Cardinals believe they can contend in NFL West

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GLENDALE -- A year of experience under Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt's system has left the Cardinals believing they can contend in the NFL West. And Matt Leinart will lead the way.

Leinart's poise and strong left arm were on display often in training camp. Entering his third NFL season, he's out to prove that he is serious about football and can be the quarterback he was touted to be after his standout USC career.

Leinart was knocked out for the season with a broken collarbone in Game 5 last year. Kurt Warner came on to throw for 3,417 yards and 27 touchdowns.

Whisenhunt made it clear in the off-season, though, that this was Leinart's team. Warner remains in the wings, believing he should be a starter.

Receiver Larry Fitzgerald is coming off his second Pro Bowl season in his four years as a pro. He has a new four-year, $40 million contract with 30 million guaranteed.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)