The Arizona Cardinals have faced tremendous change this offseason, and I won't cover it all here. What I want to know is, do Cardinals fans trust head coach Ken Whisenhunt to deal with it all?
Particularly if Matt Leinart fails. And not just "fails to be Kurt Warner," but fails to be an NFL quarterback of any kind. Normally, one would say to themselves, "Self, Whiz has to work with what he has, and he didn't draft Leinart. He gave him a shot and it didn't work out. It ain't Whiz's fault."
The issue wouldn't be quite so sticky if Matt's former USC coach and current Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll hadn't said this:
"I know when [Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt] says to Matt, 'You're my starting quarterback,' it makes worlds of difference to Matt. I watched that happen when we had to choose between he and [Matt] Cassel years ago (in the spring of 2003). Matt was floundering. Cassel was floundering.
"But Matt had a look in his eye. He said what I think he probably said to [Whisenhunt]: 'You'll never regret this and you'll never have to look back.' And he just flipped and hit the switch. I think that's what he's been waiting for. I think he's going to be a terrific player. I don't know him any other way."
Basically, Carroll insinuated that Leinart requires unconditional love to flourish, and if there's one thing Whisenhunt hates, it's unconditional love. He demands tough-nosed football players that are self-motivated and aim to prove doubters wrong.
If it turns out that coddling is what made Leinart tick in college and Coach Whisenhunt's insistence on tough love somehow hampers Matt, who's to blame? Does Whiz get any flack for being stubborn in the way he develops players even though he was given the "key" to making Leinart go, or should Matt just take his ball and go home if he's going to cry?