In only one half of play, Leinart was 4-of-12 for 24 yards and tossed three interceptions. Although he rebounded with an impressive performance in the Cardinals preseason finale against Denver, Leinart was unable to convince head coach Ken Whisenhunt that he's capable of leading the offense. However, given veteran QB Kurt Warner's injury history in the latter stages of his career, Leinart must be ready if called into duty.
Although Warner may have won the quarterback competition by default, he has been a model of consistency since arriving in Arizona. Warner has played 30 games in a Cardinals uniform, throwing for over 7,500 yards 44 touchdowns while maintaining a QB rating of 88.3.
In addition to his on field contributions, Warner has been a tremendous leader in the locker room. Despite sitting behind Leinart in the early weeks of last season and throughout this offseason, Warner has been supportive of the Cardinals coaching staff and their decisions.
TE Leonard Pope
Joining Warner in the Cardinals starting backfield will be RB Edgerrin James and FB Terrelle Smith. In addition, rookie RB Tim Hightower and second-year FB Tim Castille will see plenty of playing time during the season. Hightower proved to be an excellent short-yardage back in the preseason while Castille's versatility allows him to be utilized in a variety of different ways.
Regardless of who is under center, the Cardinals offensive line will need to continue their growth in the trenches. Starting center Al Johnson has been out due to an injury but second-year center Lyle Sendlein has filled in admirably. At tackle, Levi Brown and Mike Gandy continue to show improvement and will parole the perimeter. Additionally, guards Deuce Lutui and Reggie Wells held off top backup Elton Brown and will protect the interior of the Cardinals offensive line.
Brad Wilbricht can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org