The Cardinals hope Matt Leinart becomes the kind of franchise quarterback that Kurt Warner once was with the St. Louis Rams.
Warner topped 3,400 yards four times in his career, doing so in 2007 for the first time since 2001. The Cardinals want Leinart to become a comparable passer. Ken Whisenhunt all but guaranteed a starting role for Leinart in 2008. Leinart needs to concentrate on a strong start and not let Whisenhunt regret the decision.
Leinart showed little to no progress between his first and second season. In 2006, he completed 56.8 percent of his passes and threw 12 interceptions in 12 games. In 2007, he hit on 53.6 percent of his throws with four interceptions in five games.
Leinart first moved into the starting role after Warner's rocky start in 2006. Next season, Leinart will replace a born-again star rather than an inconsistent journeyman.
Whisenhunt offers the opening snaps to Leinart as long as he makes a good impression during the offseason workouts.
"[Whisenhunt] made it clear I am the quarterback, which I feel I deserve to be," Leinart said. "[But] I have to go out and prove myself. I know that. I'm not dumb."
Either way, Leinart will spend a lot of time under Warner's wing.
Notes from the Nest
Quarterbacks Tim Rattay and Tim Tim Hasselbeck are unrestricted free agents and neither is expected back. Both were signed in October after Leinart went on injured-reserve with a collarbone injury.
Rattay played in four games, completing 15 of 27 passes with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Hasselbeck's only action came in the season finale, when he took a knee to end a 29-point win over the Rams.
Whisenhunt would like to draft a quarterback in the middle to late rounds of the draft, so that the rookie can learn under Warner for a year before moving into a backup role. Warner has one year remaining on his four-year contract, after which he is not expected to return.
Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications.
Quarterbacks Off-season Analysis
CardinalsSource Top Stories
No consensus on Cardinals pick per mocksThe Arizona Cardinals hold the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and a wide variety of prospects on both sides of the ball have been projected to end up with the franchise.
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 9:27 AM
Cardinals' draft profile: Tre'Davious WhiteThe Cardinals love defensive backs from Louisiana State, but would they be willing to reach at No. 13 for a prospect like Tre'Davious White who could be available later in the…
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 8:13 AM
Cardinals' draft profile: Hasson ReddickThe Arizona Cardinals signed linebacker Karlos Dansby this offseason, but that may not stop the franchise from taking a long look at Temple's Haason Reddick in the first round of…
CardinalsSourceYesterday at 7:31 AM
Cardinals' draft profile: Kevin KingThe Cardinals lost cornerback Marcus Cooper to free agency, which means the team will likely be in the market for a cornerback early in this year's NFL Draft.
CardinalsSourceSunday at 1:17 PM