Archive for Kurt Warner

Matt Leinart: It wasn’t in the Cards

Posted in NCAA Football, NFL with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by nathanelwell

Matt Leinart, supreme stud of the USC campus, and eternal back-up of the Arizona Cardinals, was released by Arizona on Saturday.  Not a shocker, as far as I’m concerned.  Leinart never seemed to sit well with Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt.  “I think that in the end we both agreed this was probably the best thing for him, to have a fresh start” said Whisenhunt.  Leinart’s history with the Cardinals has been a rocky one, to say the least.  His social life was often scrutinized more than his contributions to the NFL.  Beer bongs, playmates, parties, and a pregnancy were headlines instead of wins, touchdowns, and playoffs.  But to be fair to Leinart, several other NFL athletes have had over-publicized social lives only to excel on the football field.  So why don’t we look at Leinart’s career statistics in Arizona to see if the Cardinals were justified in releasing him.

Matt Leinart was selected 10th overall in the 2006 NFL draft.  At the time, this was considered a steal.  After a contract holdout, Leinart became the starter for the Cardinals over veteran Kurt Warner.  He ended the 2006 season with 2,547 yards and 11 touchdowns., but had a 4-7 record as the starter.  In 2007, Leinart’s season was cut short due to a broken collarbone.  He only started in 5 games, throwing for 647 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions.  His career numbers are nothing to write home about – 3893 yards, 14 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, 29 sacks.  For being in the league 4 years, these numbers are mediocre, for a QB drafted at the front end of the 1st round.  Steve Clarkson, who is considered a “private quarterback guru and friend” to Matt Leinart, said “when you enter the league with a certain perception, people will continue to believe that perception no matter what you do…its unfortunate.”  Or more simply put, “perception is reality”.

So where does Matt Leinart go to next?  The most media-tantalizing location would be Seattle, where Leinart would team up with rookie head coach Pete Carroll.  But before you USC fans quiver with anticipation, the Seahawks say they see no need for Leinart.  Another rumor was that the NY Giants may consider Leinart to be a back-up behind Eli Manning.  This rumor was quickly extinguished when the Giants picked up Sage Rosenfels from the Vikings.  What option is he left with?  I vote on a reality tv show.  Wasn’t it the fourth season that Leinart was the Bachelor?  Oh wait, nevermind.  That was Bob Guiney.


Rise of the Cardinals

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , on November 12, 2008 by nathanelwell

Who could forget this moment in sports?  On October 16th 2006, the Chicago Bears were down 20-0 against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium.  This was after 6 turnovers by Rex Grossman.  The Bears were down 23-3 while the clock was winding down in the 3rd Quarter.  They somehow stripped the ball of Cardinal QB Matt Leinart, and ran it back for a touchdown – 23-10.  With 5 minutes left to go in the 4th Quarter, the Bears stripped the ball AGAIN from the Cardinals, and ran it back for a touchdown 23-17.  Then, with 2:58 left to play, Devin Hester the kick return genie ran back a punt 84 yards for another touchdown 24-23.  And the Cardinals missed a 41 yard field goal with under a minute to play to blow a 20 point lead and lose the game.  The most amazing football game I have ever seen.  What did Cardinals coach Dennis Green have to say?  You have certainly seen the video below:

And that sums up the entire franchise history of the Arizona Cardinals.  Did you know that the Arizona Cardinals are the oldest operating professional football team in the U.S.?  And did you know that they have only won a single playoff game in only five appearances?  And only 2 winning seasons since 1984?  After the 2006 loss to the Bears, coach Dennis Green eventually was fired, the Cardinals finished the season 5-11.  Thngs seemed to have hit rock bottom after 2006.  Then, they hired Ken Whisenhunt, play-calling master of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Whisenhunt orchestrated the 2005 Super Bowl Steelers Offensive play-calling and was sure to make a “bang” when he went over to the Cardinals.

Probably the smartest move Whisenhunt did was benching Matt Leinart in favor of veteran Kurt Warner.  While Leinart was busy beer bonging and having a loose zipper, Whisenhunt put in the clean-cut Warner to turn the team around.  And how has Warner done this year?  Week 2: 361 yards.  Week 4: 472 yards.  Week 8: 381 yards.  Week 10: 328 yards.  As of right now, Warner is projected to have the best QB rating since his 1999 season with the Rams.  So all that to say, the Cardinals are pretty darn good.  So good in fact that they are 6-3 and are blowing the rest of the NFC West Division out of the water.  The Cards remainder of season schedule is moderate, and we should see them playing in the playoffs for the first time in awhile.

The 2008 NFL Season needed a team for the media to get hyped about.  The Patriots fizzled out when Tom Brady got hurt in the 1st Quarter of the 1st game.  The Seahawks have shown zero momentum and have bored the city of Seattle into a stupor.  The Cowboys have started to take a dive after losing Romo to injury.  But right now, I believe that the Arizona Cardinals are the most exciting team to watch in the NFL.  Yes, they even beat out Brett Favre’s Jets and Chad Pennington’s Dolphins.  But probably the most entertaining part of the Cardinals is that their coach looks like Woody Harrelson.  Who wouldnt win with a coach that looks like him?

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