Blog Entry

Leinart on NFL career: I haven't proven anything

Posted on: July 11, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 9:58 am
 
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Matt Leinart's NFL career can kindly be described as underwhelming.

Drafted by the Cardinals with the No. 10 pick in 2006, the former USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner started 11 games as a rookie but only six games since. Arizona released Leinart before the 2010 season, and he eventually signed with Houston where sat behind Matt Schaub.

Now entering his sixth year in the league, Leinart, 28, is a free agent. We wrote last month that the Seahawks could be interested in his services once the lockout ends and free agency begins (Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was Leinart's coach at USC), but Seattle might also trade for Kevin Kolb, re-sign veteran Matt Hasselbeck or choose to give backup Charlie Whitehurst a crack at the starting gig.

To put it another way: There's a lot uncertainty in Leinart's professional future.

During an appearance Friday on ESPN Radio Los Angeles, Leinart spoke about what it means to have people call him a "bust" at this point in his career.

“I’ve heard everything," he said, according to Sports Radio Interviews. "I’ve seen everything. For me I haven’t proven anything, so I haven’t proven that I could play game in and game out.

"I understand that," he continued. "I believe I can play and I’m not one to make excuses. I’ve never made an excuse with my time in Arizona. It just didn’t work out for whatever reason. Those are reasons people outside of the organization won’t understand, but it didn’t work out and it wasn’t a right fit, so you move on.

"You kind of look at the timeline of what has happened to me and with having a pretty good rookie year and the second year getting the injury and Kurt Warner played himself into the Hall of Fame in the last three years. There’s not a lot I can do about that. I battled with a Hall of Famer two training camps in a row. I thought I competed as well as he did and obviously Kurt was a great player. He took us to a Super Bowl. I truly believe he got himself into the Hall of Fame those last couple of years."

One of the knocks on Leinart after he left Arizona is that he he didn't have the disposition coaches look for in their franchise quarterback. Last September, after the Cardinals released Leinart, ESPN.com's NFC West blogger Mike Sando wrote: "Leinart could have made this work if he had played by Whisenhunt's rules. He wasn't willing (or possibly able) to do that under difficult circumstances. He complained and pouted and made it impossible for Whisenhunt to name Leinart the leader of a locker room filled with players more closely aligned with the Whisenhunt mindset."

In terms of preparing for the 2011 season, Leinart said, "For me I’ve worked hard this off-season. … I’m always ready. I’m always prepared and like I said it’s just always about being a quarterback, but being the right situation. For me hopefully that situation comes up this year and I can thrive and show I belong in the league and I can play because I know I can and that’s what I plan on doing.”

History says Leinart's a long shot. Then again, the guy he sat behind in Arizona was once bagging groceries and playing for the Iowa Barnstormers before he won a Super Bowl ring with the Rams and, in Leinart's estimation, cemented his Hall of Fame credentials with the Cardinals.

Stranger things have happened.

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Comments
hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 8:46 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: May 18, 2011
Posted on: July 12, 2011 8:04 am
 

Leinart on NFL career: I havenít proven anything

Leinart was as big a celebrity in LA as Paris Hilton when he was in college.  He spent too much time playing "Hollywood" celebrity and not enpough on football.  Now that his star has faded he can get back to football and make something of thi9s career.  The lights flickering....



Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: July 12, 2011 7:31 am
 

Leinart on NFL career: I havenít proven anything

Wow!  Now that's some hard-nosed investigative journalism right there! Thank you Captain Obvious!!  Gotta love how you threw out the "used to bag groceries to superbowl champ" line......that was cool....about 10 years ago!!



Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: July 12, 2011 7:30 am
 

Leinart on NFL career: I havenít proven anything

Wow!  Now that's some hard-nosed investigative journalism right there! Thank you Captain Obvious!!  Gotta love how you threw out the "used to bag groceries to superbowl champ" line......that was cool....about 10 years ago!!



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2011 10:00 pm
 

Leinart on NFL career: I havenít proven anything

AES on Leinart on NFL career: no sh*t.



Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:58 pm
 

Leinart on NFL career: I havenít proven anything

Chad Pennington was at least smart, though, and generally knew where to go with the ball.  Matt Leinart just panics and checks down at the first sign of trouble.



Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Leinart on NFL career: I havenít proven anything

To be honest, nobody in the NFL could have beaten out Warner those years.  But Leinart just doesn't have an NFL arm.  He can go to the Dolphins maybe, he can learn from Captain Checkdown himself Chad Pennington.



Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2011 4:53 pm
 

Leinart on NFL career: I havenít proven anything

HA - funny thing about Ryan Leaf is that all the so called experts were totally on the fence as to whether Leaf or Manning would go #1, with the other man being the obvious next choice at #2.  It seriously could have gone either way according to just about everyone!! 
What happened, Leaf fooled all of us?  Hardly.  You just don't know about character, dealing with Media, etc, until much later.  There are USC people who can easily see why Matt Cassel is succeeding since he's got "the goods upstairs" and was viewed as such, unlike Leinart who many felt despite college success might not work out so well in the NFL cause of his head/personality.  So far it's true.  I'd like to see if Matt can turn it around... it's still early. 



Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2011 4:05 pm
 

Leinart on NFL career: I havenít proven anything

Not hardly in the same boat as those other total losers that you mentioned. That is ridiculous to even say he is in that class. He has had some success and done ok. If he stays out of the party life he will make it somewhere if even as a backup. Ryan Leaf? Get real. 



Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: July 11, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Leinart on NFL career: I havenít proven anything

This guy is just another bust along the lines of Jamarcus Russell, Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf and other hyped up college qb's.


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