Whisenhunt Taking Practical Approach
It’s been a rocky summer for quarterback Matt Leinart. Aside from rumors he may have been dating the bachelorette, everything has been negative. The Cardinals started off by bringing in Derek Anderson showing their lack of confidence in Leinart, and by week three of the preseason, they pissed Leinart off by benching him. Now, the reports are saying the Cardinals are trying to trade Leinart.
Leinart says the benching was unfair and that he’s outperformed the other quarterbacks. He thinks Coach Ken Whisenhunt has something against him personally. Leinart’s supporters cite the quarterback’s high completion percentage and impressive quarterback rating this preseason as evidence he didn’t get a fair shot. While I can’t argue that those particular stats look good, I do agree with Whisenhunt’s decision and handling of the situation.
Whisenhunt has given Leinart plenty of chances to win the quarterback job but Matt failed to seize it. Even as recently as 2008, Leinart had the first crack at the starting job before bombing in the third game of the preseason, leading to Kurt Warning taking over and sending the team to the Super Bowl. Having Warner as the team’s starting quarterback the past two years, Whisenhunt knows what he needs out of his quarterback for his team to be successful. Obviously he doesn’t see it from Matt.
See, Whisenhunt could roll with Leinart and be a six or seven win team, but he wants to win the division. He knows the upside is limited from Leinart who does not have a strong arm. Derek Anderson isn’t exactly the answer for Arizona, but at least Whisenhunt knows Anderson gives them a chance to move the ball and make big plays. With their speedy receivers — Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, and Early Doucet — a quarterback with an arm is necessary. Anderson is unstable as a starter, but he has the upside Leinart does not offer. Matt can play quarterback in the NFL, but a team won’t be very successful with him as its starter.