clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Max Hall Officially Named Starting Quarterback

Getty Images

Its official, Derek Anderson is done as the Cardinals starter after struggling through the first four games, and the team is moving on to Max Hall for Sundays home game against the New Orleans Saints.

I'm not sure many of us were expecting anything like this to happen before the season began. The thoughts were that Matt Leinart would be the guy, and if he couldn't get it done Derek Anderson would be plugged in while either Max Hall or John Skelton would be on the bench as the potential Quarterbacks of the Future. But then you know what happened, Leinart is hanging out at some hot tub in Houston right now, Anderson got a couple of games to prove that he was still the guy who went to the Pro Bowl in 2007 but he couldn't get it done, and now an undrafted rookie (albeit one who I'd say is pretty good for someone who went undrafted) is the starter going into a matchup with the reigning Super Bowl champs.

I was pretty high on Hall before the draft since I saw a few of his games at BYU and he seemed like a smart kid who could at least be a dependable backup, and I was hoping to see the Cardinals draft him in the 5th or 6th round. I also never expected him to go undrafted and I'm happy to see that we got him and Skelton (who could be good after he gets some time to develop), but I also never expected to see one of them being thrown to the wolves this early.

Obviously, something had to be done. The offense is struggling, and something has to be done to put a spark into it. Hopefully, Hall can be the guy. I believe that he can be a good Quarterback in the NFL, he seems like someone who is smart enough to get used to the game quickly, he even said that everything is already starting to slow down for him when he plays after the Chargers game. And I am looking forward to seeing how he progresses over the season.

After the jump, a look at his college career with BYU, and some thoughts on him from the BYU blog on Sports Blog Nation, Vanquish The Foe.

BYU Stats:
Max Hall
Completion %
QB Rating

Hall was pretty good in BYU, they went to a Bowl Game each year he was the starter (winning 2 of 3) and the biggest win I have found that he had looking at the schedules was a 14-13 upset of #3 ranked Oklahoma in the season opener of the 2009 season where he led a 16 play 78 yard drive (including a 4th down conversion) to take the lead. Of course, BYU is in the Mountain West Conference where the competition isn't as stiff as it is in conferences like the Pac 10 and the SEC, but he did play well in college in a solid program that had some good Quarterbacks go into the NFL like Jim MacMahon and Steve Young.

Now, lets take a look at what two people on the BYU Blog said about Max Hall:


"Max wasn’t the most amazing passer we’ve had at BYU (granted, we’ve had some amazing QBs), but he was stable as long as the going was good.

Here’s my take on the specific questions you asked:

1. Accuracy and Arm Strength
Hall was amazingly accurate on short (5-20 yards) passes, but as you guessed, his accuracy diminished as it went longer. I’d say anything over 35 yards was a toss-up. But if you’ve got someone to run under a long ball, he get it out there decently. John Beck had a stronger arm, but I think Max was much more accurate on short. Grade: B+

2. Mobility
He was much more of a pocket passer, but he had that internal clock that allowed him to step out when needed. He never liked to slide. Some might call that stupid, but he was such a fighter than he’d rather try to hit someone than slide or go out of bounds easily. Even with his fight, he wasn’t fast or agile. Grade: B-

3. Leadership
Here’s where Max made his mark. He was such a fiery guy that you couldn’t help but listen to the guy. His passion and fight was evident on (and sometimes off) the field. He demanded respect and people listened. Grade: A

4. Defenses
Like many pocket passers, he struggled when the defense was fast and gave him pressure. But he knows how to read the blitz and get the ball out. He really struggled when the DBs were very fast and covered our slower than normal receivers. I’m not the one to say that he struggled against a 4-3, 4-4 or whatever.

The biggest problem Max had was that once he got behind (which wasn’t often), he would force things. So when a team went ahead two touchdowns (which happens when going against a top 25 team), he fell apart. As evidenced by the score on his losses, it was difficult for him to settle down and put together a solid come-back from more than 2 touchdowns. But if it was close, he could put together that final drive to finish them off (see BYU vs Utah in 2009).

Overall, Max is a solid QB. To be honest, I’m surprised he is in the running for the starting spot in his rookie season. Not because he isn’t capable, but because too often the NFL is all about size and speed and Max doesn’t have either.

Once he learns to settle down when he’s down by a few TDs, he will be a great QB. Hopefully he has a chance to learn that in AZ. The Cardinals are now one of the (very) few NFL teams I care to follow."

"I sat 16 rows up for Max’s entire career at BYU and the guy was just a winner. EVERY SINGLE GAME we went into with him as the starter, I honestly thought we were going to win. He played with more guts and passion than just about any starting quarterback I’ve ever watched for so long in person. He just keeps coming and coming and coming. He never gives up. I’m not surprised he’s a QB so soon in the NFL; I’m surprised the Cardinals didn’t have QBs in the cupboard behind Warner and have to throw a rookie to the wolves. I hope Max survives. He had an average arm, but was deadly accurate, and he was a pretty good scrambler. Great pocket sense. He loves to throw to skill – he will lock into the best players on the field (Austin Collie, Dennis Pitta, Harvey Unga) and always knows where they are on every play and finds ways to get the ball to them. Larry Fitzgerald will become his favorite target."

If anyone else from the BYU Blog has anything to add later, I'll post it here.

So, how do you feel about Max Hall becoming the starter for now, and what do you think of what the guys from the BYU Blog had to say about him?