I said it the day the decision to make Max Hall the starter was made and now I’ll say it again. While Derek Anderson is an average to below average quarterback in this league and will have no future with this team beyond this season, he does give Arizona the best chance to win right now.
Making Hall the starter was a mistake and it may end up costing the Cardinals the NFC West. Sunday’s game against a mediocre Seattle team was winnable and had head coach Ken Whisenhunt realized that Hall wasn’t the answer at this point in his career the Cardinals may very well have won that game and would be standing alone in first place in the division.
I understand the flirtation with Hall, he showed tremendous promise for an undrafted rookie in the preseason. He was worth hanging on to for sure. But to make him the starter after four games was just plain absurd. He looks completely lost out there, unable to make the reads necessary to move the offense down the field and misfiring on most of his passes.
Hall may some day be a good quarterback in this league – but that time is not now. He needs to be groomed, he needs to watch and learn, he needs practice.
While he may have looked great in the preseason it was just the preseason, these games are for real, they count.
Anderson is no prize, I understand that. Whisenhunt wanted both Charlie Whitehurst and Marc Bulger over Anderson. But it’s the former Browns QB he ended up with and for this season he is going to have to make due with that. Anderson is a veteran and while he makes plenty of mistakes himself he also, unlike Hall at this point, can make some plays.
You will take the good with the bad with DA. This is a veteran team loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. To entrust an undrafted rookie to take this team to the playoffs was just plain dumb. If Arizona was a bad football team going nowhere this season then by all means run Hall out there and let him learn on the job. But this team is the best in the NFC West, not by much, but they are the best, and they can not afford to be grooming a kid while trying to win at the same time. And when you look around and realize how bad the NFC is this year then you understand that any team that gets to the playoffs will have a chance to do some damage.
Whisenhunt was right in going back to Anderson on Sunday in Seattle, his problem was that he never should have gone away from him in the first place.
If he wants to get Hall experience then get it for him in blowout games (San Diego, Atlanta) when the outcome has already been decided. But to give Hall the keys to a team that has won the last two NFC West division titles and expects to win it again is wrong.
Whisenhunt has done a lot of things right since coming to Arizona, this was his first big mistake. And for his sake he better hope that this game doesn’t end up being the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs. I expect in the next 24-48 hours that Whisenhunt will do what’s best for the team and that’s to admit he made a mistake and right his wrong by going back to Anderson as the starter for the remainder of the season.