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Bigger Than The QB

Posted Oct 4, 2010

As Whisenhunt mulls decision, Cards know issues run deeper than one position

Quarterback Derek Anderson talks to his offensive line during Sunday's loss.


Ken Whisenhunt was quick with an answer about his quarterback Monday.

“I think we’re going to go without one this week,” the Cardinals’ coach joked.

Not true, of course. Who it will be against the Saints remains undecided for now. As he had said Sunday, Whisenhunt still wanted to mull the decision on whether to go with Max Hall or Derek Anderson, to study more video from Sunday’s blowout loss in San Diego and to consider the entire body of work from both quarterbacks.

It isn’t strategic – “To be quite honest with you, I really don’t think New Orleans is scared who we play there at quarterback,” Whisenhunt admitted – as much as deliberate. To that end, neither Anderson or Hall spoke in the open locker room session, not that there was anything new to say.

The rest of the Cardinals, however, were talking. For obvious reasons, they weren’t taking sides in the quarterback situation. Knowing there needs to be an overall improvement, however, was quickly pointed out.

“The quarterback? It’s way bigger than that, man,” running back Tim Hightower said. “That’s not the only situation we are dealing with. It’s not a quarterback problem. We are having a consistency problem, killing ourselves, not playing as a unit. I don’t care if you bring Brett Favre over here, bring back Kurt Warner, it’s all 11 guys on offense.”

Whisenhunt reiterated such an “execution” sentiment. That’s why the open but incomplete bomb from Anderson to Stephen Williams loomed so large Sunday; it was a microcosm of the missed opportunities the Cards have had on offense.

The opening drive was another example. The Cards marched from their own 25-yard line down to the San Diego 22 efficiently, including conversions on two third downs. But then came the holding on Hightower’s touchdown run, and, on the next play, an ill-advised Anderson throw on second down that was intercepted.

“This team needs something,” injured wide receiver Steve Breaston said. “I said it the first game of the season, we have to make more plays, we have to hit more plays. There is stuff out there on the field you see it and it’s open, and somehow, someway, we have to make it happen, whether it is with the quarterback, the receivers, the offensive line.”

Whisenhunt said the coaching staff is considering changes beyond just quarterback. That, however was clarified with the idea he does not have a problems with practice or preparation from the current starters – just that it isn’t translating to the games.

Whisenhunt also wants to tread carefully before making any moves. “I don’t want to hit the panic button,” he said. “I’m not anywhere near that point. But (changes) are something you look at.”

As for the quarterback, Whisenhunt must decide if Hall is ready to be dropped into a unit struggling all around, including the offensive line – “We didn’t play good,” guard Alan Faneca said. “That’s easy enough to say right there” – and what the ramifications are with either Anderson or Hall stepping on to the field to take on the Saints.

Someone will be the quarterback.

“It’s part of the game, I guess,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said of a quarterback controversy. “Whoever plays, we will support them and work hard for them.

“I think Max would do a good job. He’s not a 23-year old rookie. He’s got a lot of poise and I think you saw it in the preseason he has a lot of fire. … But it’s Monday and coach hasn’t made any decisions yet.”

BEANIE’S PLACE

Running back Beanie Wells expressed frustration with his role after getting just five carries for 19 yards Sunday.

“It’s tough to be a guy on the sidelines that wants to play,” Wells said. “No discredit to Tim – Tim is a great football player – but I hate sitting there watching, I want to be contributing to the team. That’s something I am not pleased about. Obviously I can’t do anything to change that right now.”

Asked about certain short-yardage plays he was out, Wells said, “It’s crazy. I have no clue what they are thinking upstairs. I would like to know, but hey, but I am definitely not pleased about it.”

INJURY UPDATE

Safety Matt Ware (ankle) and defensive end Kenny Iwebema (knee) were the injuries that came out of Sunday’s game. Whisenhunt noted he said the team looked OK on the injury front last week and then Breaston needed surgery, so “what I am going to say as we sit here right now, I don’t anticipate, but I could be wrong, that we had anything serious.”
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