With Kurt Warner onto bigger and better things (Dancing With The Stars), the Arizona Cardinals have been left with an enormous void in their selection of quarterbacks.
Kurt Warner had a fairytale career, and it is hard to argue with his talent or his presence.
But now the Arizona Cardinals have to choose between two mediocre quarterbacks to try and lead the team to another winning season.
We've all seen what Derek Anderson can do (and it isn't much), but Arizona fans are still unsure of what Matt Leinart could still offer their team.
He looks great on paper: BCS titles, numerous bowl game MVP awards, and a Heisman.
But what have you done for me lately, Matty?
He's no Kurt Warner, and here is a list of ten reasons he won't turn into one.
Let's get this one out of the way:
When you're competing for the starting quarterback spot against Derek Anderson, and your coaches are leaning toward starting the former Brown, you're probably just not that good.
Leinart has been very public in his "disappointment" in Ken Whisenhunt's decision to start Derek Anderson. Although we appreciate Leinart's confidence, he has had time to prove himself.
And it appears that the Cardinals have all but bailed on him.
Something that many people admire about Kurt Warner is his humility, and fans everywhere can relate to his quiet confidence. Stats aside, Warner has been portrayed by some as a sort of "American hero," practicing by throwing toilet paper rolls while stocking shelves in a supermarket.
Sorry, Matt, but until your numbers add up, you need to lose the attitude.
Kurt Warner built his career literally from the ground up. After playing ball in high school, Warner had to work his way up from the third-string quarterback position at the University of Norther Iowa to finally start during his senior year.
Warner then worked out for the Green Bay Packers but was released as he was deemed "not NFL ready."
He then worked in a grocery store stocking shelves for minimum wage and decided to give Arena Football a shot. Warner finally signed with the St. Louis Rams in 1998 and received his big break when Trent Green tore his ACL in a preseason game.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Warner went from complete anonymity to Super Bowl champion in a single season.
And then we have Matt Leinart. Must have been tough to play for an always loaded USC team alongside Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, and Reggie Bush (just to name a few).
While Leinart proved that he was a terrific college quarterback, we have to admit that he didn't have to work nearly as hard as Kurt Warner.
NFL teams have training camps every year to insure that the best players play each position in order to give the team the best chance to compete for a championship.
It's not personal. As much as we like to think that professional sports are about the game and the fans, the NFL is a business.
Coaches have to make decisions, and they have to make cuts.
Kurt Warner was released from several training camps, and what did he do? He tried again.
Matt Leinart has lost his spot to Derek Anderson, and what does he do?
Who doesn't like Kurt Warner? He's classy. He's talented. And he has a hot wife!
But let's be serious. Kurt Warner is everything we want in an athlete. He is a family man (with seven kids!), and he has devoted much of his time and money to First Things First, a foundation through which he and his wife reach out to help their community.
Now another question:
Who really likes Matt Leinart?
While Warner is older and has had the time to further establish his reputation, Leinart isn't exactly the role model sports fans are looking for.
Leinart may work on his image in the future, but he is light-years behind other quarterbacks in the league.
Can we say "Tim Tebow"?
If there is one characteristic that Kurt Warner embodies, it is definitely drive. Warner set a goal, and then he worked as hard as he could to get where he wanted to be. Warner was focused, and he never lost sight of his dream.
It looks like Matt Leinart may have too many distractions to establish himself as a successful NFL quarterback.
Sure, thousands of college girls begging you to "party" with them can be tempting (he's only human), but after holding out for such a hefty contract with the Cardinals, you'd think Leinart would take his job a little more seriously.
Nobody is born with all the abilities needed to be a star NFL quarterback. Everybody needs some fine-tuning, but some players possess more natural talent than others. Kurt Warner is one of these players.
Leinart is 27 years old, and it's time for him to get it together. Even Kurt Warner has said that Leinart still needs quite a bit of work to play at his level, and time is running out.
Many quarterbacks need a few years to transition from college to the NFL, but Leinart is out of excuses.
Kurt Warner had the ability to gain the trust and confidence of his fellow teammates based on his talents alone. Add in charisma, and who wouldn't want to follow Warner?
The feeling in the Cardinals' locker room is that other players have more confidence in Derek Anderson than they do in Matt Leinart. If he can't get his team behind him, how is he supposed to get the results he needs to be a successful NFL quarterback?
Kurt Warner's passing numbers are outrageous. In his breakout season with the St. Louis Rams, he threw for 4,353 yards, and his career total is 32,344. A good quarterback needs to be able to throw the ball. Period.
Amongst the many concerns surrounding Matt Leinart, his arm is questionable at best. The NFL is a passing league, so the Cardinals will only be able to get away with running the ball for so long.
Kurt Warner had the ability to make sports fans and professionals alike sit back and say, "Who is that guy?" Warner has "it." He has that certain thing that we just can't put our fingers on. And we can't put a price on it either.
Matt Leinart doesn't evoke the same feeling in us. We don't look at him and say, "Wow. Now that's a quarterback."
We feel sorry for you, Matty. Hopefully these looming trade rumors are right, and you find a team that will give you the ammunition to prove us wrong. Until then, we hope you enjoy the view from the sideline.