Backup quarterback Matt Leinart said he is "working hard" and just waiting for an opportunity to play for the Cardinals.
When he stands out on the practice field and the first-team offense is given a play, backup quarterback Matt Leinart tries to visualize.
Kurt Warner walks to the line to run the play, and Leinart pictures what he would do if he were Warner – check this part of the defense, throw the ball to that receiver.
"A lot of times, it's where Kurt ends up going with the ball, which I think is pretty good," Leinart says with a chuckle. "Now, I am not Kurt or anything, but the mental part is better. When you know where you are going with the ball, it makes it a lot easier."
Leinart has long been a popular topic among Cardinals' fans, and perhaps no
moreso than now. Some are (surprisingly) frustrated at Warner's turnovers the past two games and wonder if Leinart could do better. Some just want to see Leinart get some playing time – and maybe a start -- during the regular season, especially with the team on the verge of clinching a playoff spot.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt wouldn't mind getting Leinart into a game either. But, as the cliché emphasizes, timing is everything.
The Cards haven't clinched yet, and of that Whisenhunt is mindful. Once they do, there are playoff seedings to consider and fight for, and the need to regain some chemistry on the field.
Remember, this is a coach on the staff of the 2005 Steelers, a team that got hot going into the postseason. Playing full speed through the end of the regular season seems to be more Whisenhunt's style. Even if the Cards are cemented into their playoff seed before, say, the finale against the Seahawks, it probably wouldn't behoove the Cards to sit Warner altogether.
When it comes to scenarios when Leinart could play, Whisenhunt simply says "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it." That said, Whisenhunt also says Leinart has "earned" playing time.
"He's worked his tail off and I think he has learned a lot watching how we have done some things," Whisenhunt said. "There will be a time when he gets to play and I expect him to do well."