The preseason is over. That’s always nice to say.
Where things go for the Cardinals from here, we will see. Sometime in the next day or two – the team must be shaved to a 53-man roster by 3 p.m. Arizona time Saturday – we all get to see who is in and who is out. Obviously, everyone is waiting to see what will happen with Matt Leinart. Could he still be traded, after the report that agent Tom Condon has been given permission to work one out? Could Leinart simply be released, something that multiple media outlets have speculated could happen?
Heck, could Max Hall have played his way into being Derek Anderson’s backup?
Coach Ken Whisenhunt pumped the brakes a bit on the Hall hysteria after Thursday’s game. “You have to understand this was preseason, and they weren’t doing a lot defensively,” the coach said. “Sometimes you get a little too excited about those situations.”
“But,” Whiz continued – and it was an important but – “I like the way he handled himself and I like the way he handled our team.”
Handling the team was one of the catch phrases Whiz kept bringing up when he was talking earlier in the preseason about Anderson and Leinart. Hall was impressive Thursday, and he certainly doesn’t lack for confidence. He said “absolutely” when I asked him if he’d be comfortable being a rookie backup. I don’t doubt it.
— That, of course, means Leinart would be moved. I’m not sure he can be traded, not with a contract that would force a team to play him $12 million next year. But when an agent gets permission to shop – and let’s assume that happened – it includes talks of contract restructuring usually. That could help.
— Leinart, not surprisingly, was saying nothing of substance after the game. He said a couple of times he hadn’t been thinking about his future or what will happen, and I would be willing to bet a lot that’s almost all he has been thinking about. But what else can he say right now? That he wants to play for Pete Carroll again? Of course not. So he’s right. He has to wait. But I don’t doubt that wherever he is playing, he probably hopes it isn’t Arizona.
— It sounds like Deuce Lutui is just about in a place to get back to starting. “Deuce has been playing pretty well, consistently during the preseason,” Whisenhunt said. “I haven’t been displeased with his play. That has not been the issue. The issue is obviously what we’re all well aware of.”
Lutui’s weight problems, of course.
“Once he gets out of my doghouse, I think he’ll be fine,” Whisenhunt added.
The guess is Lutui will supplant Reggie Wells sooner rather than later in the lineup.
— The Cardinals finished 3-1 in the games that don’t count, eclipsing Whiz’s win total from the previous three preseasons combined (two). “I don’t know how comfortable I am being 3-1 in preseason,” Whisenhunt quipped.
— I think Max Komar, the undrafted rookie wideout, has made this team. I wonder if Monty Beisel’s play – an interception and sack at linebacker – may have saved him. I believe this team will look hard at the waiver wire this weekend, and that the 53-man roster we get first will not be the roster than climbs on the plane to St. Louis.
— It looks like Sam Bradford has wrapped up the starting QB job for the Rams, which means Darnell Dockett will get his wish when the Cards visit St. Louis for the season opener. This defense was praying that would happen, even if Bradford may eventually turn out to be the real deal.
— Finally, Beanie Wells is OK. He could have gone back in, he said. But no reason to risk it. That’s what the fourth game of the preseason is about – minimizing risk.
And, maybe, reshuffling the quarterback depth chart.
Tags: Beanie Wells, Darnell Dockett, Derek Anderson, Deuce Lutui, Ken Whisenhunt, Matt Leinart, Max Hall, Max Komar, Monty Beisel, Pete Carroll, Rams, Redskins, Reggie Wells, Sam Bradford
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