||09-04-2010 11:46 PM
matt leinart released
this is a real shame i thought this dude would finally get it since warner left:(. wtf happened to that usc 06 class so many talented players and the only ones that've been successful are reggie bush and polamalu
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Cardinals have released Matt Leinart, parting ways with the former Heisman Trophy winner who was supposed to be the team's franchise quarterback but couldn't escape the backup role.
The team made the announcement on Saturday, shortly before the Cardinals had to reach their 53-man roster limit.
"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. "Maybe a fresh start for him is what would be a good thing, for all of us."
Sando: Doomed From The Start
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has sought to establish an us-against-the-world mentality and Matt Leinart represented the world in that equation, Mike Sando writes. Blog
Arizona thought it had a steal when Leinart, who led Southern California to two national championships and a third title game appearance, fell to the Cardinals at the No. 10 overall pick in 2006. He started 11 games as a rookie under then-coach Dennis Green, then the first five the following season under new coach Ken Whisenhunt. But the big left-hander then went down with a broken collarbone and Kurt Warner took over.
Warner finished his career with two spectacular seasons, leading Arizona to consecutive NFC West titles, an incredible run to the Super Bowl and a 51-45 overtime victory over Green Bay in a playoff thriller last season.
Leinart mostly watched.
Even before Leinart was hurt, Warner was being used more and more. After the collarbone injury, Leinart started one game, at Tennessee last season when Warner was injured. This year, he expected to finally get his chance after Warner retired, but was replaced by Cleveland castoff Derek Anderson in the third preseason game.
"Do I feel like we didn't put him in a position to be successful?" Whisenhunt said. "I think that is open to debate. It has obviously been talked about a lot. I think that with every player on our team we are trying to give him the opportunity to succeed. I think we have always tried to be fair."
Leinart went public with his frustration on Monday, complaining he had outplayed Anderson and that his problems with Whisenhunt were "probably away from football."
That led to a meeting with Whisenhunt the following day. Although he was unhappy that Leinart took his issues public, Whisenhunt praised how the quarterback has handled things.
"The one thing I want to make very clear is how professional Matt was about the whole situation," the coach said. "I was very impressed with his conversation with me. He thanked the organization, the ownership, for all the time and effort that they had invested in him. He felt like he had gotten better and he had learned a lot and it meant a lot to me to hear him say that."
NFL teams pared down their rosters to the 53-man limit Saturday. Transactions
• NFL Nation blog: Cutdown analysis
• Harris' fantasy analysis
Leinart played two series in the final preseason game on Thursday night.
"This process was not about what some people said, two weeks into training camp or two preseason games," Whisenhunt said. "It's a complete body of work over a period of time. I will say like I have said before, Matt made tremendous progress. I was excited about what he had done, the work he had put in. I do believe that he is a better quarterback now than he was when I got here four years ago. It is not a slight on Matt, it was a decision that I felt gave us the best chance to win."
Leinart threw for 3,893 yards with 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with Arizona.
Whisenhunt avoided any specific explanation about what Leinart's problems were.
"The most important thing to our players, our team and our fans is that we are in a position to win games," Whisenhunt said.
He noted how the players have rallied around Anderson.
"A lot of it is how his teammates respond to him and the confidence they have in him when he goes into the huddle," Whisenhunt said. "When he came out the other night and completed his first two passes on big plays, the guys rallied around him and that is what you like to see."
The decision elevates Max Hall, an undrafted rookie out of BYU, to backup quarterback, with another rookie, fifth-round draft pick John Skelton out of Fordham, at No. 3.
"Max has played consistently well throughout the preseason and practice," Whisenhunt said. "I understand the dynamic with regular season defenses and regular season games are different, but I am as comfortable as I can be with a rookie as our backup quarterback."
Anderson, who was released by the Cleveland Browns after Mike Holmgren took over as team president, signed with Arizona as a free-agent, initially to back up Leinart. The 6-foot-5 former Oregon State quarterback has a strong arm but has struggled at times with his accuracy. He made the Pro Bowl after leading the Browns to a 10-6 record in 2007 but lost his job to Brady Quinn last season.
Anderson said earlier this week that he was motivated to prove that the 2007 season was "no aberration, not a mirage."
Anderson had been claimed off waivers by Cleveland from Baltimore in 2005.
"He has grown in the little bit of time he has had with the first unit and in the practices," Whisenhunt said. "I like what I have seen. He has made progress. Part of how you assess Derek is we are judging him on what he has done with us."
The same could be said of Leinart.
||09-07-2010 02:29 PM
Leinart agrees to one-year deal with Texans
HOUSTON (AP)—Matt Leinart(notes) has agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Texans, according to agent Tom Condon.
Leinart was cut by Arizona on Saturday. Condon confirmed in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Monday that Leinart had reached a deal with the Texans.
The Texans would not confirm the deal. The team returns to practice Wednesday, leading up to Sunday’s season opener against Indianapolis.
The Texans were looking for insurance at backup quarterback after Dan Orlovsky(notes) threw two interceptions in Houston’s last preseason game last week. John David Booty(notes), another former Southern Cal quarterback, threw two touchdown passes in that game, but was cut over the weekend.
The Cardinals took Leinart with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2006 draft, after he guided the Trojans to two national championships and a third title game appearance. With Kurt Warner(notes) retired, Leinart figured to finally get his chance to start this season, but Derek Anderson(notes) won the job in training camp.
Leinart complained that he had issues with coach Ken Whisenhunt, and the two met late in the preseason. Leinart threw for 3,893 yards with 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with Arizona.
Houston had the NFL’s top passing offense last season (291 yards per game) and starter Matt Schaub(notes) led the league with 4,770 yards passing.
Orlovsky was Houston’s third-string quarterback in 2009. Coach Gary Kubiak said Orlovsky needed to cut down on mistakes in preseason action, and his two interceptions against Tampa Bay last Thursday raised questions whether he’d even make the final roster.
Booty, who succeeded Leinart as Southern Cal’s starting quarterback in 2006, was released instead. After the Tampa Bay game, Kubiak revealed that Booty had been bothered by a shoulder injury during training camp.
Leinart appeared in 12 games as a rookie under coach Dennis Green and threw 11 touchdown passes with 12 interceptions. He started the first five games in 2007 under Whisenhunt before breaking his collarbone, and Warner took the job.
Warner put together two spectacular seasons, while Leinart watched from the sidelines. Leinart played in eight games last season, and completed 66 percent of his passes, but threw three interceptions without a touchdown.
Leinart openly complained when Anderson moved past him on Arizona’s depth chart during training camp this year. He said his issues with Whisenhunt were “probably away from football” and the two had a private meeting the next day.
The Cardinals failed in efforts to trade Leinart before cutting him. By releasing him, Arizona doesn’t have to pay him the $2.5 million he was due for the coming season.
||09-10-2010 01:46 PM
this should stand as a constant reminder that cheaters never prosper....eventually.everyone from that usc season has pretty much failed at the next level save polamalu and thats only because he has such cool hair.
||09-17-2010 05:57 AM
Ken Whisenhunt had it in for Matt Leinart from Day One.
If I had to guess, Leinart could resurface as the first starting QB for the Los Angeles NFL expansion team that will likely be added very soon after the current labor impasse is settled; and I'd say the amicable agreement the owners and the union just reached in the matter of Vincent Jackson is a very positive sign that a work stoppage can be evaded.
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