Leinart Gaining Momentum, Lutui Re-Tendered

Ken Whisenhunt is apparently pleased with what he has seen from Leinart so far this offseason.  The Cardinals’ head coach recently told Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ Official Website that:

You see it in Matt’s confidence and how he sees the plays. His reads are much more decisive.  He is throwing the ball with confidence.  It’s obvious to me he’s more comfortable with the process. He understands the concepts of the plays … I am excited about what he has done in OTAs so far.   When you have gone through the things he has been through, as a high draft pick, playing some your first year and then not playing as much as you wanted the next few, you face a crisis.  How are you going to handle it?  To me, he has done well with that.  It was a struggle early and he has matured.  Having a family is definitely something that will make you grow up quickly and he has handled that well.  I have a lot of respect for Matt, what he has gone through and where he is right now.”

So far, the big news with Leinart seems to be an increased sense of confidence and purpose from the former Heisman Trophy winner, a sentiment that Leinart has confirmed.  Leinart’s explained that “my confidence is back.  It’s hard to explain … but I am good.  I have to keep progressing but I can’t wait.  I kind of want to just jump-start to the season and play.  It’s coming easier to me than it ever has.” 

It’s uncertain, however, whether Leinart’s accuracy and arm strength, which have been major sources of criticism, have made any significant improvements.  If it’s arm strength the Cardinals are after then they need look no further than backups Derek Anderson and John Skelton; both have incredibly strong arms.  Anderson, however, suffers from accuracy problems also, so it really doesn’t matter if Leinart flutters a pass out of a receiver’s reach or Anderson rockets it off target.  As for Skelton, there’s no way he’s ready to make a significant impact for the Cardinals this season.  It seems like the only legitimate option at quarterback besides Leinart would be free agent Marc Bulger.  Arizona, however, remains uninterested in the former Rams signal caller for the time being.

In other news, Arizona resubmitted its one-year, $1.76 million tender offer to Deuce Lutui today (6/2).  GM Rod Graves stated that they still want and hope that Deuce will finally sign the tender offer on June 15th, which would end a long, drawn out process to get Lutui in the fold. 

Presumably, Deuce would compete with Rex Hadnot and Reggie Wells for the right guard job.  Although Wells most likely has a leg up on Lutui because he’s been participating throughout the entire offseason, Deuce is considered the better option.  He was clearly the best guard on the team in 2009 and will most likely take the job if he does indeed sign his tender.  If Lutui beats out Wells for the right guard job, it’s possible that Wells could take the right tackle position from front runner Brandon Keith.  Moving outside to the blind side tackle (Leinart’s left handed) would be a big adjustment for Wells, which probably would not work out. 

To summarize, if Lutui signs his tender the offensive line would probably be Levi Brown, Alan Faneca, Lyle Sendlein, Deuce Lutui, and Brandon Keith from left to right.


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