There has been an awful lot of love given to the Arizona Cardinals' second string quarterback on this site and around the internet the last few weeks and somewhat deservingly so. He looked great in his preseason appearances for the team. The problem is, it was just that, preseason.
Hall played against third and fourth string defensive players fighting to make a roster. He didn't play against the league's elite like he will if anything happens to Derek Anderson.
Cardinals fans are falling prey to what I like to call the "PBG" or "Preseason Beer Goggles".
Just like how people get more attractive with each passing drink at a bar, the same can be said for athletes and preseason games. An athlete, who wouldn't otherwise play in a regular season game, becomes much more attractive to fans with each passing game. Fans fail to account for the talent the player is going up against and instead begin to believe they would perform the same way against starters or in a game that actually means something.
As it is with alcohol and attractiveness, bench players' preseason performances and fan love happens incrementally.
PBG starts simply, with the highly touted and early round draft pick who looks to have fully reached his potential already in preseason. This is the equivalent of one beer. Most likely your eyes aren't deceiving you too much but there is still likely a learning curve that will come in the regular season.
The two beer equivalent is the older veteran who all of a sudden shows flashes of his younger self. Sure, it might be for real, but you better take a good long look before believing what you are seeing.
Then there's the young late round pick who looks good enough to crack the rotation or the four beer equivalent. In all likelihood, in reality things probably aren't as good as what you think you are seeing. The guy may look like an eight or nine right now but in the light of sobriety --the regular season-- he'll probably look an awful lot closer to a four or a five.
Which brings us to the Max Hall level or the "too many beers to count" stage. Yes, what you are looking at probably has "potential" but they aren't close to reaching that potential right now. When sobered up you realize that you probably should have waited a year or two for this one to "grow into" that potential before putting it in your "starting lineup".
I'm not saying I don't like Max Hall, it's actually quite the contrary. I think he, and John Skelton, are the first true young quarterback prospects the Arizona Cardinals have had since Jake Plummer. With that said, the reality of the situation is that both have a lot left to learn and they should be doing that learning while holding clipboards on the sidelines rather than taking snaps on the field.
If you fell in love with Max Hall and think that he could step in right now, be careful what you wish for. You are one Derek Anderson injury away from a sobering wake up call. Hall, despite his maturity, is still an undrafted rookie and there is an adjustment period necessary for him to be ready for the NFL regular season. Be patient. He'll get there.
Max Hall as the Cardinals starter will come with quite the hangover, one that could easily lead to a 4-12 season. It's called preseason for a reason. If everyone could look good in the regular season, there would be no need to have exhibition games at all.