, lol. What’s even more Hilarious is seeing horrible NFL coach, Pete Carroll, being mentioned as someone who wants to trade for Leinart….what the Charlie Whitehurst experiment not going as well as the Shehawk fans so boldly proclaimed a couple of weeks ago?

  81. there actually was film of andersen from the year before “10-6”.
    he had a rating of about 63 in 4 starts from 2006. his first game was his best.

  82. LMAO @ SERGEP who thinks Hasselbroke will even survive the season. I’m guessing by week 4 will be the end of his career

  83. Why is this Sanchez “volume I?”. Oh and real classy calling him “Nacho.” That’s not ignorant or anything.
    Love how the Jets haters get in any thread they can.

  84. Trade for TROY SMITH
    ATLEAST HE WAS GOING TO BE A STARTER IN BALTIMORE UNTIL HE GOT SICK.
    TROY SMITH IS A WAY BETTER OPTION THAN WHAT THE CARDINALS HAVE ON THE ROSTER.
    THIS WOULD BE THE BEST PICKUP SINCE KURT WARNER!

  85. what’s funny is i think that would be a decent trade, Charlie Whitehurst for Matt Leinart, Pete Carroll wants HIS guy and Leinart is HIS guy. As for Arizona, if they dont get Whitehurst and keep Leinart, start Skelton, take the pain, and if you lose games, then you start over, get a rookie quarterback, I would pick Jake Locker, and start him!!! I think Locker would be a great fit in Arizona.

  86. (TROY SMITH IS A WAY BETTER OPTION THAN WHAT THE CARDINALS HAVE ON THE ROSTER.)
    he’s better, BUT not way better. Even if they get Smith, he wont take them to a playoff game. I think Arizona will be drafting Andrew Luck or Jake Locker next year and in my book, they will make the Cardinals fans forget Matt Leinart.

  87. Hey Ampat… tell me of another school that has three starting QB’s in the league?????? Hater… you know nothing about FB… Fight ON 13-0

  88. Whisenhunt knows the Cards are a 6-10 and at best 8-8 team with Lienart or Anderson at the helm. When you lose a future Hall of Fame QB in Kurt Warner you have to expect a decline.
    If they would have gotten McNaab they still had a shot going deep in the playoffs. Now they are going to be playing for the 2011 draft.

  89. JimmySee said “There could be an opening for Matt with the Bears.”
    Oh, God, no. Oh, God. I can see it. Leinart in a Bears uniform. Rex Grossman 2, ladies and gentlemen: Matt Leinart.
    No. No. No. No. NO! NNNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  90. Anderson will probably be a Pro-Bowler again. He played for Cleveland and went to the All-Star game of football. Now, he actually has weapons. I wouldnt be surprised to see him do it again.
    All the people calling for Troy Smith are catching the short bus to school.

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