With the NFL Pre-Season circus mid-way through, a number of questions remain at QB. QB Central looks at some of the pressing issues.

Are Arizona really comfortable going ahead with Leinart? After his stellar USC career and a party-life well documented on TMZ, Leinart has been less than impressive to-date. Nobody felt relaxed handing the reigns over from Kurt Warner to #7, so Derek Anderson was brought in as legitimate competition. Anderson hasn’t set the world on fire either so far, so the patience of Ken Whisenhunt will be tested here.

How early is too early? With shoddy blocking around him, is Sam Bradford really ready to be thrown to the dogs in St Louis? Pre-season outings have seen the 2010 #1 Overall Pick struggle, but with the supporting cast around him lacking, is that really surprising? Perhaps a year riding the pine would be better for Bradford than being the next piñata ala David Carr in Houston. But who is a better option? Coach Spags will be in a tough position coming opening day.

Will Alex Smith be able to make progress as he works for back-to-back seasons with the same offense for the first time? Pre-season form shows a heightened level of comfort and with a host of playmakers and a newly formed offensive line, the time could be right for Smith to finally live up to first round billing.  Smith has another former #1 overall (David Carr) breathing down his neck, along with 2nd year player Nate Davis who has shown some good potential this pre-season.

Will the Seattle trade for Charlie Whitehurst amount to anything? Matt Hasselbeck appears likely to retain the #1 job, so that means that Whitehurst could have been an acquisition for backup job. A 3rd round pick is high for this, so expect him to get a good look in game 4 of the pre-season to see whether he is the QB of the future, if not for 2010.

What strides will Chad Henne make in his first full season as starter? We saw glimpses of what has the Dolphins excited last year. We also saw the inevitable inexperience show up. But with a dominant run game and a new weapon at WR in Brandon Marshall, expect big things from Henne.  It is clearly his team now.

Who starts in steeltown? Big Ben misses the first 6 weeks of the season, so that means either Byron Leftwich or Dennis Dixon get the role as acting QB. The Steelers have seen what Leftwich has, and that could be enough to earn him the job, but is there any  better chance to see what Dixon has to offer?

Can the Colts survive if Manning goes down? The clear answer is no. Curtis Painter sits as the only backup on the roster after Jim Sorgi took off for the Giants, but his only start last year and patchy pre-season game work doesn’t offer Indy fans much comfort. Surely a veteran presence is needed. Look for the Colts to explore Sage Rosenfels or Kellen Clemens if they are the odd man out in Minnesota and NYJ respectively.

Will Josh Freeman be ready for the opener? A broken thumb on the throwing hand will be tough to deal with. The team had big hopes for its young offense, but its centrepiece now loses valuable time and reps with the young WR corps. Josh Johnson should be serviceable in his absence, but this may just slow the learning curve.

What now for Tarvaris? He is definitely a man who must be confused. Is he the future? He thought he might be the present, but no luck. I really feel sorry for the guy. Minnesota is a good fit for him, with the explosive talent around and the run game, but how long can the Vikes keep pushing his time. Is their chase of Favre an indictment on Jackson, or just a statement about Favre?

How long before the Panthers turn to Clausen? Clausen is the future of the franchise, but Matt Moore is being given the chance to own the present. Moore fared poorly in the second of the pre-season games, but still remains the best options for Carolina heading into the season. Clausen has impressed many, but perhaps should be given the time. A toe injury to Clausen could further delay Clausen’s claims, but if the Panthers don’t jump out early, the restless fans will be calling for Clausen no doubt. Hardly a fair situation for Moore, who hasn’t yet been a full-time starter, to have to win instantly.

Tebow to Te-bench? It is ridiculous to lump their huge expectations upon Tim Tebow, but no rookie has excited a fan-base or interested a nation as much as Tebow. Whether it is his haircut, or on-field actions, Tebow remains a lightning-rod for interest. The question is, can Josh McDaniels stay strong in choosing the QB for the Broncos. All signs point to yes as Kyle Orton is entrenched as the starter. Orton, who just signed a 1 year extension, is the best player on the roster for the Broncos at QB for now and should be all year long. But, as with the Carolina situation, a lack of wins early will make the public sentiment strong.