Why Wait This Long To Turn On Matt Leinart?

Bleacher ReportContributor IAugust 30, 2010

CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Matt Leinart #7 of the Arizona Cardinals walks in the bench area during a preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on August 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Bears 14-9. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After the Arizona Cardinals played their second preseason game,  Matt Leinart was benched from his very short lived starting quarterback gig.  In his place, they started Derek Anderson, an ex-Cleveland Brown Pro-Bowler, who has a big arm, and trouble making the correct decision.  

He got benched after putting up these numbers: ten of 13, passing for 77 yards, and no turnovers or touchdowns.  The stats do look good; however, in his two games starting he didn't lead his team to a single first down.  

The stats aren't that bad.   He is hitting his running backs and assuring himself that he won't turn the ball over.  Now, there is good and bad to his conservative play.  The good is that he isn't turning the ball over, and showing that he can make the right decision.  The bad is that he just wasn't moving the ball up to that point.

Apparently Ken Wisenhunt just doesn't believe in his young quarterback, because on Saturday night they went on the road to play the Chicago Bears in their third preseason game with Derek Anderson starting the game.  

This is where they lost me.  Why give up on him before he even plays a game that matters this season?  It's the preseason!  Have you given it any thought that Leinart just doesn't want to hurt any of his weapons so he's being careful where he throws the football?

If you watch Aaron Rodgers throw the football all over defenses for four games, its a good sign, but that doesn't mean you know what's going to happen during the regular season.  

Right now teams are trying to hide as much as possible, so how can we truly judge a quarterback if he doesn't even have the whole offense to work with? And let me tell you, they aren't going to hide the unimportant things.

It's fairly obvious that Ken Wisenhunt had very little faith in Matt Leinart, so why not tell him he's at least competing for his job?  Competition brings out focus in people.  If your quarterback is focused, he plays better. So maybe, just maybe, that's what Ken Wisenhunt is trying to get out of his quarterback, although it is a month too late.

Matt Leinart went nine for 10 for 84 yards and a touchdown coming off the bench against the Bear's second string defense.  Once again, showing he can play efficiently and not turn the ball over.

In the Cardinals' defense, Derek Anderson does have a stronger arm than Leinart, and he was a Pro Bowl player in 2008.  Also in his start, Anderson played well against a mediocre Bears team going seven of 12 for 94 yards and a touchdown.