Quarterback could derail Cardinals’ season before it gets started

Merry training camp season, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the Cardinals massive issues at the quarterback position.

The Cardinals have a couple of weakness that could be discussed, including offensive tackle, cornerback and inside linebacker. But none of them will impact their chances this season like the quarterback position will.

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The curious case of Matt Leinart

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 14: Quarterback Matt Leinart  of the Arizona Cardinals is introduced prior to preseason NFL game against the Houston Texans at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Texans 19-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Whether it was his intentions or not, Ken Whisenhunt just started a storm of epic proportions in Arizona.

Whisenhunt made the announcement Thursday that Derek Anderson – not former first round pick Matt Leinart – would start in the Cardinals’ third preseason game on Saturday. Leinart of course, was being viewed as Kurt Warner’s replacement and has taken first-team reps throughout the entire offseason.

Now rumors have started to circulate that the Cards are ready to give up on Leinart and may even try to trade him before the season starts.

On Friday, Leinart lashed out and expressed his frustration with the situation.

“It is disappointing and a little bit frustrating. I can’t sit up here and say I’m happy and all smiles,” said Leinart. “If it is an open competition, then let’s have it that way from the start.”

Leinart has a point. Although he has done nothing in preseason to warrant being the regular season starter, he has also been given fewer opportunities to shine. He has attempted just 13 passes thus far (compared to Anderson’s 41) and while he has yet to throw a touchdown pass or move the ball with any regularity, Anderson has thrown two picks and has a worse completion percentage (58.5% to Leinart’s 76.9%).

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Browns to stick with Derek Anderson

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns are not considering a change at quarterback, which means Derek Anderson will remain the team’s starter.

The Browns are damned if they do, damned if they don’t in this situation. In Brady Quinn, they had a quarterback that didn’t make wise decisions, couldn’t throw the ball vertically, couldn’t hit receivers in stride and couldn’t lead the offense. In Anderson, they have a quarterback that doesn’t make wise decisions, can’t lead the offense and is completely turnover prone. But hey, at least he can throw the ball vertically; sometimes it’s directly to the other team, but vertical nonetheless.

Even though Anderson is incapable of moving the offense, Eric Mangini has to stick with him at this point because if he goes back to Quinn than it’s going to look like he has less of a handle on the situation than he already does. The bottom line is that Cleveland has one of the most inept offenses in the NFL and they don’t have a quarterback on the roster that can guide them out of the muck.

Unless…Brett Ratliff anyone?

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