Coach Whisenhunt obviously spoke to the media yesterday about the situation at quarterback. While the head coach tried to downplay the QB swap, it’s a tough sell. The NFL, the media, and the fans love a good quarterback controversy and the Cardinals have a good one brewing now.
“A lot of people see this [game in Chicago] as a dress-rehearsal game,” Whisenhunt said. “We don’t look at it that way. There are a still a lot of things we are trying to find out about our team, from a personnel standpoint to schemes, all kinds of aspects.” Well, that’s a pretty scary thought considering it’s the third pre-season game. You’d hope to have major evaluations, like the starting quarterback, substantially figured out by this point. Things, however, don’t always go according to plan.
The coach went on to discuss some motivating factors that lay just below the surface. “There is thought put into this,” Whisenhunt said. “We are evaluating not only how Matt handles this but how other players handle it.” Leinart, therefore, should think twice before he pouts on the sideline, something that Cardinals fans have already observed. According to Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ official website, Leinart wasn’t around to comment on the roster move. He decided to check down and avoid the blitz.
Whisenhunt wasn’t the only Cardinal downplaying the whole thing. Derek Anderson did his best to keep the situation under control. “I just got some reps with the first team today and I don’t know where we’ll go from here,” Anderson said. “We’ll continue to work and get better every day and we will see what happens. It’s not my first time. It’s not my first time. I think the last couple weeks have been pretty good and I just want to keep building on that.”
Whisenhunt reiterated that the move at quarterback isn’t permanent and that the team can’t pin the offensive woes solely on Leinart. The fact of the matter, however, is that Anderson has now accomplished two things. He has his foot in the door and he has the attention of the entire team. Whisenhunt also mentioned that while he’s evaluating Anderson’s performance and Leinart’s reaction, the head coach will be watching how the team as a whole responds to Anderson’s leadership.
Whisenhunt pointed to the fact that Greg Toler and Daryl Washington are also new starters this week to lend credibility to his position that the Cards are just “flipping the script” for a week, rather than making final decisions. Both of these depth chart updates are welcome changes. Trumaine McBride looked really bad against Tennessee and Washington has definitely been playing well enough to get the nod at ILB over Monty Beisel.