Matt Leinart: Learns, Grows and Reflects

Jason P. SkodaContributor IMay 22, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Quarterback Matt Leinart #7 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Matt Leinart is on the verge.

Of what exactly, no one knows for sure.

He could be on the verge on being a first-round bust. The former Heisman Trophy winner was taken 10th overall in the 2006 draft by the Cardinals. He was tabbed the starter for the 2007 season but after being injured early in October of that season Kurt Warner has started 31 consecutive games and led the moribund franchise to the Super Bowl.

But then again, Warner is 37 and today's NFL has quarterbacks needing replaced because of injuries as often as baby's diaper. He also might be on the verge of taking over the offense for the defending NFC Champions.

One thing is for sure, Leinart is no longer a baby and he knows he is ready to make an impact in the league.

Here are the questions that I'd ask Leinart for a feature story. Some serious, some not so much.

Reports of your offseason have all been positive, which hasn’t always been the case since your rookie season. What turned your approach around this time?

The coaching staff has noticed there is a difference in your footwork and even command of the offense. Is it fair to say this is most prepared for a season you have been in your professional career?

A Super Bowl run has a weird effect on teams. The coaching staffs get raided, the players get big contract offers after performing in highly-visible games and others want new contracts.

At 26, you are heading toward the prime of your career and yet Kurt Warner was signed to a two-year deal. Was there a part of you that wanted to find your wait out of Arizona?

How are long are you willing to bide your time behind Warner before you start thinking about your career?

It’s apparent that your relationship with Warner has been pretty positive. How long did take for you to realize that it might be a good idea to latch on to a guy who is a former league MVP and guided his time to the Super Bow?

What’s the dirtiest word you ever heard come out of Warner’s mouth?

How different do you think the offense will be this season with Todd Haley in Kansas City instead of on the Cardinals sideline?

The nation only gets to see the sickness of Larry Fitzgerald once a week for 16 weeks or so per year. Does he make those amazing, ball-at-the-top-of-its-apex type catches daily and does it ever get old?

You were drafted in the Dennis Green era. That's didn't last too much longer. Coach Whisenhunt came in and basically said may the best man win. You did, beginning the 2007 season as the starter, but were injured.

Warner came in and started every game since. Do you think if Green was still running things there would have been more of  chance to re-take your starting spot?

Every backup player in the NFL has probably uttered some variation of the phrase about “being ready because you are always one play away from being the starter.” What do you do to make sure it is not just a cliché and something the coaching staff and your teammates believe in?

There is a sense that quarterback play in the NFL is down compared to years past. Heck Vinny Testaverde started against you guys a few years back, Brett Favre is still dangling out there and there is the Michael Vick saga.

Do you think this is the result of colleges going with spread offense and the QBs coming into the league unprepared or are this generation of players under rated?

Your son, Cole, is approaching his third birthday. Has Peter Carroll sent out any feelers yet about his college choice?

Former USC QB Mark Sanchez made some recent headlines because of his spread in GQ. Do you have any cautionary tales for your fellow alum?

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