Wednesday was "staples" day at Camp Cardinals.
In the morning the team partook in a Ken Whisenhunt training camp staple; ditching practice and going to the movies. In the afternoon the media partook in a training camp staple; trying to figure out if Matt Leinart has the moxie to be the next quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals.
Undoubtedly Coach Whiz had more fun at the movies.
He could have gone with Inception, the slick, complicated, confusing, maze of a movie that actually gets off on the fact that you have to guess how it ends. Instead he, and most of the team, chose The Expendables Stallone, Willis, Schwarzenegger, Statham, Li, Lundgren, guns, blood, guts; everything blows upů.high camp, higher body count. No lie, I've seen the made-up-word "mangasmic" to describe this flick. It's like Valentine's Day for guys.
After the movies, Coach Whisenhunt faced a series of questions about Leinart. Seems like we can't go a day here in Flagstaff without some kind of is-Leinart-good-enough dissertation. Specifically, coach was asked what it is about Matt that is so polarizing. And much like his choice of movies, Whisenhunt avoided the complicated and went straight for the goods. Three words:
He's. Not. Kurt.
It wasn't the only reason cited. Whisenhunt spoke of the nature of the position itself, citing the Brett Favre mangasm in Minnesota. He said that anybody replacing Kurt Warner would face that scrutiny. But those three words jumped out from behind the podium Wednesday. He's not Kurt. Simple. Straightforward.
But is it that easy?
I don't think it's that simple though (and yes, I'm clearly the kind of guy who prefers Inception to The Expendables). Does he have the presence, the moxie, the command of the room (and the huddle) to be a starting quarterback in this league? I've been here at Camp Cardinals since day one and I'm still not convinced he does.
Vibe is a big deal. If I'm going to leave my money with a bank, the person behind the counter has to give off the vibe of a banker, not of some teenage kid working at a dry cleaner.
We want our quarterbacks to look and act the part. Leinart's NFL resume is incomplete at best, so we can't say yet he looks the part. In that void of knowledge we search for clues that he acts the part of an NFL quarterback.
That search continues here from Camp Cardinals.