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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Matt Leinart: Kurt Warner ran the 2008 Cardinals, not Ken Whisenhunt

Ken-Whisenhunt-ChargersOne of the main reasons Ken Whisenhunt is a respected coach in the National Football League is the success he had with the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. With Kurt Warner as his quarterback, Whisenhunt led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to Matt Leinart, it was Warner who got the team there — not Whisenhunt.

Earlier this week, Leinart told FOX Sports Live that he does not believe Whisenhunt will be a good fit with the Tennessee Titans.

“I don’t think it’s a great fit, and I don’t think it’s great timing, and here’s why,” Leinart said, via Vince Marotta of ArizonaSports.com. “You look at his tenure in Arizona — only two years, he had success, and in those two years, Kurt Warner ran that football team — I was a part of it.

“Every single Monday, Kurt Warner would come in and implement 20-to-30 new plays which he would say, ‘I want these in my game plan.’ We became a spread offense and we became Kurt Warner’s offense. Then Kurt Warner retires, they go 5-11 twice and they go 8-8.”

Without Warner, the Cardinals would not have had the same success they had five or six years ago. The same could be said of a lot of teams with great quarterbacks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the head coach deserves no credit.

Look no further than the 2013 San Diego Chargers, who ranked 5th in the NFL in total offense this season with Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator. A year ago, the Chargers finished the 2012 regular season ranked 31st in total offense. That team had most of the same pieces that Whisenhunt had to work with this season. That certainly tells you something.



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