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Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The Big Question: Whose seat hottest?

By Mike Sando

NFC Big Question: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Which high-profile player, coach or executive from the division sits on the hottest seat heading into the 2010 season?

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart gets my vote because he's replacing a legend and his career in the desert is coming down to one season.

It's not clear if Leinart's career in Arizona can survive a poor exhibition season or disappointing start to the regular season. Any drop in offensive performance will be seen as a reflection of Kurt Warner's retirement.

Matt Leinart
The pressure is on Matt Leinart to perform in 2010.
Leinart steps into a talented offense with an improved line. The Cardinals have a strong offensive coaching staff, one of the game's best receivers and a versatile 1-2 punch at running back with Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower. Leinart's contract balloons in value for 2011, meaning he must produce this season. The Cardinals signed an experienced backup (Derek Anderson) and coach Ken Whisenhunt benched Leinart once already (heading into the 2008 season).

Persistent rumors of the Cardinals' continued interest in Marc Bulger only underscore perceptions.

Other prominent NFC West figures on the hot seat: