Cardinals: Hall or Nothing at QB

Max Hall (Bruce Yeung / Yeung Photography)

Rookie QB Max Hall has been unimpressive in his first two NFL starts but coach Ken Whisenhunt is banking on his future.

The numbers do not lie: Two games. Three interceptions. 43.7 QB rating. Two concussions. Zero touchdown passes.

"That's not me and that's not who I am so I want to get better," Hall said. "It's only my second start, but that's no excuse. They're trusting me to execute."

But, through it all, rookie QB Max Hall still has the faith of his coach and teammates.

Passing all of his neurological tests, Hall was cleared to practice and, barring any setbacks this week, will make his third consecutive start Sunday against Tampa Bay.

The first-year signal caller's brief professional career has been marred by injuries to his receiving corps, a shifting offensive line and a passing attack dependent on timing. But Hall's expectations for himself have not been met and that is the biggest driving force of all.

"There are a lot of things I need to get better at," Hall said. "But even the great ones get knocked down once in a while. It's how you respond. Hopefully, I'll respond good."

So does coach Ken Whisenhunt, whose decision continues to come under question after Derek Anderson led Arizona to its only two scoring drives in a loss at Seattle. The Redbirds need a win after falling to 3-3 and a game behind the Seahawks in the NFC West. Anderson might give them the best chance.

Success in the NFL depends so much on the play of the quarterback and, for as much talent present on the Big Red's roster, they are still lacking an adequate signal caller to move the ball down the field, put points on the board and relieve the defense.

Whisenhunt believes Hall can be that missing piece. It is easy to see with the undrafted rookie possessing several qualities of a capable quarterback: intelligence, maturity and toughness. Whether or not he can translate those skills long term and continue to progress remains to be seen.

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