Throwng Leinhart Into The Falcon’s Den Is A Mistake!
Why should we be surprised that it’s ‘Week 4’ in the NFL and already there are quarterback issues throughout the league? The Arizona Cardinals are running out of excuses and in an attempt to right the ship they have decided to bench veteran Kurt Warner and replace him with hotshot USC QB Matt Leinart.
The 35-year-old quarterback was intercepted three times: Once, with the team at the Rams 1-yard line and another at the St. Louis 14. To cap it off, Warner fumbled a snap at the Rams 18 with 1:46 to play as Arizona was positioning itself for a winning field goal.
ESPN.com reported on Monday night that the Cardinals were expected to start Leinart against the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday, citing team sources the Web site did not identify. Warner’s turnovers are what changed Green’s mind about starting his first-round draft pick, according to the report.
Now that the Cardinals have a spanking new stadium in Glendale, coach Denny Green is feeling the heat and is looking at an untested rookie who was late arriving to camp. Leinart did have a splendid preseason, but that was against passive defenses.
This Sunday he heads to Atlanta, Georgia to face a disgusted Atlanta team, who was raped and pillaged in front of the entire nation on Monday night in New Orleans. Coach Jim Mora Jr. spent many years in New Orleans as his dad is the most successful coach in the history of the Saints. Running back Warrick Dunn is a native of Louisiana and is beside himself after he and his teammates allowed Saints’ defenders to tee off on Michael Vick.
Back to Warner who finds himself in this precarious position for the third time in his career. After leading St. Louis to two Super Bowls in three seasons, he lost his job to Marc Bulger, and then signed with the New York Giants in 2004. He was the Giants’ starter for nine games, but was benched in favor of rookie Eli Manning.
Leinart is without doubt Arizona’s franchise quarterback of the future after the team took him with the No. 10 pick overall in April. The plan this season was for Leinart to watch and learn from the sidelines, but Green is an impatient coach who has not hesitated to switch quarterbacks in his uphill fight to bring a winner to Arizona. Green praised Leinart’s poise and performance in the preseason.
With a 12-23 record in two-plus seasons with the Cardinals, Green admits he has wondered at times whether he can turn around the long-suffering franchise.
I’m not convinced that Leinart is going to make it in the NFL, but regardless, why not let Warner play on the road in the raucous Georgia Dome and then start Leinart at home against Kansas City.
Trying to be heard on the road in a dome is next to impossible and at 1-2 this is no time to hit the panic button.
Atlanta has opened as a -7 favorite at the sportsbooks and if Leinart starts, I will be sports betting with both fists full of cabbage!
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructor at Pro Teach Baseball Academy, have made Bob a trusted and respected source in the sports world.