During our conversation Wednesday, coach Ken Whisenhunt mentioned the improvements in the Cards’ running game and the ability for the Cardinals to have a more balanced offense if the situation calls for such. But when asked whether the transition from Kurt Warner to Matt Leinart was going to force an overhaul of the offense, Whisenhunt insisted it wouldn’t.
“Matt has been here for three years with us, he’s been in this offense, he understands the offense,” Whisenhunt said. “We’re obviously going to do some things with Matt that fit his skill set, things we didn’t do with Kurt — moving in the pocket, getting him out in open space, things Matt does well — but we have great confidence that Matt can execute the offense we have been running the last couple of years. He has shown progress in that.
“You look at a guy who has worked as hard as he has to improve at that position. He went through a competition with Kurt in the ’08 preseason and it was very close, and then you see Kurt play the way he did, you would naturally think Matt had to do something good to keep the competition that close.”
That doesn’t mean the Cards won’t run it a little more often, but, Whisenhunt emphasized, “I feel we are still able to line up and throw the football. Is the production going to drop? Well, Matt threw for 300 yards in the second half with four wide receivers against Green Bay (in the preseason) and he did a nice job in the New Orleans game right before the half moving us down the field.”
Obviously, the Cardinals have months to tinker with exactly how Leinart-as-starter and their offense fit together. And, as I have mentioned before, I think Leinart will be in a better spot to succeed without Warner looming in the background.
“We have seen things on the practice field from Matt every day, things everyone doesn’t see, that leads us to believe he is going to be a good quarterback,” Whisenhunt added.
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, Matt Leinart
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