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Matt Leinart: Fair to Call Him a Bust?

Erin McLaughlinSenior Analyst IIJuly 1, 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)

Recently, I was involved in a discussion involving who was better in college between Brady Quinn and Matt Leinart. During the conversation it was argued that Matt Leinart was an NFL bust.

While it shouldn't be a surprise that that was said, I actually have a different view on him.

I don't think he is a bust. I just think he is a terrible fit for a Ken Whisenhunt style of offense.

If you remember correctly, he was actually drafted by Dennis Green. Green comes from the Bill Walsh school and ran the traditional West Coast offense.

Kurt Warner really struggled in that offense. The plan was not to play Leinart right away, but Warner was struggling. Therefore, Leinart replaced him by about Week Five. He actually performed okay in that offense, and it seemed like an offense he was more comfortable with.

At USC he ran an offense similar to that. I am not sure if Pete Carroll considers his offense a West Coast offense, but it definitely has some West Coast features.

It would have been interesting to see what Leinart could have done with another year under Green.

When Whisenhunt took over, he never really liked Leinart. In fact he actually told him that his mechanics stunk. Of course, Whisenhunt was thinking that Leinart would struggle in his system. It was much more of a downfield vertical game. That clearly favored Warner and that is why he won the job.

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Now, nobody can fault Whisenhunt. He inherited Leinart and probably would not have drafted him. After all, he did take them to a Super Bowl.

I am just surprised that Leinart has not been traded this offseason.

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