ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, as well as the Associated Press, have reported that a source with the Arizona Cardinals has told them that Kurt Warner will be named the starting quarterback for the season opener.
In other words: Matt Leinart is being benched.
The source said Leinart's training-camp performance has been uneven, and the Cardinals are concerned about his arm strength and consistency.
That’s company line. The sugarcoated one for public dissemination. What the Cardinals are really saying is that Matt Leinart is a sleazeball.
Sorry, loyal USC fans, but unfortunately it’s true. You see, Tom Brady’s arm strength was weaker than Matt Leinart’s when he first came into the league. The same might be said of a number of other NFL quarterbacks including Kurt Warner, the Cardinal's new starting quarterback.
Warner’s credentials were so poor that he was never drafted; he had to pay his dues in the Arena Football League.
Also, you mean to tell me that the Cardinals didn’t know that Leinart needed to strengthen his arm when they drafted him. No way. That was at the top of all of his scouting reports.
And inconsistency? What they mean is that Leinart lacks focus. He'd rather be out partying than practicing or working his butt off in the weight room.
But guys like Tom Brady and Kurt Warner are willing to pay the price. They have the work ethic of champions. Brady spent a lot of time in the weight room and built up his arm strength as well as his entire upper body. Did Leinart?
Did he set an example for all of his teammates? Did he show them a work ethic that earmarked him as their leader?
The only thing that Leinart showed was his mug at the Playboy mansion, and his uncanny ability to manipulate a beer bong for use on under-aged coeds.
"I know Matt's down because he didn't play as well as he would have liked," Whisenhunt said after Leinart’s horrific showing against the Oakland Raiders. "This competition, being pushed by Kurt, has made Matt tougher. It's one of the things you have to be as a quarterback."
Translation: Leinart doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude—the guts—to do what is necessary to be a starting NFL quarterback.
And you can probably add "gun shy," after getting his collarbone broken last season.
Neither Whisenhunt nor the Cardinals' organization can come out and really say what they think of Leinart because it would be politically incorrect for one thing and probably would destroy what little self-confidence Leinart may have left after his humiliating performances so far this preseason.
But maybe they should come out and state what they really think and publicly humiliate Leinart. In the long run, it may benefit him, not only as a player, but as a teammate, as a responsible father, and as a human being, to have that celebrity ego of his shattered once and for all.