Matt Leinart May Have Fight For Backup Quarterback

Now going into his fourth season in the NFL as a member of the Arizona Cardinals, quarterback Matt Leinart has found himself no closer to the starting spot than he did on that fateful April 2006 day when the Cardinals took the best remaining player in the draft at number 10.

Sure he had the starting spot for five games in 2007 before he got injured.  Sure he was named the starter before the 2008 training camp got started, only to lose it to Kurt Warner halfway through camp.

The only way Matt Leinart may see a starting job again is with another team, even if Warner gets hurt this season or next.  That’s because Brian St. Pierre, the Cardinals third quarterback, doesn’t expect to roll over and play dead and accept the third string job once again in 2009.

St. Pierre knows the system.  He played in coach Ken Whisenhunt’s system as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers a few seasons back.  He played impressively during the 2008 preseason.  I would not be surprised to see him find real game action in 2009.

A lot of it, is certainly not for the lack of effort or trying on Leinart’s part.  Unfortunately he has been a victim of circumstance.  After he was injured in St. Louis in 2007 five games through the season, Warner found a re-birth and hasn’t let the reins go since.  This is also not to say Leinart hasn’t found himself in situations he shouldn’t have been, bringing his maturity level into question, say his pool part pics from last season.

He was named the starter in the off-season between 2007-2008, for the 2008 campaign.  Whisenhunt employed the same thought I had, that a player should not lose his job due to injury.  However, given the way Warner was playing, how could you keep him off the field.  Clearly, it was the right move.

No matter what your feelings are about Leinart or how you feel he has been treated, you do have to think he may have a hard time finding the playing field in 2009.  For his part, he has accepted the backup role, at least publicly.  Privately, it must be eating at him.  I don’t blame him.

Scott Allen


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Tags: Arizona Cardinals Brian St. Pierre Ken Whisenhunt Kurt Warner Matt Leinart

  • Tom Highway

    Whenever I read that Leinart’s “bustdome” isn’t really his fault… or he’s just a victim of “circumstance”… I know it’s time to break out the hip waders.

    First of all, Leinart being benched has nothing to do with beer bongs and hot tubs. Sure, Leinart’s people would have us believe that, because it’s so much easier to explain than the fact that he’s simply not a very good quarterback.

    Even before his injury in 2007 (his 2nd season-ending injuries in his past 5 sacks), he was pretty awful. He posted the lowest passer rating in the NFL (61.9) and threw for the fewest yards per game of all NFL quarterbacks (129). And in 5 games, he only managed 1 touchdown to Anquan Boldin, and ZERO to Larry Fitzgerald The Great.

    And with the same offensive line, same receivers, and same lousy running game, Warner has averaged almost 3 TD’s per game, almost 300 YPG, and posted a top-5 passer rating ever since. And yes, Warner has made Boldin and Fitz relevant again by averaging about 1 TD per game to EACH.

    And as for Leinart publicly accepting his backup role, I disagree. Leinart openly pouted on the sidelines for most of 2008 while Warner was leading the Cardinals to the playoffs and to the Super Bowl — and blowing up the Cardinals’ single-season QB record book.

    And Leinart’s pre-SB comment in Tampa that he could have led the club to the Super Bowl, too smacked of a guy with a screw loose. Doesn’t he watch game tape of himself? How about 3 interceptions in a matter of minutes versus the Oakland Raiders in the 2008 preseason against a bunch of 3rd string defensive backs — most of whom are currently employed as bouncers?

    Leinart is a bust, a bum, and has no NFL future. Thank God we’ve got Kurt Warner locked up for 2 more seasons!

  • Chuck

    Hahaha…Tom Highway, you are an absolute joke…what kind of ‘man’ gets his kicks from trolling sites and repeatedly giving it to Leinart? not much of a cards fan if you deathride the guy who is one Warner injury away from being the QB (and man has warner looked old and creaky this preseason)

  • azscott

    Well Tom, while I agree, Leinart is no Warner, we all have to remember he is still young. I wasn’t a fan of Leinart’s at USC,well, because I dislike most anything to do with USC. However, Chuck has it right. He is a Warner injury from being our starter (assuming Brian St. Pierre isn’t, although that certainly is a possibility). Leinart is an Arizona Cardinal, like it or not.