What might have been?

<!--Default NodeId For Kordell Stewart is 664678,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:664678]>Kordell Stewart</A> was a hot commodity during the offseason. The <!--Default NodeId For Arizona Cardinals is 112,2003--><A HREF=http://cardinals.TheInsiders.com>Arizona Cardinals</A> courted the veteran quarterback, before he decided to sign with the <!--Default NodeId For Chicago Bears is 115,2003--><A HREF=http://bears.TheInsiders.com>Chicago Bears</A>. Now Stewart will face the Cardinals in the dessert heat.

As game temperatures are expected to be well over 100 degrees for the Bears trip to Tempe, Stewart pondered what it would be like playing in Arizona this winter rather than facing the harsh weather of Chicago.

"Man put the top down every once in awhile come December," Stewart said. "Man, that wind will cut between you in these parts. But it came down to common denominator, which is winning."

While the Bears are a team trying to turn things around, they are light years ahead of the Cardinals. Arizona also signed a veteran quarterback during the offseason, in Jeff Blake, but they don't have a quarterback of the future.

Emmitt Smith is now in the Cardinals backfield, but the NFL's all-time leading rusher is 34 and didn't reach 1,000 yards rushing for the first time since his rookie campaign of 1990.

Stewart admits the chance to play with Smith was intriguing, but the chance to win ruled his decision.

"It's like when you buy that car. It's nice and clean and the paint job is perfect," Stewart said. "Sometimes you've got to get under the hood to see what is really going on sometimes. Those cars look nice, it's just under the hood I just saw a few extra cylinders. Instead of a V-8 I saw a V-10 with a chance of a V-12. So, with my addition to this team we hope we can have a V-12. Something that can get on the highway and just run."

Stewart will play most of the first half against the Cardinals and start the second.

"It's still the preseason but we're going to go out and try some different things compared to what we've done in the past couple weeks," Stewart said.

Chris Chandler will get one series with the first team during the opening half.

The entire offensive is expected to play into the second half, which will give the best indication so far how the running game is coming along.

"Hopefully, we'll take a step forward," said head coach Dick Jauron. "We know they're a good football team. I don't think their defense has allowed but three points, hasn't allowed a touchdown. So, it'll be a stiff challenge for us. It'll be good."

News and Notes
Following practice Thursday morning the Bears boarded a plane in route to Arizona for their Friday match-up with the Cardinals (9:30 p.m. on NBC5).

Warrick Holdman left the workout with an injury to his right ring finger, but is expected to play tomorrow.

"He just went in early to ice it," Jauron said. "Tim (Bream the team trainer) said he should be okay. I think that's really about it."

Jauron wouldn't say who is going to start in place of the recently traded Ted Washington, but a three-man rotation of Alfonso Boone, Bryan Robinson and Keith Traylor will split time in the first half.

"We've always liked to play our big play people on defense in a rotation," Jauron said. "So, we're planning on those three guys to play most of the first half or all of it. Then the three that are left play the rotation in the second half. So, we'll get a good look at a lot of people."

Rosters have to cut down to 65 on Tuesday, so this could be the last chance for several players to make an impression on the coaching staff.

"As you know some of them are maybe closer to the line than others," Jauron said. "They really need to step up every week and prove themselves."

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