Oakland Raiders: 4 Reasons the Raiders Won't Need to Call on Matt Leinart
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Nine years ago, USC sophomore quarterback Matt Leinart threw for over 3,500 yards and 38 touchdowns for the powerhouse Trojans.
After it was all said and done, Leinart's days at USC were some of the greatest in the history of college football.
Since Leinart's "glory days" as a Trojan, he's been one of the worst busts in NFL history.
Now, he finds himself behind Carson Palmer once again. Only this time, Leinart will have a much more daunting task of outperforming the quarterback he took over for at USC.
He has been a complete disappointment since he came into the league.
Why should this year be any different?
Let's look at why the Raiders won't need Leinart's services this season.
Limited Experience and No Success
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Very limited time.
He was 10-for-13 in that game, arguably the best start he's had to any game since coming into the league in 2006.
Carson Palmer had back-to-back 4,000 yard seasons in 2006-07, and has much more starting experience than his former understudy.
Leinart was brought in as a backup, so don't expect him to emerge out of that role and into the starting position.
Carson Palmer Is More Comfortable with the Offense
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After a dreadful start to last season where he started only five days after he was acquired by the Raiders, Carson Palmer settled in to the offense nicely as the season winded down.
Now Palmer has a full offseason and training camp with his teammates under his belt.
Although he's been shaky this preseason, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp is excited that Palmer has been experimental with his throws.
Knapp to the Washington Post:
My belief for a quarterback to run a new offense you have got to try some stuff. But he has got to test himself. I don’t want to ever train a guy to be conservative from day one. He won’t know his limits then.”
Despite the injuries to the Raiders' offense, Palmer says he feels confident in where the offense is as camp closes.
A Stable Running Game Will Ease the Pressure Off the Oakland Passing Attack
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With one of the best running backs in the game in the backfield, the Raiders have the luxury of handing the ball off to Darren McFadden if Carson Palmer struggles.
Of course, McFadden's health is always a question, but head coach Dennis Allen assured that Run DMC is "100 percent."
Allen to the San Francisco Chronicle (via profootballtalk.com)
He’s been extremely explosive throughout camp and in the preseason. He’s very vital to our offense, giving our offense a chance to be explosive and keep the defenses honest.
McFadden, as displayed in the Raiders' first preseason game against the Cowboys, has the ability to turn a screen pass into a 20-yard pickup.
His versatility will help Palmer ease into a nice rhythm.
He's Just Not Very Good
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Yes, Leinart was a stud at USC when he won the Heisman Trophy and the national championship.
But since the Arizona Cardinals drafted him in 2006, Leinart has been nothing short of a disappointment.
He's only played in 31 games during his five years in the NFL, and hasn't played in more than 12 games in a season over that span.
Leinart has yet to make the adjustment from college football to the NFL, and it's yet to be determined if he ever will.
He hasn't had the most opportunities to improve his talent (a la Alex Smith), but he's underperformed whenever he's been on the field.
Carson Palmer at 50 percent is better than Leinart at 100 percent anytime he's under center.
Leinart might've taken over for Palmer at USC, but don't expect the same in Oakland.