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Max, Komar and Hall, are Cards’ Bubble Boys

Undrafted rookie wide receiver Max Komar stretches to haul in a 36-yard reception against Houston in week one of the pre-season.

It’s getting to that time of the pre-season when a few guys around the locker room are shifting in their seats a little.  While seasoned veterans and highly paid draft picks are contently chatting away, there are those in-between players that are hoping to still be seated where they are in two weeks.  Two such players for the Cardinals are a couple of undrafted rookies named Max that have so far made a big splash.  They are wide receiver Max Komar (Idaho) and rookie quarterback Max Hall (BYU).

“I know I got a lot of double takes, like, ‘Whoa, he’s on the roster?'” Komar said.  “But I have been dealing with that my whole life too.  I don’t look like your average NFL player when you see me from a distance, but when you see me on the field and how I work, people get a better appreciation of my game.”

Komar’s right.  At 5′,11″, 202 pounds, he doesn’t have the prototypical wide receiver build of a Stephen Williams or Larry Fitzgerald.  What Komar lacks in size, however, he makes up for in other areas.

“I probably fit that slot mold more than anything, but I like to play outside,” Komar explains.  “To be realistic, [I’m a] small little white [guy] moving quick at 100 miles an hour.  I do like the way (Welker, the Patriots’ star) plays and I like to pattern my game after him.”  Any wide receiver would do well to draw comparisons to Welker, so Komar picked a fine target to emulate.

Komar is certainly making a strong statement during the pre-season so far.  He was involved in scoring drives against both the Texans in week one and the Titans in week 2.  Against Houston, Komar caught a 36-yard reception down the sideline which led to a score.  Against Tennessee, he caught a 9-yard touch-down pass from Hall, splitting two defenders to find the endzone.  So far, Komar has 5 receptions for 84 yards with 1 TD in two pre-season games; not bad.

Rookie QB Max Hall delivers a ball during drills.

Rookie quarterback Max Hall delivers the ball during drills.

From one Max to another.  It’s a tough assignment to make your NFL debut on Monday Night Football, even if it is just the pre-season.  Hall was definitely nervous.  “I was a little bit more nervous than I thought I would be,” Hall told Sports 620 (Phoenix) KTAR’s Doug and Wolf on Tuesday (8/24).  Despite one rookie mistake, an ill-advised interception on third down into double zone coverage, he played a fine game.  In fact, he accounted for the Cardinals only touchdown of the night.  Hall moved in the pocket with the poise of a veteran and showed real polish with his delivery and touch.

“People can say whatever they want,” Hall remarked.  “They’ve been doubting me, my height, and my size my whole life. There are plenty of guys that are shorter guys and have had a lot of success and one of them just won a Super Bowl.  I’m just going to worry about myself and keep getting better.  I know I can play in this league, I know I have the mind for it, the personality for it.  I’m going to keep working at it and I think I’m going to be successful one day.”

Those sentiments ring with confidence.  Leinart utters similar remarks, but sadly it seems more believable from an undrafted rookie out of BYU.  Despite that, the problem for Hall is that the Cardinals only plan to keep three quarterbacks on the roster.  With John Skelton, the Cards’ fifth-round selection currently slated at number three, that leaves Hall one spot too far down the chart.  To make matters worse, the secret on Hall is apparently out, which may make it hard for Max to clear waivers to be re-signed to the Cardinals’ practice squad.

“Hopefully the Cardinals don’t look at me playing well as a negative,” Hall said of the national media saying the Cardinals won’t be able to hide him.  “I want to stay here.  I really, really love it here.  Coach Whisenhunt is doing a great job with us.  I think I’ve made that clear to them and they’ve made it clear to me that they want me here.”

It seems, therefore, that if the Cards want to keep Hall for themselves, they may have a very big decision on their hands.  I can’t imagine them carrying four quarterbacks on the final roster.


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