Saturday, September 4, 2010

Will Leinart be a starter anywhere?

Matt Leinart’s future is uncertain after the Cardinals made him part of their past.

Leinart was released Saturday by the Cardinals, marking another career setback for the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft and the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner. Another team may sign Leinart as a backup quarterback, perhaps the Seahawks, where his former college coach, Pete Carroll, is now the head coach. However, Leinart’s inability to beat out Derek Anderson for the Cardinals’ starting job raises the question if Leinart will ever be good enough to start anywhere.

“He hasn’t performed,” former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said. “He hasn’t taken advantage of his opportunities. He has clearly been average. He hasn’t been a guy who has really taken control and choked the opportunity that has been given to him.

“Obviously there’s something missing there. Ken Whisenhunt (Cardinals coach) has been watching him closely, a young guy that has been put in place to be the future of the franchise. He hasn’t taken advantage of his opportunities. The people that know him best in Arizona don’t believe he can take them where they want to go. For that reason, they’re going to try to upgrade the position.”

Anderson will start Week 1 against the Rams, backed up by two rookie quarterbacks— Max Hall and John Skelton. After Kurt Warner retired at the end of last season, the job became Leinart’s to lose. And that is exactly what he did. He was unimpressive during the preseason and did not run the offense with confidence.

Once it became clear that Leinart might not start, the Cardinals’ coaching staff became concerned that he would have difficulty accepting a backup role. The Cardinals explored trading Leinart for several days but found no takers, and they decided it would be best to send Leinart packing.

“I think there’s a Matt Leinart that can be an efficient NFL quarterback,” ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski said. “But I also believe sometimes you just need a change of environment.”

source: Yahoo Sports
author: The Sporting News

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