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9-5-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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The Matt Leinart era is over, and the Derek Anderson era has begun. After an odd sequence of events over the last week and a half Leinart went from having a lock on his job to being on the street looking for a new team. Everyone here knows I wanted Leinart to be the starter (and I still do), and I did not have a lot of faith in Derek Anderson, but best of luck to Anderson now that he is the starter, and best of luck to Leinart wherever he goes. I hope that he can wind up having a good career with his new team.

Now, lets get on to the links.

Cardinals Announce Final Roster Cuts

Leinart's Days As Cardinal End
Quarterback cut; Whisenhunt chooses Hall to back up Anderson news: Cardinals release frustrated QB Leinart, will start Anderson
The Arizona Cardinals announced Saturday that they have released former first-round draft pick Matt Leinart, who lost the starting quarterback competition with Derek Anderson.

Thoughts on Matt Leinart's Arizona demise - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
Releasing Matt Leinart seemed unthinkable when the Arizona Cardinals opened training camp.

Leinart released
Coach Ken Whisenhunt just told quarterback Matt Leinart Leinart is getting released. Whisenhunt is meeting with the media at noon. - Finally official: Cardinals, Leinart part ways
While it would have shocked everyone just a couple of weeks ago, the Arizona Cardinals not surprisingly waived quarterback Matt Leinart Saturday.

Cardinals will cut Matt Leinart today |
Any moment now, Matt Leinart's tenure with the Arizona Cardinals will officially come to an end.

One snap away for Cardinals' Max Hall - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals saw some Kurt Warner-type qualities in Max Hall after signing him as an undrafted free agent from BYU.

Arizona Cardinals release Matt Leinart
The Cardinals released quarterback Matt Leinart on Saturday and appear ready to go with rookie Max Hall as the backup to starter Derek Anderson.

Source: Arizona Cardinals to cut ties with QB Matt Leinart - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals will release quarterback Matt Leinart, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

It's Official: Leinart Cut By Cardinals - SB Nation Arizona
Matt Leinart is now a free agent. I imagine there will be some interest in his services (Pittsburgh?).

Cardinals release former Heisman Trophy winning QB Matt Leinart - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL -
First he lost his starting job, then he lost his job altogether.

Next team will make or break Leinart - Don Banks -
Now that he's an ex-Cardinal, Matt Leinart's next call is by far the most pivotal one of his five-year professional career. Finding his next address in the NFL pales in comparison to the real challenge he faces: Finding the right NFL address, one that will provide him a chance to revive his reputation and rebuild his game.

No. 1 draft pick Sam Bradford will start at quarterback in Rams' opener -
No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford will start at quarterback in the St. Louis Rams' regular-season opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 12.

(Lets see how Dockett, Campbell, Porter, Wilson, and DRC introduce him to the NFL....)

Cardinals' trade affects Seahawks' line - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals' decision to trade guard Reggie Wells to Philadelphia helped the Seattle Seahawks land guard Stacy Andrews from the Eagles in a deal made Saturday.

Whisenhunt: Max Hall was our best QB in camp |
Appearing on Saturday's Notre Dame-Purdue halftime show (positioned just to the left of PFT's Grand Poobah), Peter King of NBC Sports revealed the details of his recent conversation with Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. According to King, Whisenhunt called Hall "the best of our four quarterbacks" in training camp.

Houshmandzadeh, Leinart lead the charge among final cuts - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
As expected, Seattle Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh(notes) and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart(notes) were the highest-profile players to lose their current spots as NFL teams reduced their rosters to 53 names by 6:00 EDT on Saturday afternoon. Houshmandzadeh was a bad fit with a new Seattle organization, and Leinart simply never lived up to the expectations that go with the top-10 pick status he received in 2006. Rookie free agent Max Hall(notes) clearly outplayed Leinart, and reclamation project Mike Williams helped make Houshmandzadeh expendable.

NFC West positional counts at initial 53 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The fun is only beginning for NFC West teams after the mandatory reduction to 53 players Saturday.

Matt Leinart Era Ends For The Cardinals With Surprisingly Little Fuss, All Hail Max Hall - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Here's the funniest thing about this entire Matt Leinart roller coaster: it just shows how incredibly effective Coach Whisenhunt and the Cardinals are when it comes to media manipulation. I am beginning to wonder if they don't have Karl Rove or James Carville consulting.

Matt Leinart couldn't win over Arizona Cardinals teammates
Everything you need to know about why Matt Leinart was released can be found in this quote about quarterbacks from Ken Whisenhunt on Saturday:

NFC West to be a dogfight between Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers
If the rivalry between the Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers has as much bite on the field as all the barking being done off it, the NFC West actually might have some teeth after all.

Arizona Cardinals' Adrian Wilson, Kerry Rhodes form stellar safety tandem
One thing about the NFL, you can always count on a healthy amount of boasting. When words are backed up with tremendous play, they carry a lot more weight. So when Kerry Rhodes of the Cardinals makes the following bold proclamation, you hope he and fellow safety Adrian Wilson can live up to the hype: "I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I think we're the best safety tandem in the league." Rhodes came to the Cardinals in a trade with the Jets and has no fear in making that statement.

Arizona Cardinals' Darnell Dockett barrels toward stardom
Sixteen years ago, the uncle answered the phone to horrific news. His sister-in-law had been murdered, and her 13-year-old son had discovered the body. "They said, 'Can you take him?' " Kevin Dockett recalled. "They didn't have nobody to take him." The uncle thought of that moment four days ago after that boy, now Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett, signed a $48 million contract extension, a reward for the hard work that has him among the elite at his position. The juxtaposition illustrates one of the NFL's better success stories and explains who Dockett is today: a player who approaches everything at full throttle.

Arizona Cardinals have reasons for concern, optimism
After two preseason games, coach Ken Whisenhunt was worried. After all the changes the Cardinals made in the off-season, his team looked like an Ikea box that had ripped open, scattering parts, screws and instructions. blogs - Dan Bickley - DanBickley - Cardinals laying it all on the line
Change can be violent and unnerving. In moments of chaos, the calming influence on a football team must come from those up front. They are the pile drivers, the human shock absorbers, the men who receive little credit. In Arizona, the offensive line will tell the story of the 2010 Cardinals. blogs - Dan Bickley - DanBickley - Hall ready to succeed where Leinart failed
Matt Leinart and Amar'e Stoudemire were supposed to be long-term superstars in Arizona. Now, their replica jerseys are irrelevant, hanging limp in closets all across Arizona.

TV talkers take stab at story lines for NFL season
The announcing crews of NBC's "Sunday Night Football" and ESPN's "Monday Night Football" weighed in on the NFL season.

NFL lockout for 2011 grows more likely
Enjoy this NFL season. Savor every sack, touchdown pass and a punt return, because a year from now the only NFL news might include fun words such as lockout, financial transparency and debt service. blogs - Kent Somers - KentSomers - Evaluating the roster
Some Saturday afternoon notes

Seahawks won't go for Leinart -
Don't look for Matt Leinart in Seattle. Persons close to the team tell me it's not going to happen.

Seahawks may have a split of opinion on Leinart |
As we try to compile a list of the potential suitors for quarterback Matt Leinart, a source with knowledge of the situation tells us that there are indications that the Seahawks have an internal split of opinion regarding the potential pursuit of coach Pete Carroll's former protege.

NFC West practice squad eligibility - NFC West Blog - ESPN
NFL teams can begin signing eight or fewer players to their practice squads once the players clear waivers Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals Release Matt Leinart: A Look At His Potential Landing Spots | Bleacher Report
In a surprising turn of events, the Arizona Cardinals released Quarterback Matt Leinart today after the embattled Kurt Warner heir apparent lost his Preseason battle with veteran QB Derek Anderson.

Derek Anderson Over Matt Leinart? Really Ken Whisenhunt? | Bleacher Report
Did Ken Whisenhunt watch Derek Anderson last year? Or even during the preseason?

Matt Leinart To The Pittsburgh Steelers, Could This Be His Road To Success? | Bleacher Report
Many things were expected of Matt Leinart when he came out of USC and was taken as the tenth overall pick in the 2006 draft. Unfortunately for him things have not panned out as he expected.

N.F.L. Roundup - Cardinals Release Quarterback Matt Leinart -
Four years ago, Matt Leinart stared into space, his megawatt smile dimmed by a 90-minute tumble through the draft, leaving him contemplating the twist in a klieg-lighted career that had included two college national championships and a Heisman Trophy. Leinart would almost certainly have been the first overall pick if he had left Southern California a year earlier, but on that day at Radio City Music Hall in New York, he could only drop his head into his hand when the Arizona Cardinals finally plucked him from his anxiety with the 10th overall pick.

Danny White not surprised by Max Hall's success with Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt insisted Saturday that there was no "watershed moment" when he was convinced that undrafted rookie quarterback Max Hall could handle being the team's backup and, it stands to reason, its future at the position.

Arizona Cardinals release quarterback Matt Leinart - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
The Arizona Cardinals have released Matt Leinart, parting ways with the former Heisman Trophy winner who was supposed to be the team’s franchise quarterback but couldn’t escape the backup role.

Arizona Cardinals cut ties with QB Matt Leinart - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals have released quarterback Matt Leinart, ending a rocky stint with the team that began with fanfare as he was drafted 10th overall in 2006 and ended this preseason with the former USC star taking a backseat to Derek Anderson.

Cardinals waive Matt Leinart after poor preseason - NFL -
The Arizona Cardinals have released quarterback Matt Leinart, ending a rocky stint with the team that began with fanfare as he was drafted 10th overall in 2006 and ended this preseason with the former USC star taking a backseat to Derek Anderson. - Bloom: Lack of confidence doomed Leinart
I guess sometimes guys can have intuition to. While Ken Whisenhunt continued to trot #7 out on the field in the preseason, I never felt there was a true confidence level in him nor did I feel like Leinart has ever regained the confidence, swagger and leadership ability he brought with him when he first came to the Valley in 2006.

Peter King floats possibility of Leinart in Houston |
Sports Illustrated's Peter King, with whom Mike Florio will presumably share "the big-boy table" at halftime of today's Notre Dame-Purdue game, interestingly floated on Twitter Saturday the notion of waived quarterback Matt Leinart resurfacing in Houston. blogs - Bob McManaman - BobMcManaman - Mac on the NFL: Jaws, Gruden weigh in on Leinart
Ron Jaworski, said Leinart’s situation is only a part of a bigger problem with the Cardinals. "If you compound that with the changes they made in the offseason, this has been a very difficult preseason for them," Jaworski said, citing the departures of Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin, plus changes up front on the offensive line. "… There’s been a lot of changes on that offense. It’s still a work in progress right now." Because of that, it was almost inevitable Leinart would be the one getting most of the blame, Jaworski added.

News conferences for Rams, Cards coaches - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Looks like we've got some news on the horizon.

NFL Cuts: Cardinals Release Matt Leinart, Why It Was a Smart Decision | Bleacher Report
According to various reports, the Arizona Cardinals have officially released quarterback Matt Leinart, and they made the right call.

NFL Cuts: Cardinals Release Matt Leinart, Is Derek Anderson The Solution? | Bleacher Report
According to both ESPN and, the Cardinals have released former first-round pick quarterback Matt Leinart.

Reason for concerns: NFC West - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
A capsule look at reasons for concern among teams in the NFC West:

Leinart never learned NFL isn't Hollywood - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Those who have watched quarterback Matt Leinart go through the motions of his college and pro career consistently come to the same basic conclusion about him.

(Notice how Jason Cole doesn't mention the 78 yard Touchdown pass when he starts talking about the Patriots game...)