TEMPE (AP) - The Derek Anderson era in the desert started with a gradual buildup and culminated with the unceremonious dumping of Matt Leinart, once considered Arizona's quarterback of the future.
Three ho-hum games into the season, a question has started to loom: Is Anderson the right choice?
Overthrowing receivers and blowing scoring chances his team can't afford, the former Pro Bowler has had a middling start to his career in Arizona. His stats are unimpressive, the offense he's in charge of is stuck in neutral and his team should be 1-2.
"We have to be better than we have been throwing the football," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said Wednesday. "Trust me, we're working on it, and hopefully, it'll show up."
Anderson arrived in Arizona ready to be Leinart's backup after five uneven seasons in Cleveland that included three years battling Brady Quinn for the starting job.
Anderson did everything the Cardinals asked and gradually made up ground on Leinart, Arizona's 2006 first-round pick. By the time the preseason was winding down, Anderson had supplanted Leinart as starter and the Cardinals eventually dumped the former Heisman Trophy winner just before the start of the season.
That left Anderson with the difficult task of quickly shifting gears from backup to starter despite spending a good chunk of the offseason and preseason watching Leinart work with the first team.
The lack of first-team work has led to miscommunication with receivers, which has been compounded by injuries. Larry Fitzgerald missed a good chunk of the preseason with a knee injury, Early Doucet missed the past two games with a groin injury and now Steve Breaston is out for at least one week after having right knee surgery.