All eyes will be on Matt Leinart in preseason opener

All eyes will be on Matt Leinart when he starts tonight for the Arizona Cardinals in the preseason opener for them at University of Phoenix Stadium against the Houston Texans.

The Cardinals were hopeful that Kurt Warner wouldn’t retire after last season, and coach Ken Whisenhunt even offered him a Brett Favre-type deal where he wouldn’t have to participate in the entire offseason program.

That plan never got rolling, and now it’s finally time for the Leinart era, one not everybody thinks will fly. He’s got to build confidence not only in his coaches but his teammates as well. The Cardinals are expected to run the ball more this season, but Leinart still needs to perform at a high level.

“It's huge," Leinart told Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “Every day I've been doing it in practice, but practice is practice. Games are what counts. I think my teammates believe in me. I know they have confidence in me, but I have to go out there and do it.”

Per the report, Leinart will get about a quarter of action. Then, Whisenhunt wants to take a look at backup quarterback Derek Anderson with the first team. The Cardinals were wise to find a backup with experience. They’re sure hoping Leinart, the former first-round draft pick, pans out though.

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