"Generally talking about the starting lineup is not something we do," coach Dennis Green said. "However, given the speculation that was out there we want to make it clear. We're disappointed after last week, but we still expect to be a playoff football team and we fully expect Kurt Warner to be the quarterback that leads us. That has not changed."
Sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that the Cardinals were planning to go with Leinart as their starting quarterback this week, but a team source said the Cardinals reconsidered overnight and decided that starting Leinart at this point in the season would put too much pressure on the rookie quarterback. The Cardinals will continue to monitor the quarterback situation and still could make a change later in the season.
Warner had an awful
performance in Sunday's 16-14 home loss to the St. Louis Rams. The
35-year-old quarterback was intercepted three times -- once with the
team at the Rams' 1-yard line and another at the St. Louis 14.
To cap it off, Warner fumbled a snap at the Rams' 18 with 1:46
to play as Arizona was positioning itself for what would have been
the winning field goal.
The Cardinals' ugly loss came in front of a sellout crowd of
63,278 in their new stadium, and many of them let Warner know what
they thought of his performance as he left the field.
"I'm not worried about that," Warner said Sunday. "I mean,
Warner was named NFC offensive player of the week after
Arizona's season-opening victory over San Francisco, but the
offense has produced just 24 points in subsequent losses at Seattle
and against the Rams.
Warner and center Alex Stepanovich have had problems with the
snap at times, even in pre-game warmups. Although he was seen
jawing at his center after the fumble, Warner told reporters that
the snap was good.
"I did my assignment," Stepanovich said, "and the next thing
I know the ball is on the ground."
Warner finds himself in this precarious position for the third
time in his career. After leading St. Louis to two Super Bowls in
three seasons, he lost his job to Marc Bulger, then signed with the
New York Giants in 2004. He was the Giants' starter for nine games
but was benched in favor of rookie Eli Manning.
Leinart is without doubt Arizona's franchise quarterback of the
future after the team took him with the No. 10 pick overall. But he missed most of the preseason after failing to come to terms on his rookie contract until just before the end of camp.
The plan this season was for Leinart to watch and learn from the
sidelines, but Green has not hesitated to
switch quarterbacks in his uphill fight to bring a winner to
Arizona. Green praised Leinart's poise and performance in the
With a 12-23 record in two-plus seasons with the Cardinals, Green
admits he has wondered at times whether he can turn around the
"I think any time a coach doesn't win enough, he's got to think
about that," he said. "I'd be crazy not to. I've won a lot of
games in my career. The question is I haven't won here."
At his regular Monday news conference, Green declined to confirm
Warner would remain as a starter, fueling speculation that Leinart
would get his first NFL start just four weeks into the season.
Green acknowledged following the Rams game that he was as angry
as he's ever been in his two-plus seasons as Arizona coach. He was
hired to build a winner by the time the team moved into its new
stadium this year. But the Cardinals are 1-2 going into the Falcons
game and 12-23 since Green took the job.
Neither Warner nor Leinart was available in the Cardinals'
locker room before the regularly scheduled team meetings Tuesday
Green also was unavailable.
Leinart told reporters Monday evening that he knew nothing about
being chosen to start and believed the job still belonged to
Wide receiver Anquan Boldin said in the locker room Tuesday that
he hadn't heard of any aborted decision to change starters.
"We get work with both of them in practice I think a decent
amount," Boldin said. "Whoever's in there, I'm going to back them
100 percent. I think any move coach Green makes is for the
betterment of the team."
The admittedly impatient Green has been known to make abrupt
quarterback changes. Even though the team had won three of four, he
benched Josh McCown in favor of Shaun King for two games in 2004,
then replaced King with John Navarre before going back to McCown.
The Cardinals lost all three.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.