Tag:Matt Leinart
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 .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 8:42 am
Edited on: August 24, 2010 11:43 am

Leinart's starting job is in jeopardy

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After another subpar performance in what has been a career of subpar performances, people are questioning whether Arizona QB Matt Leinart’s starting job is in jeopardy. As Andy pointed out last night, Leinart was 4 for 6 for 28 yards against the Titans on Monday, and he led his team to a trio of three-and-out possessions.

Here’s Leinart’s response, as recorded by the Arizona Republic , and it’s part obvious and part … sorta … ridiculous.

"You want to move the ball better, obviously," Leinart said. "It falls on the quarterback. … You guys critique every play and think I'm not very good because we don't move the ball. I understand it falls on the quarterback. The game plan is small. I'm not worried about it. I know I need to play better."

I like that he thinks people think he’s not very good because he’s having a tough preseason. No, people think he’s not very good because he allowed Kurt Warner – true, possibly a future Hall of Famer, but he was an old future Hall of Famer in Arizona – to take his job in the 2008 preseason and because he’s completed 57 percent of his passes for 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in his career.

And because if Warner wanted to play another season instead of retiring, Leinart, once again, would be relegated to the bench.

That being said, I don’t know how the Cardinals organization could give the ball to backup Derek Anderson, who was absolutely horrendous last year for a bad Cleveland Browns squad.

Listen, I know Anderson was playing in a system that didn’t highlight his strengths – mainly his big arm – but if Leinart can’t keep the starting job that was thought to be his, I’d say there’s no hope Leinart will ever be a starting quarterback in this league.

"I think we had opportunities from all of our quarterbacks to make plays tonight," Whisenhunt said after the game, intimating that his quarterbacks didn’t actually make those plays. "I'm not panicked about it. It's a process you have to go through."

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 10:09 pm

Is Leinart really The Guy in Arizona?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Actions speak louder than words. This in mind, should we really believe the Cardinals when they say that Matt Leinart is their starting quarterback? Yes, Leinart started against the Titans Monday night. But Derek Anderson took over early in the second quarter. The Titans starting defense played through the second quarter; more importantly, so did the Cardinals starting offense. Thus, Ken Whisenhunt was deliberately getting Anderson reps with the first unit.

In the first half (i.e. playing with and against starters), Leinart was an unimpressive 4/6 for 28 yards. He quarterbacked three three-and-outs. Anderson was 9/16 for 98 yards with a small handful of costly inaccurate throws.

What stood out no matter which quarterback was under center was how much quicker Tennessee’s defensive line was than Arizona’s remade offensive line. The Cardinals offense has a lot of work to do.

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 5:54 pm

Cardinals-Titans: what (or why) to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

Matt Leinart and Vince Young are on the same field once again tonight. Don’t expect quite as many fireworks as four years ago in Pasadena. Both players are trying to get their respective 8-8 caliber teams over the hump. Problem is, both of these teams are 8-8 caliber in large part because of their quarterbacks.

If Leinart and Young don’t do it for you, here are a few more reasons to watch:

--Chris Johnson. If the Titans are smart, they won’t play the superstar running back more than one series (and if they’re really smart, they’ll sit Johnson the whole night). But that doesn’t mean the third-year sensation isn’t fun to watch. Whether he’s on the field or one the sidelines, count how many times ESPN cameras catch Johnson twitching his head. It’s one of those things where, after noticing it once, you’ll keep noticing it again and again and again and again. (Some people believe Johnson is flicking the dreadlocks out of his eyes. But that doesn’t explain why he twitches his head with his helmet on.)

--Titans tight end Jared Cook. Tennessee is hoping the second-year pro can assume a bigger role in the passing game. Expect Cook to get plenty of reps. He’s an outstanding raw athlete who also has the type of size that makes everyone around him look tiny.

--Cardinals rookie linebacker Darryl Washington. He’s essentially being asked to save Arizona’s depleted inside linebacking corps. How will he look on the big stage?

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 5:37 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2010 8:29 pm

Larry Fitzgerald's MRI reveals sprained knee

Posted by Will Brinson

Larry Fitzgerald left Saturday night's preseason game against the Texans early and was seen icing his knee on the sideline after taking a shot while reeling in a 16-yard catch from Matt Leinart.

There's nothing abnormal about Fitzgerald leaving a preseason game early, but there is something disconcerting about the (arguably) best wideout in the NFL having to have an MRI for a swollen knee. Which is precisely what Fitzgerald is doing, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic on Twitter .

Somers reports that Fitzgerald underwent the MRI Sunday morning and that the Cardinals "are hoping it's only a slight sprain."

Clearly, that's an ideal scenario -- the really problematic thing is that it might something much worse than "slight." There's no team in the NFL that wouldn't be hurt by the loss of a player of Fitzgerald's caliber, but the Cardinals in particular would be devastated, with Anquan Boldin gone and Matt Leinart under center.

Don't expect to see Fitzgerald hit the field for the rest of the preseason regardless, though.

Update: (6:00): Turns out, the results of the MRI were "good" -- it's just a knee sprain and Fitzgerald says he'll be "conservative with it for a few weeks." It's pretty safe to assume that Fitzy won't be helping your preseason fantasy teams.

Update (8:29): Turns out it's actually a sprained MCL, according to the Cards' official blog .

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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