The Arizona Cardinals and coach Ken Whisenhunt have a tough decision to make for this upcoming season. After posting an average 8-8 season, they are not too many wins away from a playoff spot, especially being in a weak division.

Will they start off the season at QB with the veteran Kurt Warner or third-year man Matt Leinart? Last season Warner was 9th in touchdown passes (27) in the NFL, while only playing in 13 games. Still, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt isn’t impressed enough to name Warner starter for ‘08. Instead, he’s going to have to battle it out deep into training camp with the former USC quarterback Leinart, who if the season started tomorrow, would get the nod.

For a team on the hinge of the playoffs this could be the difference between a winning and losing season. Some might question the thought process of Whisenhunt and the Cardinals going with Leinart early, especially considering his injury problems (sprained left shoulder, broken left collarbone), but teams aren’t that eager to give up on No. 1 draft picks.

If it was my decision, I would undoubtedly go with Leinart, who in my eyes still shows great potential. The Cardinals have a young, talented offense who can make up for the inexperienced Leinart with names like Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Edgerrin James.

But, don‘t sleep on Warner just yet, Leinart can‘t take anything for granted.

“It’s going to be a tough job for Matt to keep because Kurt played at a high level for us last year, and he’s been doing a lot of work in the off season and he’s looked sharp in these drills,” Whisenhunt said. “It’s not just quarterback. It’s any position on our team. That’s the way you’d like to have it.”

This one is going to play out well into training camp so stay tuned.

About The Author

Tom Gambone is a Blast Magazine correspondent

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