Tag:Arizona Cardinals
Posted on: August 31, 2010 4:30 pm

Derek Anderson to start once again

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Remember all that squawking by Matt Leinart about how he should be the starting quarterback in Arizona and about how nobody has outplayed him and about how is he supposed to win the job when he’s not given a fair opportunity to compete? So, how did that work out for him?

Not very well, apparently.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt told ESPN Radio today that Derek Anderson will start the team’s fourth and final preseason game.

Click here for a link to the podcast of the Scott Van Pelt Show.

Whisenhunt, when asked about Leinart, said the quarterback job was the toughest position on the field but that he needs a little more from the former USC standout.

“There is a certain quality that you have to have in that position and that is all part of the evaluation process. And I think, more importantly, is how your team responds to that player and how you handle that role. I’m not talking about Matt. I’m just saying I feel like he has made great progress in that area, but, for whatever reason, we have not performed the way we have needed to perform as an offense. We have not made the progress that we as a coaching staff felt that we needed to do. So it’s not so much about that person as it is about trying to find the right combination. Once again, I believe Matt can play. I’m not saying that at all. I am just trying to find the best match for our football team.”

Jeez, when he says he’s not talking about Matt, it sure sounds like he’s talking about Matt, huh?

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Posted on: August 30, 2010 7:17 pm

Leinart: 'I really want an explanation' on AZ QBs

Posted by Will Brinson

Matt Leinart should, by all accounts, be excited that he has an opportunity to take over a professional football team. Injury and poor play derailed his first chance and, worst case, he could be in Tavaris Jackson's shoes.

Actually, scratch that -- worst case is he could be given this chance and decide to make things with head coach Ken Wisenhunt personal. Which is exactly what he did with some recent comments. (No, not the ones he made last week -- he actually kept giving Wisenhunt reasons to not give him playing time after "Whiz" announced that he wasn't sure who was starting yet.)

According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic , "I feel like I've outplayed the competition, training camp, preseason," Leinart said. "I think my plays speaks about that. For me, this goes beyond the football field."

Well, gee -- that's aggressive. Not aggressive, however, is choosing not to go to your coach with his problems (which he is pretty clearly airing in the press).

"No, it is what it is," Leinart said. "Like I said, I think I've done enough. I need to get better, like I said last week. But I don't know if there have been equal opportunities. Obviously, I haven't played as much as I'd like."

Darren Urban of the Cards' official blog quotes Leinart as saying, "I really want an explanation."

Here's a piece of advice: just ask.

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Posted on: August 30, 2010 1:38 pm

Hot Routes 8.30.10 decisions decisions decisions

Posted by Andy Benoit

One ESPN writer thinks Shanahan can’t be serious about McNabb sitting out Week 1.

The Lions plan on doing what most teams do when they get overwhelmingly insecure about their linebacking depth: sign Rocky Boiman.

It’s hard to picture the Bucs keeping Michael Clayton in 2010, though the underachieving veteran wideout is confident he’ll remain with the team. Clayton hasn’t played much this preseason, but Raheem Morris tends to sit his veterans in August more than most head coaches.

The Cardinals will apparently consider intangibles when making their quarterback decision – whatever that means.

The Panthers defense has performed well this preseason...does it matter?

How about the Panthers offense scoring zero touchdowns in 42 possessions so far this preseason...does that matter?

There is still plenty of competition for the kick return duties in Dallas.

Who else found themselves kind of wishing that we’d get at least one look at the gash in James Farrior’s head Sunday night? The Steelers linebacker did a good job covering it up (though it was impossible to hide all the excess blood).

New England’s young defensive backs are getting some help from the veterans.

The Broncos weren’t exactly thrilled with James Harrison’s hit on Kyle Orton.

And, even better, James Harrison doesn’t exactly care. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Harrison said of Orton, “"He was running his mouth and getting in the way of the train. And the train wasn't coming off the track. (Orton) was popping off down there the first time they were about to score. So you run your mouth, expect to get something. Everything's between the lines, so he got what he had coming."

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 11:00 am
Edited on: August 29, 2010 11:19 am

Hot Routes 8.29.10: Just a big ole hot mess

Posted by Will Brinson

In hindsight, yes, I'm beyond furious that I didn't use the Jay Cutler - Matt Leinart bro pic for this. Dagnabbit.

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or send an email to will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com.
  • The headline of the day pretty much has to be this one from Sean Jensen of the Sun-Times on the Bears: 'Saturday night summary: Hot mess." Yes, that makes me giggle. Almost as much as Jay Cutler getting sacked four times, throwing two picks and finishing the night with a QB rating of THIRTY ONE. Bwah. Meanwhile, in Arizona, the quarterback competition is going to come down to "chemistry with the team ." Really.
  • The fellas at The Wayne Fontes Experience make a good point: Willie Young has sacked the quarterback two weeks in a row. I have no earthly idea how he lasted until the SEVENTH round, but he'll be good. Also, guys, I'm the one driving the Jahvid Best bandwagon. You can hitch your wagon by calling 555-BEST. Also, Steve Schroder is right : why aren't they locking Detroit/Cleveland in for Thanksgiving? It's consistently more awesome than whatever else beatdown we're watching.
  • The score of the Panthers - Titans game might lead you to believe that it's the, you know, preseason. It also might lead you to believe that the Panthers defense is pretty good. As Jaxon writes at Cat Scratch Reader , that's not too far off. Offense, Tom Sorensen says at the Charlotte Observer , is "at a premium," which means that the failure/success of this season might actually hinge on the quarterback position for Carolina (once again). NO PRESSURE, Matt Moore.
  • I actually landed C.J. Spiller in a fantasy draft (for the first time) last night. I'm not upset but this news -- he is, as right tackle Cornell Green put it, "something else. " The guys at Buffalo Rumblings think the offense was "efficient and the defense was "lacking" -- if that's the biggest issue facing the Bills heading into the season, I think they take it and run.
  • Mike Tomlin has yet to announce a starting quarterback, but Ryan Wilson of Steelers' Lounge makes an excellent note : the two-headed quarterback monster of Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich is probably the smartest move. Or the only move. Whatever.
  • Dave Halprin of Blogging the Boys makes an astute point: this IS the preseason and all, but you still can't "wash away the stink that was the Cowboys on Saturday night." The good news is that Jerry Jones isn't that concerned ; pretty sure t that won't last if the shoddy play continues through into the regular season.
  • Not that anyone actually roots for failure, but it's kind of funny when a New York team stinks, it usually results in fun headline-writing. "Giants still 'a ways' away from being good " and "Nothing goes right for Giants " are two examples. Basically, the point that you should be getting from this is that the Giants are an "at-risk" team for 2010. On the bright side, Joe Flacco is definitely the starter in Baltimore. Which is, um, unsurprising?
Posted on: August 29, 2010 10:32 am

Cards quarterbacks both don't look totally awful

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Before Saturday, the Cardinals didn’t have a great option at starting quarterback. Matt Leinart seemingly had lost his job – or had fallen far enough to make him even with backup Derek Anderson – and Anderson hadn’t been overly impressive in trying to take Leinart’s job from him. Basically, it was not an ideal situation for Arizona.

Then, you had Leinart making national news by complaining – though he said he wasn’t really complaining – about not getting enough snaps and about how hard he’s worked and about how he feels he’s been pretty efficient on the field.

Against the Bears on Saturday night, both quarterbacks looked pretty decent. Now, maybe there actually is a quarterback competition instead of coach Ken Whisenhunt having to choose the quarterback that sucks the least.

Anderson, who started the game, was 7 of 12 for 94 yards and a touchdown, and as the Arizona Republic points out , he provided a spark in the second quarter by converting on three third-and-long situations and throwing a 27-yard touchdown to Stephen Williams.

Leinart, meanwhile, was extremely efficient, completing 9 of 10 passes for 84 yards and a score. For the record, he still hasn’t committed a turnover in the preseason. He also looked good leading the team during a 2-minute drill late in the second half.

Predictably, Whisenhunt said he hasn’t decided on a starting quarterback, though CBSSports.com’s own Pete Prisco believes it will be Leinart’s job.

“It's a good problem to have," Whisenhunt said after the game. "(Saturday) it worked. Not necessarily because we made the change at quarterback. It was good to see us move the football, get some first downs, make some plays … I don't have to make any decisions right now.”

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Posted on: August 27, 2010 3:24 pm

Leinart speaks (he's not thrilled)

Posted by Andy Benoit

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic recently spoke on the phone with Cardinals demoted quarterback Matt Leinart. Here’s what Leinart had to say:

"I'm disappointed. I’ve done everything to this point that they’ve asked me to and more. I’ve worked hard and been a leader. I’m trying to be that guy in this new role. I have high expectations for myself."

"It hasn’t gone the way we’ve wanted in the preseason. That’s the case sometimes when you have a lot of new players. We have to gel together and that’s what the preseason is about."

"I feel I’ve been efficient. I’ve been accurate. I haven’t turned the ball over. I don't know how we judge performance when you have 13 pass attempts to the other guy's 40. I’m not going to sit here and complain and point the finger. I have to get better and I’m going to get better."

"I’m going to keep grinding and keep fighting. Ultimately, I have to let my play do the talking. I’m frustrated and disappointed. I’m not really sure what’s being asked of me. I’m going to continue to be a leader on this team.”

"I think if it’s an open competition, then let’s make it that from the get-go, go out there and let the best player win. I believe that I’m going to be starter that opening game."

“All I can do is really focus on just me.  I don’t make these decisions and sometime you don’t know why decisions are made. I can’t really worry anything that’s out of my control. Like I said, I still plan on starting opening week."

Somers asked Leinart how he and head coach Ken Whisenhunt mesh.

“I don’t know. I really don’t know. It seems like every preseason there is something I’m trying to get through. I don’t really know what’s going on and why decisions are being made.

"I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point.  I hope everyone has seen that."

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 26, 2010 3:26 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2010 3:59 pm

Full-fledged QB controversy in Arizona

Posted by Andy Benoit

We finally have a quarterback controversy: the Cardinals are planning on starting Derek Anderson ahead of Matt Leinart against the Bears this week.

"I don't think we performed the way we want to perform on offense this preseason and we're going to look at a number of different players in different spots," Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.

This is as pure as a quarterback controversy gets: Anderson will play the first quarter, then Leinart will come in for the second (and some of the third) quarter. Thus, just like this past Monday, both players will get time with the first unit.

Anderson has not been especially impressive this preseason, but Leinart has been especially unimpressive. In short, this is almost the worst case scenario that the Cardinals have been fearing.

UPDATE: There are rumors starting to pick up that Leinart could be done in Arizona. Obviously, this is just speculation at this point, but the benching is a very gloomy sign for him.

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 11:09 pm

NFC West Podcast Preview (Feat. Doug Farrar)

Posted by Will Brinson

Okay, so I actually recorded this NFC West podcast with the inestimable Doug Farrar -- of Football Outsiders, Shutdown Corner and Washington Post fame -- a week ago today, but because of scheduling stuff and other things, I didn't get a chance to post it in blog form until now.

However, this wouldn't be an issue for you if you were already subscribed to our iTunes feed , now would it? (I'll wait here while you fire up iTunes and get subscribed. Done? Excellent.)

Anyway, Doug, a Seahawks fan by nature and a football expert by craft, and I discuss whether Sam Bradford should start in St. Louis, whether Pete Carroll can succeed in Seattle (and who the mess he'll start at running back), if Matt Leinart is the truth in Arizona, and if it's finally San Francisco's year.

So, go ahead. Click the play button. Got a question you want answered on the show? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will.brinson [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com

Oh, and also, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below. In case you forgot above.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com