Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't thrilled about handing the starting quarterback job to Max Hall, an undrafted rookie. But veteran Derek Anderson left him little choice.
Anderson is ranked last in the NFL in passer rating (59.5) and has completed just 52 percent of his passes with more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (three).
What's hurt most is the timing of the incompletions. In each game, Anderson has missed open receivers for long gains.
The throws have not been difficult, but Anderson missed badly on most of them.
That's especially frustrating for Whisenhunt, who calls plays and helps develop the offensive game plan.
Whisenhunt declined to detail his reasoning for benching Anderson, not that many people were wondering.
"Basically, we were missing some things on offense," he said. "We just weren't making enough plays. This is an opportunity to see if we can do that."
On the surface it might seem that Whisenhunt is taking a huge gamble by starting Hall, who played at Brigham Young and grew up in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb.
The truth is, however, that he couldn't play any worse than Anderson has.
Asked if he was going to have to show more patience because of Hall's inexperience, Whisenhunt replied: "We've been making enough mistakes, offense and defense, everywhere.
"I don't know that you can go with everything you've got in your playbook at this point, but we'll see how much he can handle. This week of practice will be a good indication."
Hall is a confident guy. He's older than most rookies, 25, has been on a mission for the LDS Church and is married with a child.
"I'm going forward like it (the job) is mine," Hall said. "That's the mind-set you have to have. They're putting everything into me. The game plan and everything is going toward my strengths."
Coaches have liked Hall since his first practices as a Cardinal, during minicamp last May. Hall is small (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) and his arm strength is average.
He won 32 games as a starter at BYU, the most in school history.
"He's a little, fiery competitive guy," center Lyle Sendlein said. "I'm sure no one ever gave him a chance, but he's got great command out there. He's real assertive and very confident."
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