"Kurt Warner is my guy."
That was the top to bottom. Leinart was going to sit. Green and the Cardinals were giving him a season to learn, a season to watch and absorb and get a feel. But it was even more than that.
"I believe in John Navarre."
Over and over again. Sure, we all sort of figured it was a ploy to get Leinart to sign, to make it clear that if he wanted to sit Green was fine with his situation. We knew it couldn't really be true, but it was a nice move.
Then Leinart signed. He looked good in practice, he looked great in the preseason, and Navarre looked horrible. Still, Green stuck to his guns. Warner was his guy, Navarre was a good quarterback, and Leinart was sitting.
Then this week all that was forgotten. The reports came out that Leinart would start. Green denied them, but not right away, issuing the "I don't talk about personnel on Monday" statement. Really? Since when? Since last Tuesday?
Now Warner's back in the starters role (he never left it?). Dennis Green has lost all credibility. Dennis Green has now created a quarterback controversy where there wasn't one. Now Warner's looking over his shoulder, Leinart's getting peppered with questions about his readiness, and Navarre is sitting all along in a corner wondering if the older kids will let him play.
Make up your mind, Denny.
It didn't have to be this way. There is a logical, history proven argument that rookie quarterbacks have better careers if they sit their first year. There was absolutely no reason to think Navarre was the man, and that meant, struggles, fumbles, or Player of the Week Awards Warner was your guy. If he'd just shut up, not started this whole thing, Cards fans would have grumbled, they would have itched to see the Golden Boy lefty, but they would have said, "It's about next year and the 10 years after that. Green's got a plan."
Clearly that won't fly anymore. Warner has looked confused and creaky, Leinart has looked like a guy who hasn't gotten his uni dirty in a meaningful game since USC, and Green looks like he's grasping at straws. The offense, once considered explosive, now looks (at best) hit and miss. Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald have dropped more balls in their first three games this year than they did all last season. It looks like they just don't know how to use Edgerrin James, and despite having one tight end with great hands, another rookie tight end with incredible skills, and four solid receivers, the offensive line is still a train wreck.
It starts at the top. Until now Dennis Green looked unhappy, but in charge. He looked like he had a plan, even if that plan wasn't being executed. Now he just looks like a guy with a blindfold on throwing darts. Things in the newly Christened University of Phoenix Stadium (and by the way, didn't anybody think about the fact that if you pronounciate UOPS it sounds an awful lot like 'Oops'?) are as up in the air as one of Warner's wobbly duck passes.
At least you had your credibility Denny. Now all you've got is a controversy of your own making. Barring Warner coming out against Atlanta and throwing for 300 yards, four TD's, and zero picks, the start of next week is going to be, "Is Warner still the starter?"
Too bad, you had it right at the beginning of the season.