Archive for category Kurt Warner

Quarterback Blurb Breakdown: Kurt Warner/Matt Leinart

Can Warner stay healthy and can Leinart succeed if he cant?

Can Warner stay healthy and can Leinart succeed if he can't?

It’s easy to just focus on Warner given the last few years.

While Matt Leinart has floundered with internet drinking photos, poor displays of prowess in his limited game action and perceived general lack of discipline, Kurt Warner keeps putting up great numbers.

At least that’s what it all looks like at first blush.

Warner certainly deserves the accolades for his 2008 season. 

His 4,582 yards were his second highest total ever (second to his 4,830 in 2001) and his 30 touchdowns marked his third highest total. He also finished the season, something he hasn’t done as a starter in – well, let’s just say ‘in some time’.

That’s you’re first red flag though. Call it luck, point to vastly improved offensive line play, say he got cybernetic implants – whatever the reason, he made it through the whole season without missing a game.

Never forget though, in his 11 year old career, he has played a whole season as a starter just three times.

Sure, discount 1998 when he wasn’t a starter or 2004 when Eli Manning stole his job. But historically, the man cannot stay healthy and at 38, isn’t getting more durable with age.

There is a fair chance he will get banged up.

Then why, you may ask, do I have him as a top quarterback?

Well, simply put he’s the starter on a dynamic pass-driven team with two of the best wide receivers in the game at his command. And no, I don’t expect Boldin to be traded at this point. Even if he was, Steve Breaston could step in very ably as well.

Even when he doesn’t play every game ­‑ like in 2007‑ he still put good enough numbers up to be a top 10 quarterback. The weapons at his disposal are just too good and if the blocking keeps up the sky could be the limit.

Which brings us to Matt Leinart who has to make some sort of showing in this, his fifth year  in the league.

He hasn’t done a whole heck of a lot thus far.

Leinart has athletic ability and I believe he has the general skill-set to succeed in the NFL, though after several years of a whole lot of nothing, I doubt he’ll ever reach an elite level.

As much as anything else, his head has gotten in his way. He was reportedly focused more during last season as well as this off-season but frankly I’ll believe it pays off when I see it pay off.

Still, since Warner has had issues with injuries in the past and the offensive weapons are outstanding, you have to consider Leinart. Given the value he could have, it’s worth thinking about snagging him as a security blanket for Warner later in your draft. 

However until you see Leinart have even a moderate version, don’t grab him early expecting him to easily replicate Warner’s numbers if the old man can’t finish.

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No Suprise Here – Warner signs with Cards

Sorry for some of the late updates today – short day for the kid and busy day for the other half.

So yeah, this comes as no surprise as Arizona and Warner agreed to terms on a two-year, $23 million contract. The deal includes a $15 million signing bonus which might seem a risk and fumble history, but coming off a year where he played so well and they came so close – what else were they going to do?

An excellent trio of wide receivers await Warner – and even if they cannot come to some happy end for Boldin, I think Breaston can easily step up and Early Doucet has potential as a #3.

But really, as much as I was intrigued by the San Fran flirtation, it was merely a shopping trip to gauge market value.

Aside from the WR Core, that offensive line made huge strides the last portion of the year. I am done saying they played over their heads. They finally jelled in a way which should make all the difference in a divsion which is – despite signings like Houshmanzedah – is no NFC East.

The Cards did what they had two nd should be fine over the next couple of years. The big question here is – what about Matt Leinart? Is he trade bait now, as is rumored or is he just a very highly paid back-up. Now, it’s been said he’s worked very hard the last year and a half but it didn’t show last preaseason and might not matter in this preseason. Is anyone going to trade with that contract and his big question marks?

They may just keep him sitting a while longer and hope that they can extend him cheaply enough to cover themselves when Warner is done. And really, that’s the biggest reason to trade him. Can they get him cheaply enough at the end of the contract to warrant keeping him aroudn when he is at best unproven, but in some circles might be called a bust?

Aside from Boldin, this could be the biggest question mark the Cards now fae the rest of the off-season.

But they have now solidified the pass game again. If they can add a running back to tandem with Hightower (who I think we’ve seen the ceiling on and it doesn’t involve 30 carry-bell cow status) the offense should fire off on all cylinders.

If the defense plays hard – it’s within this team’s capabilities to reach the playoffs again and we all know it’s just a short slip from their to a repeat in the big game.

But, um…. let’s get through the off-season first.

The Lost blog

Unfortunately I ain’t talking about the TV show. Blogger or my computer or something just wiped out the post I made and I can tell you – it was the greatest thing ever written.

But here are the quick hits on it:

Warner vs Leinart
I wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole. Yes, Matty L looked BAD this weekend. Yes, Warner can throw deep TDs. He also threw 17 INTs last year. Leinart didn’t throw an INT until this weekend and Warner hasn’t been Joe Montana in play so far. Honestly, Warner might be better from a fantasy perspective but he’s also going top make you pay if you get dinged for INTs.

And as HC Whisenhunt took issue with ESPN’s Chris Mortenson’s assumption Warner will be the starter, I’m wary of getting stuck with the wrong guy post-draft.

Chad Johnson
I love Chad – I mean as a journalist how could you not?’ ‘I need surgery, but I won’t get it because I really don’t need it?’ It’s not an exact quote but darn close. What’s not to love about Ocho Cinco?

Well, the fact that the shoulder could pop out again is a concern. That happens and if things tear too hard – well, bye for the season. The more you dislocate the easier it is to do and the more damage you do. If he can make it through the season he’s going to have tremendous value – I snagged him as a 3rd WR in a 12 team experts league – round 4. The key is – and this is critical – you have to cover your rear and make sure the WRs behind him are stable.

So don’t worry abouttaking him after you have at least your stud WR – if he drops like he has and you cover yourself, you can reap the benefits when he plays and protect yourself in case he can’t.

I think Johnson wants to play, probably can play but is likely to get hit hard and could miss games here and there. So no #1 WR spot for him, but plenty of value anyway.

Preseason = Injury-palooza
Merriman, Osi Umenyiora, Jason Taylor, Chad Johnson – the list goes on. Every year we hear about the injuries, every year someone critical goes down and every season a Fantasy Team gets nailed.

Now, this is reason #1 why you wait as long as you can for drafting a redraft league – just too much goes on. If you grabbed the Chargers or Giants D early, you may have a real issue. Merriman’s impact on that D is huge. Umenyiora’s injury has the Giants scrambling, moving players around and are calling Strahan. But of course, they draft to be deep – rotating lineman and linebackers in and out throughout the game. So it might only make them stumble.

Will we see a decrease in the amount of games? I can’t say – there’s a lot of cash wrapped up in the preseason.

We’ll have an early post tomorrow (shooting for 6:30 amPST/9am EST) and will be back on track all week so you’re ready to go Week 1.