The Arizona Cardinals did the fastest backpedalling of this young NFL season and renegged on the earlier reports that Matt Leinart would be their starting QB.
Reported via ESPN.com, Dennis Green of the Cardinals had this to say, "Generally talking about the starting lineup is not something we do. However, given the speculation that was out there we want to make it clear. We're disappointed after last week, but we still expect to be a playoff football team and we fully expect Kurt Warner to be the quarterback that leads us. That has not changed."
Other team sources suggest there was concern of putting too much pressure on Leinart, the 10th overal pick in this year's draft.
Based on Leinart's pedigree (pro-style college offense, Heisman winner, national champion, etc.), his long holdout from training camp, AND the amount of money he's making I say the Cardinals are simply fooling themselves if they think the kid isn't already the pinnacle of this year's high expectations class; Especially given the foregone conclusion in everyone's minds that Kurt Warner was as good as done before the year was out. Who had Week 4 in the Over/Under pool for Warner's demise as a starter in the desert? Anyone? Anyone?
All this means is Arizona tipped their hand before they wanted the naysayers to know. Leinart is not the future, Leinart is the here and now. The Cardinals brass just does not have the brass to pull the trigger given their new stadium opening (see: season ticket windfall) and now-eternal high expectations year in and year out. Seriously, when did the Caridnals become the annual "Sleeper Pick". It seems like every year the Cardinals promise bigger and bigger things and keep hitting the pavement with a lound SPLAT. The drafting of Fitzgerald started it. Followed by the bust-out campaiugn 3 years ago by Boldin. Last year they got Denny Green to save the franchise from their perpetual coaching revolving door. Now they have the "Edge" (James) and the "Pedigree" (Leinart) to open up things for their talented WRs.
What no one seems to advocate is their lack of push on both sides of the line where all good plays start and end. But hey, keep hoping Cards' fans. Maybe Leinart WILL start in Week 5 after yet another Warner INT. Then again, maybe the Cards will be backpedalling next week too. Sort of like their annual expectations.