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Recent posts by Dan Arkush
Make way for Max Hall, a local boy who has wasted precious little time making good in the desert.
"He's on a pretty fast track," one team insider said of the Cardinals' instantly charismatic undrafted rookie quarterback. "They would rather not start him right away because they need to see what they've got in Derek Anderson. But I'm betting on Hall to be the front-runner for the starting QB job in 2011 — if there is a 2011 season.
"Whiz (head coach Ken Whisenhunt) is trying to tone down the enthusiasm Hall has generated, but they've been very excited about him since the first minicamp."
We hear that excitement for the former Mesa Mountain View High School star was a key factor in the decision to release Matt Leinart, Hall's polar opposite from a personality standpoint.
"He's dramatically different than Leinart, with a more 'in your face' style with his teammates," the insider said of Hall, whose uncle is former Arizona State and Dallas Cowboys star QB Danny White. "He's fiery, and he's tough. He stands up for himself.
"Whiz criticized him in the Redskins preseason game, and he came right back and said, 'OK, I get it. It won't happen again.' The Cardinals like to see that."
They also really like Hall's quarterback skills.
"He moves well in the pocket, and while he doesn't have a great arm, it's good enough," the insider said.
But it's Hall's Kurt Warner-like intangibles that have turned him into an instant fan favorite.
"They were both underdogs," the insider said of Hall, who received a $5,000 signing bonus, and Warner, whose stock-boy beginnings have become the stuff of legend. "And they also both aren't afraid to speak their minds."
It's also worth noting how much the Cardinals like fellow rookie John Skelton, the new No. 3 QB on the depth chart behind Hall.
"He's got a very strong arm, and he's a bright guy," the insider said of Skelton, who was drafted in the fifth round out of Fordham. "And he has a really quick release for such a big guy (6-5, 244 pounds).
"Skelton just has a much bigger learning curve. Hall is a lot further along in learning the system because of where he played college (Brigham Young).
"But they like Skelton a lot."
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