Matt Leinart Needs To Win One for the Lefties

Adam SpragueContributor IFebruary 17, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Matt Leinart #7 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on from the bench against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 45-14.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If the Cardinals choose not to make a move at the quarterback position, Matt Leinart will have his chance to take over a playoff-tested team with an explosive passing game.

However, one has to think no matter how talented the team is, Leinart will have to deal with the “curse of the lefties” that has hung over the NFL for decades.

There have been only 33 left-handed quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL.

This shouldn’t come as a huge shock since most of the population is right-handed, but I doubt many fans can name more than a handful of successful NFL lefties without doing some serious Google searching.

The only left-handed quarterbacks to have any legitimate success are Steve Young, Ken Stabler, Mark Brunell, Boomer Esiason, and Michael Vick. There are a few others you could argue like Jim Zorn and Scott Mitchell as well.

Young is obviously the cream of the crop and had success from the very moment he stepped onto the field. He never looked awkward like other lefties.

Many times I’ve heard people talking about how left-handers look awkward and slow with their footwork and their release. It’s been talked about on NFL draft shows that if you are a GM debating between two quarterbacks and one of them is a lefty, you take the right-handed quarterback without question.

Pat White, the most recent lefty, came in late this season for Miami only to get smacked off the field in just a few minutes. Is this just the latest quarterback to suffer from the lefty curse?

Let’s not forget Chris Simms, who has the DNA makeup of a NFL all-star but was never able to get it done. The Manning boys (right-handers) seem to have had little problem using their football DNA successfully.

So if Leinart wants to improve on his 57 percent completion rate, his 20 career interceptions, and his 11 career fumbles, he should be studying tape of Steve Young.

Leinart’s reputation suggests that he probably didn’t study Young’s tape and probably never will.  

Hopefully for the Cardinals, Leinart at least learned enough from Kurt Warner to be a Scott Mitchell-type quarterback and not a Chris Simms—otherwise the Cardinals will not make a deep playoff run in 2010.

The Cardinals shouldn’t ask Leinart to do much more than manage that game since the division they play in is so poor. There is a real possibility that if Leinart can get the Cardinals to just eight wins next season, they will still make the playoffs and have a home game.

If Leinart is not successful, it looks like the “curse of the lefties” will turn its eye to its next victim—Tim Tebow.