I usually give quarterbacks three years of NFL experience before I make any judgments on their ability to play the position.
The college game is so much different from the professional game, both in terms of the complexity of the playbook and the speed of the game.
Some quarterbacks take a little longer to adjust than others and unfortunately we sometimes like to rush to judgment as sports fans and proclaim players busts, simply because they do not pan out in their first year.
Matt Leinart was one of the biggest stars in college football in 2005. In three years at USC he started 39 games and passed for 10,693 yards, 99 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2004 and compiled a record of 37-2 as a starter. That success earned him the 10th pick in the 2006 NFL draft.
There just have not been very many good moments in Leinart’s NFL career. His rookie season he went 4-7 as a starter and passed for 2,547 yards, 11 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a QB rating of 74.0. Those were good numbers for a rookie and it was expected he would build on that success...