MMQB Mail: Matt Leinart's future in Arizona could be on shaky ground
Matt Leinart isn't happy Cardinals started Derek Anderson over him in Week 3
His comments may have hurt team chemistry and upset coaching staff
Readers comment on Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow
Touching on four teams as we reach the final week of the preseason:
Arizona: I buy the speculation on Matt Leinart's shaky status.
I still think it's more likely Leinart is on the opening day roster than he isn't. But he's not doing himself any favors by speaking out against the decision to give Derek Anderson snaps with the first unit over him -- either with the coaching staff or in the team-chemistry department. In the end, whether the Cardinals cut him -- which is possible -- could come down to a factor few people outside the team would think is even fathomable at this point.
The two rookie quarterbacks, fifth-round pick John Skelton from Fordham and free-agent Max Hall from BYU, have been so impressive in training camp that the Cardinals probably don't want to risk losing them by putting one on the practice squad. It'll be interesting to see who goes after Leinart in the coming days. If Pete Carroll hadn't dealt for Charlie Whitehurst in the offseason, I'd have put him at the front of the line.
Cleveland: The Browns-Jim Brown mess.
`The Hall of Famer says he won't appear when the Browns induct their inaugural 16-man class in the team's Ring of Honor this season. In a situation getting uglier by the day, Brown wrote a letter to the Browns obtained by the Cleveland Plain Dealer that was highly critical of new club president Mike Holmgren for, in essence, marginalizing him. But this has been building for years.
I remember when the Browns were searching for a replacement for Phil Savage a couple of years ago that there was concern about the public statements Brown made -- often when those in the organization wished he wouldn't speak. The new way in the NFL, modeled by the Bill Belichick way, is a one-voice philosophy. That's not every team's way, and George Kokinis didn't have the juice to tell Brown to zip it. Holmgren does. And Holmgren may be guilty of handling the situation without the kid gloves that maybe he should have used. But telling Brown his role was going to be reduced in the organization -- whoever was going to be the one to do it -- was not going to end well.
New Orleans: I don't see Darren Sharper playing opening night.
Slow to recover from winter arthroscopic knee surgery, Sharper is on the physically unable to perform list. Mike Florio wrote about this on profootballtalk.com, and it struck a chord with me because Sharper was such a valued member of that defense last year; his physically imposing performance in the NFC title game was a big reason, I believe, Brett Favre threw that interception that cost Minnesota the game. Sean Payton said in New Orleans yesterday that Sharper could start the year active, or stay on PUP, or be cut. I believe there's very little chance he'll play in the opener. There's a much larger chance he'll stay on PUP or be cut. Stay tuned -- and watch for how Malcolm Jenkins performs as the new Sharper.
Buffalo: The Bills look to be Trent Edwards' team, as if there was any doubt about that.
Talked to coach Chan Gailey on our Sirius NFL Radio show this morning, and he told Bob Papa and me he made the quarterback pecking order Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm, in that order, headed into training camp. "What has happened in the preseason is that nobody has faltered,'' Gailey said. "Unless something changes drastically, I don't see anything changing entering the regular season.'' Edwards has thrown only one interception and completed 65 percent of his balls in the first three preseason games, and he's been very good on the intermediate throws that Gailey relies on so heavily.
Now onto your e-mail:
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