Warning: this post contains a smidgen of overreaction, a dollop of tongue-in-cheek goodness, but also a healthy tablespoon of honesty.
Look, we all want Matty-Matt Leinart to succeed. Or not, if you're the national media or any form of media outside of Phoenix. I want him to succeed, too, despite this little blog entry.
But sheesh ... in two preseason games, the Cardinals' offense has been impotent.
Yeah, yeah, I get it: it's preseason with vanilla game plans and all that. But all teams are basically playing the preseason off-the-cuff. No head coach is putting together complex schemes to beat the opposition's fringe players and rookies. So all teams are on the same playing field -- no pun intended.
And the Cardinals offense still looked like a steaming pile.
I think we can all agree that there's no way Derek Anderson is starting. So, basically, it's Matt or bust at this point, and I think we should consider "bust." OK, Matt's been relatively steady and not made any really stupid mistakes, but he also apparently hates first down markers and he hasn't accumulated any points.
Now, a lot of the problems fall on the abhorrent play of the offensive line, but despite that, I don't feel like Matt Leinart is a dynamic quarterback. While the Cardinals defense is likely to be better than last year's middle-of-the-pack D, a team's defense needs to be lock-down if their offense isn't going to generate points, and so far they haven't been able to generate points under Leinart. Matt's a Kyle Orton-esque game manager, at best, but not a game changer.
Rookies Max Hall and, in particular, John Skelton, have the potential to change games. So I say, "What the hell?" Go ahead and put one of those guys out there to start the last two preseason games and get in some first-team play. Yeah, they may make some big rookie blunders, but both of those guys seem to have the talent and the chutzpah to go for the big plays when they're needed.
Even if Leinart has a decent year, I don't get the feeling many people think he's the long-term solution in Arizona. He's mostly a stop-gap until Hall or Skelton -- both guys coach Whishenhunt drafted, rather than a leftover from a previous regime -- develops at the position.
I'm a fan of throwing rookies into the blazing fire. While book-learnin' is fantastic, I think the only real way to learn is through experience and repetition, learning from real life mistakes.
And honestly, I don't think the Cardinals would be much worse off with a rookie under center than Leinart. Either way, the other 52 guys on the roster will be working harder than they should be to compensate, but I'd rather that extra work go toward brightening the future than dog-paddling in the present.