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Dennis Green changing his mind -Leinart to stay on the sidelines


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Source: Cards change mind, to stick with Warner

ESPN.com news services

An Arizona Cardinals source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that the team has had a change of heart and will stick with Kurt Warner as starting quarterback.

The source said the Cardinals reconsidered overnight and decided that starting Matt Leinart at this point in the season would put too much pressure on the rookie quarterback. The Cardinals will continue to monitor the quarterback situation and still could make a change later in the season.

Arizona coach Dennis Green is expected to address the media about his decision on Wednesday.

Green was noncommittal in Monday's news conference about whether Warner would continue to start for the Cardinals.

"I don't talk personnel on Monday," Green said. "We'll start looking at things and have a staff meeting and take it from there."

Warner's had an awful performance in Sunday's 16-14 home loss to the St. Louis Rams. The 35-year-old quarterback was intercepted three times -- once with the team at the Rams' 1-yard line and another at the St. Louis 14.

To cap it off, Warner fumbled a snap at the Rams' 18 with 1:46 to play as Arizona was positioning itself for what would have been the winning field goal.

When asked if he remained committed to Warner, Green said, "You know what? I've not thought about who the starting players are right now. ... Normally personnel is something we do on Tuesday."

The remarks made it clear Green was considering benching Warner, who has fumbled five times, losing two of them, and thrown four interceptions in the last two games.

Players weren't available for interviews on Monday, but Warner was asked about the possibility of losing his job after Sunday's loss.

"I'll let coach Green make that decision," he said. "Of course I know what I would do, but that's not my decision to make."

The Cardinals' ugly loss came in front of a sellout crowd of 63,278 in their new stadium, and many of them let Warner know what they thought of his performance as he left the field.

"I'm not worried about that," Warner said. "I mean, whatever."

Warner was named NFC offensive player of the week after Arizona's season-opening victory over San Francisco, but the offense has produced just 24 points in subsequent losses at Seattle and against the Rams.

Warner and center Alex Stepanovich have had problems with the snap at times, even in pre-game warmups. Although he was seen jawing at his center after the fumble, Warner told reporters that the snap was good.

"I did my assignment," Stepanovich said, "and the next thing I know the ball is on the ground."

Warner finds himself in this precarious position for the third time in his career. After leading St. Louis to two Super Bowls in three seasons, he lost his job to Marc Bulger, then signed with the New York Giants in 2004. He was the Giants' starter for nine games but was benched in favor of rookie Eli Manning.

Leinart is without doubt Arizona's franchise quarterback of the future after the team took him with the No. 10 pick overall. But he missed most of the preseason after failing to come to terms on his rookie contract.

The plan this season was for Leinart to watch and learn from the sidelines, but Green is an impatient coach who has not hesitated to switch quarterbacks in his uphill fight to bring a winner to Arizona. Green praised Leinart's poise and performance in the preseason.

With a 12-23 record in two-plus season with the Cardinals, Green admits he has wondered at times whether he can turn around the long-suffering franchise.

"I think any time a coach doesn't win enough, he's got to think about that," he said. "I'd be crazy not to. I've won a lot of games in my career. The question is I haven't won here."

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