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Whisenhunt will rely on chemistry, not numbers to make quarterback decision

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt won’t say who his starting quarterback is, but he’s giving out some strong hints.

“It’s not as much about stats as it is about chemistry with the team. In
that position it’s about how you handle everything that’s thrown at
you,” Whisenhunt said Saturday night after the Derek Anderson and Matt Leinart both played well against the Bears.

(Our coach translator says: “Leinart is screwed.”)

Matt Leinart’s stats this preseason are just fine.  Whisenhunt made the change to Derek Anderson after careful thought and it’s unlikely Whiz remains confident in Leinart’s intangibles after four years with him. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have benched him.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic and Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ website — the Siskel and Ebert of Cardinals coverage — both don’t know what Whisenhunt will do. But they indicate Anderson looks like the pick.  Leinart remains confident in his leadership.

“I feel like I have a great relationship with my guys, my team for four,
five years now,” Leinart said.  “Like I said, I can only control what I control, and
that’s playing good football and being a leader. I have a great
relationship with all my teammates and I don’t think it should be based
on that because I feel like I am doing a good job in that department.”

We suspect Whisenhunt feels different, and Somers brings up how tough it would be for Leinart to remain in town as a backup.  A trade remains a possibility, but first Whisenhunt has to tell us his final answer instead of just dropping clues.

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20 Responses to “Whisenhunt will rely on chemistry, not numbers to make quarterback decision”
  1. FinFan68 says: Aug 30, 2010 10:25 AM

    It seems Whisenhut went to the Mangini school for determining the starting QB. Disaster is looming in AZ. Look forward to a QB flip flop like the Browns have tried the last couple of years… The simple explanation is that DA looks outstanding in practice but can’t work it out in the games, and there is that one season to look at and hold out hope for. Play Leinart for the full season and you will see he is not elite but capable. Play DA or swap them back and forth and you will see two players that can’t get it done.

  2. David LeFebvre says: Aug 30, 2010 10:37 AM

    As a Browns fan, I can assure you that Derek Anderson is a coach’s worst nightmare at QB: flashy at times, but horribly inconsistent. He’ll throw gorgeous bombs to his wideouts, followed by shockingly errant bullets bouncing off his tight ends’ facemasks and shoes. The potential contained in that cannon strapped to his right shoulder is tantalizing, but it will never be harnessed with any consistency, which makes him a boom-or-bust question mark capable of melting down at any time. That’s fine if you’re Mike Martz running the offense on a rebuilding team, but if you’re defending a division title, trying to reload for another Super Bowl run, it’s a recipe for disaster. You’d be better off throwing John Skelton or Max Hall to the wolves. At least then, there’s potential for growth and improvement…

  3. FumbleNuts says: Aug 30, 2010 10:40 AM

    (Our coach translator says: “Leinart is screwed.”)
    Agreed, Anderson is most likely the best bet at this point.

  4. Tinbender says: Aug 30, 2010 10:43 AM

    “Whisenhunt will rely on chemistry, not numbers to make quarterback decision”
    ————————————————–
    Calling a Magic 8 ball “chemistry” is a bit of a stretch don’t ya think?

  5. crodseth says: Aug 30, 2010 10:46 AM

    They both suck. The Cardinals will struggle mightily this year.

  6. Mike Daly says: Aug 30, 2010 11:01 AM

    Where has Leinart actually produced beyond volume stats?

  7. Philtration says: Aug 30, 2010 11:18 AM

    They both looked good on Saturday because the Bears are still running Lovie’s stupid cover-2.
    As long as you can complete a 10 yard pass right over the middle to a wide open receiver then you are going to move the ball all day on them.

  8. downwithdansnyder says: Aug 30, 2010 11:34 AM

    “my team for four, five years now”
    MY team? You mean Kurt Warner’s team?

  9. LA_Rams_Fan says: Aug 30, 2010 11:55 AM

    I’ll say this after watching the QB bonanza going on in AZ. I heard from various media sources (PFT among others cough) about Leinart being Captain Checkdown, so I specifically watched for that in the game against the Cubs. Sure nuff Matty threw nearly everything 10 yrds. or less. Unless I missed it (which I could have a didn’t watch every snap), I never saw him heave it downfield once. Say what you will (& the statistics bear it out on paper), but I don’t see anybody winning many football games throwing for 10 yrds. & a cloud of dust. Or I should say anyone in the league today (Montana/Rice etc. not withstanding). Basically what has been said about Matty is tangible, & I believe has some legs.
    Therefore if you were on his team, & (as a WR) saw him checking down to the RB on nearly every play etc. Would YOU feel like busting your butt to get open for this guy? Would you feel like sacrificing your body to take the big hit? It’s no wonder that he’s losing the confidence of his teammates, heck I don’t blame them! After watching him the other night, I even agree w/ that sentiment.
    As far as Derek Anderson’s concerned? I won’t dispute what the Brownie fans are saying, I realize they’ve watched him for yrs. & know what he’s about. Probably in the same way us Lamb fans know all about Mad Mike Martz, & how really screwed the Bear Cubs really are. So I’m not trying to discredit what they’re saying, & I’m taking their assessments of him as a stated fact. WITH that being said? What I’ve seen out of Derek has been more impressive than Matty. However that could be the same as saying he’s the tallest midget in the circus, so it might not be saying much.
    Derek is willing to stand in the pocket, take the BIG HIT, deliver the ball on time, & get it into the hands of the playmakers. That’s definitely (at least in my book) something that’ll win fans & teammates over in a hurry. Twice I saw him beat the Cubs blitz by getting the ball out & completing it for a first down. All the while getting drove into the turf. It’s no wonder why the Cards are looking his way. HOWEVER I also saw some boneheaded passes, that might be what the Brownies are talking about.
    I swear I don’t know if it’s just preseason, or if this guy honestly has a problem w/ swing passes. But it seemed like the guy has tunnel vision or something, because any time he tried to pass the ball within 5 yrds. of the LOS (or even behind the line)? He would overthrow his WR badly. I don’t know if he completed a ball all night to a RB out of the backfield in the flat. What gives? Again it could just be preseason, or it could be that Derek has NO touch passes & is strictly a one trick pony. However even if all he’s got is a fastball? It IMHO is a lot better than Captain Checkdown managing the offense to generate field goals. So regardless of how badly the Brownies might not like him? I still think he’s the better midgit where Lienarts concerned & thus the best option by default. Good luck w/ that Arizona.

  10. iusedtobeteddybayer says: Aug 30, 2010 11:59 AM

    First of all, Gregggggggggg, you cannot have a Siskel and
    Ebert of Cardinal coverage without Mike Jeriecki. Not even Kent Somers knows more about the Cardinals than Mike Jerecki.
    More importantly is why is this coming now? I really like Coach Wiz. I used to think that ltimately, at the end of their tenures it wouldn’t surprise me if Whisenhunt matches or exceeds Mike Tomlins’ Super Bowl wins.
    But this quarterback thing is troubling. It’s Sept 1st [or so]. The regular season — games that count — is two weeks away. If they or he didn’t like Lienart, bring in someone else. Other than “high and wide” Anderson. Were the Cardinals sleeping when McPukey was on the block? McPukey is better than Derek Anderson.
    Rod Graves, I’m sorry, sucks the big wahoo as an NFL GM. All those players that got away. The Larry Fitzgerald contract[s] that guaranteed Bouldin would leave…would HAVE to leave…sheesh!
    Cut Pretty-Boy Matt or not. Shoulda made better contingency plans 6 friggin’ months ago. COAC!

  11. Omega says: Aug 30, 2010 12:18 PM

    @ LA_Rams_Fan
    Wow a serious football take. Thought out and well said.
    A rarity in this forum.

  12. petro says: Aug 30, 2010 12:21 PM

    Interesting part in Peter King’s column today where it was noted that during a Cards\Titans practice that Titan Lb’s were expecting leinart to check down and never go for the expected route. Leinart doesn’t have the fire. It’s bad when his most memorable play is Reggie Bush pushing him into the endzone.

  13. robert ethen says: Aug 30, 2010 12:37 PM

    Combining Leinart and Anderson with all the possible combinations and permutations in the locker room has thus far produced ground chalk, white flour, tap water, and a handful of daisys. But they are still working on it.

  14. mwcarolina says: Aug 30, 2010 12:39 PM

    I would still go with Matt Leinart, BUT Wisenhunt is determined to go with Anderson. If i were the Cardinals i see if the Seahawks want Leinart and trade him there. As for Anderson, he is what he is. inconsistant. He can make a play, then he can throw a pick. If he plays like i think he will, the Cardinals will be drafting a quarterback next year.

  15. iusedtobeteddybayer says: Aug 30, 2010 12:51 PM

    And “chemistry” is the winning formula? Are you kidding? You’re gonna go into the season based on a locker room popularity contest? Wow. That’s not often found in the NFL. Wiz has the job and a million dollar contract; I am writing a post on a rumor website. But that doesn’t make him right. High-and-wide-Anderson and Checkdown Leinart=4 wins maybe.

  16. Big G says: Aug 30, 2010 12:54 PM

    Wisenhunt will be out of job, now that Warner is gone. He lost Bolton & other players in the last 2 years. Now this deal with the QB’s, he just doesn’t like that Leinart has made more than him in 4 years than he did his entire career so far.

  17. HardHat says: Aug 30, 2010 1:03 PM

    Great, great comment above by LA_Rams_Fan.
    Agree 100%.

  18. Mikey says: Aug 30, 2010 1:05 PM

    2 words…. Max Hall.
    I know he’s playing against the other team’s defensive scrubs. Keep in mind that he also has scrubs protecting him and trying to catch passes from him.
    The kid has OK pocket awareness, he’s mobile, and he can ACCURATELY put the ball DOWNFIELD. Thats something that neither Matty nor Anderson can do both of. Hall looks like a young Jeff Garcia out there. He has vastly outplayed both of the QBs ahead of him, but he’ll probably get sent to the team’s practice squad. Sad really.

  19. jb1996 says: Aug 30, 2010 1:16 PM

    Leinart will not be the starter anderson will he will not do that great as this is a fall back year for the cardinals as neither of the qbs are ready for a superbowl or even a playoff run anderson has inconsistency throughout his career even if it was playing for the browns he only had 1 good year larry fitz will have to carry this team as well as beanie wells and the defense their gonna need help

  20. fordlaw says: Aug 30, 2010 1:54 PM

    Lienart – Welcome to Philadelphia or Jacksonville – Long shot Buffalo

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