There can be one thing associated with Matt Leinart's four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals among fans, it is passion. It can be passion for his falling to the tenth pick in the 2006 NFL Draft to the Arizona Cardinals. It can be the passion of fans thinking about what he could become in the NFL. It also is the passion against him. In 2010, it was passion for letting him stay to prove himself and passion against him and happy to see him released.
In a radio interview on ESPN Los Angeles, he talks about supposedly being a bust, having confidence and other stuff.
When asked about being a bust in the league, he is pretty frank. He said he has heard everything, and I can imagine that he has. "For me I haven't proven anything, so I haven't proven that I could play game in and game out," explains Leinart. "I believe I can play and I'm not one to make excuses."
He does, though defend himself in his time here, falling behind Kurt Warner. He truly believes "he (Warner) got himself into the Hall of Fame those last couple of years." That certainly is true. Warner probably would not have been Hall of Fame material were it not for his last two seasons in Arizona. "I battled with a Hall of Famer two training camps in a row," he explains. "I thought I competed as well as he did and obviously Kurt was a great player."
What Leinart is forgetting is how bad he looked in the 2008 preseason. Warner definitely deserves any and all praise he gets, but Leinart just didn't have it that year.
The most interesting part of the interview, for me, was something small he said about how the 2010 season played out for him here in Arizona. "It just didn't work out for whatever reason," he said. "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."
Truthfully, those are the things I want to understand. The whole saga that played out is some strange mystery. I wish either he or Ken Whisenhunt would come out and say what differences they had. I want, as I have posted before, Whiz to explain why he though Derek Anderson was the better choice and why he thought that he gave the Cards a better chance of winning than Leinart. If Leinart did things he knows were dumb and immature, I would love for him to come out and say, "I did this and that that did not work out." I know it will never happen as long as he is in the league, but I have always felt that there was so much more to that story than ever will get told.
In his defense, he says that he has been working hard and that he has confidence again after his time in Houston. It seems he does not expect to be back because he refers to the Texans as "a small and good stepping stone for me to get my career back on track and get a chance to compete somewhere and get that opportunity to start."
All that being said, I personally hope that he gets on track and can eventually start somewhere. He is right. To have success in the league as a starter, "it's not just always about being a quarterback, but being the right situation." As long as that situation is somewhere other than in the NFC West, I will be pleased for him. If that successful situation is in the Cards' division, that would be too painful to experience.