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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Jun 8, 2011 - 1:00 pm

The Cardinals need the next Tommy Maddox

You can't start a fire
You can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
even if we're just dancing in the dark

~Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the Dark

Those lyrics from the Boss' 1984 hit pretty much sum up all the news that has emerged about the Arizona Cardinals' quarterback search. Thanks to the NFL lockout no news is the norm, except the news that is manufactured.

The hired gun looking to spark a fire with his opinion Tuesday was the NFL Network's Michael Lombardi. Although noncommittal on a specific name, he did provide a blueprint of what type of QB the Cardinals should be looking for.

"I think you really have to ask that question backwards," he told Sports 620 KTAR's Doug and Wolf. "What player's skill set fits what Arizona needs to do offensively. That's what happens often times when you get involved with a quarterback. You try to fit a quarterback in."

Lombardi may think the Cardinals need to be selective when it comes to their next starting quarterback, but that doesn't mean he thinks they have to land a specific player to be successful.

"I think there is a lot of options out there because of the offensive magnitude of what they have in Arizona," he said. "Because of what they have at receiver, because of what they can do with their offense, I think you can go in any direction.

"Look, Ken Whisenhunt made Tommy Maddox into a good player. You have to take your hat off to him for that. You've got to believe if he gets the right player who systematically understands what he's doing and can handle it mentally, they can make this thing go without overpaying for somebody."

Dropping the Maddox reference is an interesting tactic, especially after Whisenhunt struggled so mightily to find a quarterback who could have any success in his system last year. (Congratulations Derek Anderson, Matt Leinart, Max Hall, Richard Bartel and, to a lesser extent, John Skelton. Whiz could turn a former XFL MVP into a quality starter but not you.)

Maddox was obviously a byproduct of Whisenhunt's system. He possessed the skill set that just happened to translate to what the coach wanted to accomplish. The question is why didn't any of the quarterbacks the Cards trotted out in 2010 have that and can they find a player like that this offseason?

Your guess is as good as ours, seeing as we're all just ‘dancing in the dark' until the labor dispute ends.


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