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Anderson The Man Once Again

Notebook: Veteran moves back into starting quarterback role


Derek Anderson has been reinstated as starting quarterback.

Derek Anderson probably would take a pass on meeting with the media altogether if he could, so after he was demoted from starting quarterback, it wasn't hard to keep a low-profile.

He kept preparing like he always did, doing his best to help the new rookie starter, Max Hall.

But there he was again Wednesday, in front of the cameras under the interview tree just off the practice field, the Cardinals' starting quarterback once again. Coach Ken Whisenhunt announced that decision earlier Wednesday, giving Anderson the nod for Sunday's game in Minnesota.

"I'm not saying on down on Max," Whisenhunt said. "It was a tough decision. We have to get better production out of that position as a whole."

Since the nuts and bolts of the quarterback merry-go-round have been hashed and rehashed many times already, Anderson instead got a little philosophical when asked why he plays quarterback in the NFL.

"I'm not going to say it's easy," Anderson said. "I play this for my teammates and is something I always did as a kid. I didn't understand the scale of how big it was until I got (to the NFL). It was more of a game to me, going out and having fun with my buddies and that's what I am trying to get back to doing. It is just a game. If I approach every down that way, I think I'll have more success."

Whisenhunt said the choice to go back to Anderson came in part because Anderson had done a better job moving the offense during his last two relief appearances. The noise at the Mall of America Dome in Minnesota was another factor.

"I think he is a little bit more in tune now, after having been away from it as starter for a couple of weeks, about what our expectations are," Whisenhunt said. "Hopefully that will help."

Whisenhunt said he will continue to keep the playbook pared down as he did with Hall. He insisted he wouldn't have a quick hook in pulling Anderson out of the game, saying that made it difficult for any quarterback. But he also didn't rule out in-game changes.

The Cardinals just want to find someone – anyone – who can provide stability at the most important position on the field.

"He's the guy who stirs the drink," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "That's the guy that's the master at the piano, that knows the system, that disseminates the information. … It's hard to win without a quarterback."

Anderson said he has been able to heal up during his time as a relief pitcher – "Kind of Mariano Rivera, bring in the big righty out of the pen," he joked – and insisted he understands the offense "more and more."

"I think Derek has shown at times he can do it the right way," Whisenhunt said. "If we continue to work with him and hopefully make an emphasis on being smarter and not making some of those mistakes, then we'll be more successful and that's what it is all about."


It wasn't the back of running back Beanie Wells that limited him in practice Wednesday but instead his right knee, which had some swelling. It was the same knee Wells had surgically repaired earlier this season, although Whisenhunt said he does not expect it to keep Wells out of the game.


Vikings quarterback Brett Favre didn't practice Wednesday, but Childress said he expects his signal-caller to be OK for Sunday.

"He's had different aches and pains as you would expect for a 41-year-old," Childress said. "But all in all, he played a pretty good game last week and he has reasonable health."


The big news around the NFL Wednesday was the Titans claiming wide receiver Randy Moss, but it was also the first day Childress addressed the media about the topic. In a conference call with Arizona reporters, Childress didn't want to get into details about why Moss was released, but he insisted it was not an emotional decision.

"You have to be careful of that," Childress said. "You can let things get emotional, but this is probably as flat-line a decision as I've made in this position."

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