Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinater Todd Haley isn’t going anywhere. Despite the best efforts of his former mentor Bill Parcells, Haley has accepted a contract extension through the 2010 season. In doing so, he has helped speed up the maturation of Cards QB Matt Leinart.
After being knocked out in the 5th game of the season, Leinart was in the clubhouse everyday, studying the playbook and film, learning the little things that he will need to do to be successful in this offense. Despite his early struggles, Leinart showed great poise in his limited starts in 2007, as well as handling the adversity that comes along with sharing the most prominent position on the field. Now more than ever, Leinart needs stability and continuity.
Remember that he was a rookie, thrown into the fire in 06, then forced to learn and entirely new playbook again in just his second year. Sports writers, broadcasters and all the other talking heads are calling Leinart’s injury a blessing in disguise, and I would have to agree. Let’s remember how well Arizona was running the ball with Leinart in the line up. It was much more balanced, as he is not the gunslinger that Kurt Warner is. That meant more touches for Edgerrin James, and in turn, better plays off of play-action. Let’s be honest, Warner doesn’t sell the play action at all, I mean he barely carries out the fake. Leinart is better at it, and the offense will be better at running the football with him in there.
Stability, Continuity, Consistency, Committment.
That is what this team needs, not just from its players but from a cohesive coaching staff as well. This team had the #12 ranked offense, with the #5 ranked passing game in the league. With Leinart back and a solid committment to the run game, this unit will be ranked in the top 5 in total offense next year!
Now all the Cards need to do is hold on to Russ Grimm and prevent him from taking that job in Washington once Bill Cowher turns it down. GO CARDS!!