Tag:Matt Leinart
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:14 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 6:33 am
 

Texans' Matt Schaub done for the season

Leinart will be Houston's starter after their Week 11 bye. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

A source tells CBSSports.com's National NFL Insider Mike Freeman that Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is "done" for the season after suffering a foot injury in Houston's 37-9 victory over the Buccaneers Sunday. The source adds that "the team is devastated," and there's little chance Schaub would be available should the Texans make it to the Super Bowl.

On Monday morning's Pick-6 Podcast, we anointed the Texans the best team in the AFC. They lost receiver Andre Johnson in Week 4, lost their next two games, then went on to win four in a row, including Sunday's beatdown in Tampa Bay.

Week 10 recap, latest NFL news
There was plenty of credit to go around: Wade Phillips' work with the defense, Arian Foster's return to his 2010 form, and quarterback Matt Schaub playing the best football of his career.

With Johnson set to return after the Week 11 bye, everything seemed to be falling into place for the Texans, who pretty much have the AFC South sewn up and are playing for homefield advantage. Now they'll have to build the offense around the running game, hope backup Matt Leinart can make plays when needed, and pray the defense continues to keep opponents in check.

Leinart, the 2006 first-round pick of the Cardinals, was cut by Arizona prior to the 2010 season.

One of the knocks on Leinart after he got his walking papers was that he he didn't have the disposition coaches look for in their franchise quarterback. In September 2010, after the Cardinals released him, ESPN.com's NFC West blogger Mike Sando wrote: "Leinart could have made this work if he had played by [Ken] 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." 

This summer, Leinart acknowledged that he hadn't proven anything in his six-year NFL career, but was working hard in preparation for 2011.

"I’m always ready," he said at the time. "I’m always prepared and like I said it’s just always about being a quarterback, but being in 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.” 

Leinart was re-signed by the Texans during free agency to back up Schaub, a role that didn't require him to get off the bench in 2010. In fact, he didn't sniff the field for 26 games, until Houston's final snap Sunday, a kneel-down to run out the clock.

Head coach Gary Kubiak was asked Monday just how ready Leinart was to step into the starting role. 

“Well that’s why he’s here. That’s why he came back. He liked his opportunity here. He liked this football team. He likes what we do offensively," said Kubiak. "You never know how an opportunity is going to occur, but here we go. It’s a big one for him and his career. He’s had a lot of reps. We’ve cut back on Matt [Schaub]’s reps the last month at practice so he [Leinart] has gotten a ton of reps. 

"[Leinart] has played in big football games in this league. He’s played a lot of football. He’s played in big football games in college. Matt has been around it, but the key is that the whole football team rally around him and playing well as a football team. Matt doesn’t have to go win a game. The team has to go win a game. We’ll rally around him and get him ready to go.”

The former USC star and Heisman Trophy winner last saw significant action in 2007, when he started five games for the Cardinals before a fractured collarbone paved the way for a Kurt Warner comeback. He completed 53.6 percent of his passes that season, throwing two touchdowns and four interceptions. Leinart started 11 games as a rookie in '06, where he had 11 TDs and 12 picks.

If Texans fans are looking for a silver lining, here ya go: it could be worse, Rex Grossman could still be Schaub's backup.


Matt Schaub threw for 242 yards with two touchdowns, which led the Houston Texans to a 37-9 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Marv Albert and Rich Gannon recap this game.

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Posted on: July 22, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 3:48 pm
 

Is Jackson in, Hasselbeck out for Seahawks?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

There may still be NFL labor uncertainty, but one thing is not in doubt: once the lockout ends, free agency will be a frenzied process as the league furiously preps for the 2011 season.

And from the sound of it, longtime Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck won't be back in Seattle. ESPN's John Clayton doesn't think the Seahawks are interested in paying a starter's salary to a 35-year-old oft-injured QB whose future might be as a backup and mentor.

"I don't know if they'll pay $5 million (per year), I don't know if they'll pay $6 million," Clayton said, according to ESPN 710, "but if there's no offer from Seattle, you take the best offer and it very well could be in Nashville."

As in: the Titans, a destination we wrote about last month. And while we'd expect there will be a market for Hasselbeck, especially to help bring along a young franchise quarterback like, say, Jake Locker, it's something of a surprise to hear that the Seahawks could be keen on Tarvaris Jackson, the former Vikings second-round pick who will be a free agent once the lockout ends.

Clayton says he's "getting the feeling" that Seattle could have serious interest in Jackson. ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer also suggested that Jackson could land in Seattle, telling ESPN 710 that, "(Seahawks new offensive coordinator Darrell) Bevell … always had an affinity for Tarvaris Jackson. And believe it or not, I think that might be the play here for the Seattle Seahawks -- I think it might be trying to get Tarvaris Jackson from Minnesota. … They've always liked him, they liked his starter potential. (Bevell) tried to make it happen for him in Minnesota and that might be the direction they're trying to go."

Dilfer add that "I don't like that plan, but if that's their plan and that's what they're trying to do, then more power to them."

In an interview with the Seattle Times, Jackson admits that he worked well with Bevell in the past. 

"We had a pretty good relationship, me and Bev did," Jackson said. "... It seems like a pretty good opportunity. I know the offense. That's a plus. Coach Bevell, he's very familiar with me and I'm very familiar with him. So that's always a plus."

We've written previously that the Seahawks, rumored to have offered a first- and third-round pick for Kevin Kolb earlier this offseason, shouldn't break the bank for an unproven commodity given all their other roster needs. Jackson, like Kolb, is still unproven, but he wouldn't cost nearly as much. And unlike Matt Leinart, who has ties to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll that go back to USC, Jackson doesn't come with baggage.

Worst case: instead of reaching or overspending for a stopgap QB, Seattle just goes with what they have -- Charlie Whitehurst -- and reevaluate things after the season.

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 9:54 pm
 

Report: Cards will go after Kolb, could trade DRC



Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's no secret that the Arizona Cardinals are desperate to find a starting quarterback. After Kurt Warner retired following the 2009 season, the team decided to release former first-round pick Matt Leinart and take their chances with Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt may not have thought enough of Leinart to keep him around but we can't imagine he would have performed worse than the three guys the Cards trotted out their in 2010.

Either way, as soon as the lockout ends, Arizona will move to find their next franchise QB. And according to the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers, the most likely target is a name we've heard often in recent months: Eagles backup Kevin Kolb.

"Look for the club to immediately attempt to trade for Eagles backup Kevin Kolb," Somers wrote Monday. "He is the first choice, but the Cardinals don’t want to give up a ransom for him. They also have interest in the BroncosKyle Orton, who is under contract. The path of least resistance would be to simply sign Marc Bulger, a free agent, and let John Skelton back him up."

Although he has little starting experience, Kolb will cost the most to acquire (more on that in a second). Meanwhile, NFL.com's Steve Wyche thinks that Orton, who has thrown for more than 7,000 yards the last two years in Denver, could be had for a third-rounder. As for Bulger, Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910 in Phoenix tweets that he "doesn't want to play in Arizona according to my source."

The Seahawks, another team in dire need of a quarterback, reportedly offered the Eagles a first- and third-round pick for Kolb earlier this offseason, which sounds unreasonably steep given that Kolb has started seven games in four seasons and has thrown three more picks (14) than touchdowns (11).

But it's all about upside. And NFL Films' Greg Cosell thinks that Kolb is "very, very good" with his first reads although he struggles when he is "forced to reset and look elsewhere."

This sounds like a lot of young NFL quarterbacks. While it's not a glowing endorsement, it could be much worse. Like, say, what Whisenhunt had to endure last season with Anderson, Hall and Skelton. The only question is how much will Arizona have to give up get Kolb. Which brings us back to XTRA 910's Mike Jurecki, who hears things: "Kevin Kolb is the guy, Cardinals are prepared to offer DRC straight up...according to source."

This isn't the first time a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Kolb trade has made the rounds. In fact, CBSSport.com's Josh Katzowitz wrote about it last month. It seems like a long shot, but who knows, maybe it will allow the Cardinals to go after Ike Taylor. Then all that will be left to do is petition the league and officially change their name to Pittsburgh West.

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 9:45 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 10:15 pm
 

Warner says his retirement was not '$$$-related'

Posted by Will Brinson

We spent some time earlier Monday talking about the trials and tribulations of former Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart. Since there's not much going on these days with Arizona's QB situation -- it's a done deal, duh! -- why don't we go deeper in the past and talk about Kurt Warner?

See, over the weekend, ex-Cards scout Dave Razzano tweeted that Warner actually retired because Arizona lowballed him during free agency.

"Warner's people told me he wanted to continue playing but decided to retire after being low-balled," Razzano tweeted.

On Sunday, Warner took umbrage with Razzano's claim and fired back with a tweet of his own (Twit-sics ahoy!).

"2set record straight: I did NOT retire due 2 anything $$$ related! I retired bec I sacrificed enuf 4 the game & didn't want 2 do it anymore!" Warner tweeted.

Warner's maintained for a long time that he left on his own terms -- and, as Mike Sando of ESPN.com points out, that makes a lot of sense, especially because of Warner's quick retirement following the 2009 season.

If Warner wanted to make a pile of money, he could have "Favre'd" the Cardinals and flip-flopped on his decision to retire. But he didn't, and he never really gave Arizona the option of paying him what he was owed because he bounced out of town so quickly.

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:38 pm
 

Hot Routes 7.11.11: Sounds like Favre's retired



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL)
  • We now have two players in the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft. Former University of Georgia running back Caleb King joins Terrelle Pryor in a draft that usually takes place in mid-July but because of the lockout could happen sometime in the coming weeks. According to PFT, King received a grade of 4.9 from National Scouting, the same organization that gave Pryor a 5.1 (which translates into a sixth- or seventh-round pick).
  • Deion Sanders, like everybody else on the planet, is tired of talking about the lockout. So instead, he talks about himself. (To be fair, he was asked, and it's regarding his Hall of Fame enshrinement next month.)
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Posted on: July 11, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 9:58 am
 

Leinart on NFL career: I haven't proven anything

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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Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 9:56 pm
 

For Seattle, is Kolb much better than Whitehurst?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

As the lockout continues, Kevin Kolb's legacy grows. CBSSports.com's Will Brinson wrote Friday that no one's benefitted more from the absence of free agency, minicamps and OTAs than Kolb, who has gone from Eagles backup to the NFL's most sought-after quarterback these last three months.

The Cardinals are most often cited as a potential landing spot, but they're not the only team. Dave Mahler of Seattle's 950 KJR tweeted several days ago that he "heard from a source Seahawks have offered Eagles 1st and 3rd for Kolb." Mahler later qualified his tweet via his Facebook page: "Deal I reported yesterday was made sometime in the last 4 months. I think it says more about where Hasselbeck is on the priority list in Seattle than it does about the chances of Kolb coming. Eagles since offer have also reportedly expressed desire to trade for players instead of picks."

Whenever the alleged offer was made, it's not the first time Kolb and the Seahawks have been mentioned in the same breath. But Pete Carroll is Seattle's head coach, which means that no discussion of roster moves is complete without speculating that the job could go to a former USC player. And that explains last month's Leinart-to-Seahawks rumors.

As is often the case, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Mahler points out the report is as much a commentary on Matt Hasselbeck's future in Seattle as it is on his eventual replacement. Which raises another question: where does Charlie Whitehurst figure in to all this?

Last offseason, the Seahawks and Chargers swapped 2010 second-round picks, and Seattle threw in a 2011 third-rounder to get Whitehurst. They then signed him to a two-year, $8 million deal. That's about the going rate for an NFL backup, but maybe he should get a shot at the starting gig. That's the argument Seahawks blog Field Gulls makes.

"If [Carson] Palmer is unattainable as so many people believe, I think the next best choice is to go with Charlie Whitehurst," Danny Kelly wrote last week. "Here's why: He's already on your roster and thus will cost you no more draft pick capital -- something that will be important for this team in the next year or three. He has been learning the offense all summer, has a strong arm, and is mobile. He's extremely raw and untested so we really don't know what he brings to the table yet."

And that's the thing: No one really knows what Whitehurst can do. He was uneven in two starts last season, but that doesn't means much. Along those lines, do we have any idea what type of starter Kolb will be? Put differently: Are the Seahawks so sure in Kolb's abilities that he's a first- and third-round pick better than Whitehurst?

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Leinart could reunite with Carroll in Seattle

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Nothing like a lockout to artificially inflate Matt Leinart's value. The former Cardinals first-round pick in the 2006 draft, Leinart has been underwhelming by any measure. After five starts as a rookie, he toiled mostly as a backup. Leinart was also occasionally characterized as disgruntled, and that eventually led to Arizona releasing him before the 2010 season.

"In fairness to Matt, I think that it would be a tough position for him to be in a backup role," coach Ken Whisenhunt said at the time. "Maybe a fresh start for him is what would be a good thing, for all of us."

Leinart signed with Houston, where he took exactly zero snaps.

Now, according to the Houston Chronicle's John McClain, "the Texans would love to have him back" but admits "Leinart wants to play for a team that'll give him a chance to start. I see him being reunited with Pete Carroll."

Which is the latest evidence that Matt Hasselbeck, who spent the previous 10 seasons in Seattle, will be hawking his wares elsewhere in 2011.

Dan Pompei, writing for NationalFootballPost.com, echoes McClain's thinking that, ultimately, Leinart could end up with Carroll. But just like Whisenhunt in Arizona and Gary Kubiak in Houston, Pompei doesn't think Leinart will be the starter in Seattle, either.
Chances are looking good that the Seahawks may have two new quarterbacks by the time camp opens. They tried to re-sign Matt Hasselbeck before the lockout started and couldn’t come to terms. Now they may move on if they can find a better alternative (hello, Kevin Kolb) as a starter. Getting hurt in each of the last three years has left Hasselbeck vulnerable in Seattle. And it would almost be an upset if the Seahawks didn’t sign Matt Leinart to come in as a backup. The Seahawks might not be crazy about what they have seen of Leinart on tape, but coach Pete Carroll has won a lot of games with him, and he thinks he can win some more.
With the Cardinals, the knock against Leinart wasn't his ability (although his inconsistent efforts in practice didn't help); it was that he wasn't considered a leader.

ESPN.com's NFC West blogger Mike Sando wrote last September that "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."

As Whisenhunt said last fall, maybe a fresh start will be good for Leinart, even if he's destined to be a backup. A bit of advice, Matt: try to avoid burning bridges like your former college teammate, LenDale White.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com