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Old 11-15-2011   #161
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

Speaking of rallying, we forgot.........Cushing offered to play QB.
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Old 11-15-2011   #162
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...than-you-think

I didn't want to start this blog post with the phrase, "Houston, we have a problem." But the Texans are facing a serious crisis -- starting quarterback Matt Schaub is out for the season with a Lisfranc injury. Replacing him as the starter is habitual hot-tubber and colossal draft bust Matt Leinart, who quietly signed and then re-signed with the Texans last year after being cut by the Arizona Cardinals in training camp.

So, they're doomed, right? Well, hold on. The narrative surrounding Leinart's flop coming out of USC has holes you can drive a truck through. And we’re behind the wheel.

When Leinart was selected out of USC by the Cardinals with the 10th pick of the 2006 NFL Draft, there were plenty of reasons to think that he would succeed as a pro quarterback. The Lewin Career Forecast saw a quarterback who started 39 games in college while completing about 65 percent of his passes and projected him to be a star. While the Forecast has struggled in applying with smaller quarterbacks who played in spread offenses at school (like Brian Brohm and Kevin Kolb, so apparently, also quarterbacks with alliterative names), Leinart was a tall quarterback coming off of a three-year stretch as the starter in a pro-style offense. There are no "can't miss" prospects, but Leinart seemed awful close to being one.

The Cardinals drafted Leinart to be their quarterback of the future, despite having a 34-year-old Kurt Warner on the roster. Warner, who had played well for the 2004 Giants before being removed from the lineup for a rookie Eli Manning, had to beat out Josh McCown for the Cardinals job during the 2005 season. In 2006, head coach and famed talent evaluator Dennis Green benched Warner after the Cardinals' fourth game of the season, throwing Leinart into the fire after just four games. You will probably remember his second start: It was the now-famous "They are who we thought they were!" Monday Night Football game against the undefeated Bears, when Leinart helped push Arizona into a 23-3 lead before the Bears returned two fumbles for touchdowns and got a Devin Hester punt return for a touchdown to seal an incredible 24-23 comeback.

Leinart finished the year with respectable numbers for a rookie, completing 56.8 percent of his passes and throwing 11 touchdowns against 12 interceptions in 11 starts. After the year, the team fired Green and named Ken Whisenhunt as its coach. Leinart started the 2007 season as the team's starting quarterback with shaky numbers -- 60-of-112 for 647 yards with two touchdowns and four picks -- and Whisenhunt temporarily benched him for Warner. The situation resolved itself when Leinart broke his collarbone and missed the remainder of the season. In his stead, Warner was unsurprisingly brilliant, completing 62.3 percent of his passes and averaging 7.6 yards per attempt.

In 2008, the situation came to a head in training camp. When faced with a decision between a Hall of Fame quarterback and a developing young one, Whisenhunt made the only wise decision he's ever made with quarterbacks: He chose the Hall of Famer. Warner promptly had an MVP-caliber year and led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, which left the team with no debate heading into the 2009 season. Over the two-year stretch, Leinart threw 106 passes and completed 62.3 percent of them, but did throw four picks. Then again, that's also a small sample; plenty of quarterbacks throw four picks over 106 passes and are otherwise great. The statistics, for better or worse, mean nothing over that stretch.

When Warner retired after the 2009 season, Leinart was seen as the starter-in-waiting. The team brought in former Browns colossus Derek Anderson to compete, even as Anderson was coming off of a season in which he completed just 44.5 percent of his passes and threw an interception every 18 passes. Over his four-year career in Cleveland, he had completed 52.9 percent of his passes and thrown 46 touchdowns against 45 picks. In other words, Anderson was about as mediocre as Leinart was during his rookie season.

Despite all that, Whisenhunt preferred Anderson, and cut the former first-round pick. Anderson was arguably the worst opening day starter in football, and the team bounced between him and rookies Max Hall and John Navarre throughout the season. Each rated among the worst quarterbacks in football. The following year, Whisenhunt traded for Kevin Kolb. Kolb was, not coincidentally, one of the worst quarterbacks in football this season before suffering an injury. Whisenhunt is the primary reason why Matt Leinart is considered a bust, and over the course of his career as Cardinals coach, Whisenhunt has shown virtually no ability to pick the right starting quarterback for his team.

It's wrong to say that Leinart was a bust, but he is unproven. He's basically been stagnant for the past five years, if he hasn't regressed from a lack of confidence and regular playing time. But even if Leinart is a below-average quarterback at the NFL level, how bad can he really be? Leinart will be in an offense with arguably the league's best rushing attack, a dominant offensive line, and he'll have Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels to throw to. Over the next six weeks, he gets to face two tough pass defenses (Jacksonville and Tennessee), but he'll also get the very friendly secondaries of Atlanta, Carolina, and Indianapolis, and he'll play a Cincinnati team that just lost star cornerback Leon Hall for the season. Even if Leinart isn't very good, his schedule and the players around him are going to make him look like he is.

The reality, Leinart will probably be a much better player than his narrative suggests. The bust label implies Leinart was fairly evaluated by a competent coaching staff. That doesn't appear to be the case. Leinart might not be Schaub, and he might not ever end up becoming the player that everyone expected him to be coming out of USC, but he can be a viable starting quarterback on a playoff team.
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Old 11-15-2011   #163
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

Two words: Tim Tebow


If the Broncos can win with the run game and defense, no reason at all we can't.
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Old 11-15-2011   #164
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

I say he gets it done. the running game is strong, he's used to a QB moving out of the pocket.

I say we go 11-5, maybe 12-4 if AJ comes back close to 100% and the Football Gods smile upon us.

I even see a possible deep playoff run. Now with Schaub out its going to come down to who we play in the playoffs and how we match up to thier strengths.

Who knows maybe Kubiak is the QB Whisperer. Although Sage had his momonents Sage would get this team deep in to the playoffs, so if Matt2 is around that caliber this could be fun year.
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Old 11-15-2011   #165
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Default Re: Next man up...

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Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
The backup QB has one job. Hiding the gaping hole left by the starting QB going down.



If you found your backup QB in some other teams scrap pile then you might be paying for this injury with your job....

Now thats funny. LMAO!
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Old 11-15-2011   #166
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
I went home last night and watched a pre-season recording I still have dvr'd. I'm not sure he'll do the same thing now, but it seemed to me that Leinart checked down a lot. Which is fine if it's all the defense is giving, but dang, it seemed much more noticeable with him than Schaub.

Anyone else remember this during the pre-season?

Anywho, I think Leinart will be ok. I reckon he'll be a bit jittery at the get go, so let's hope the fellas can pick him up.
I really think that had more to do with playing behind a mixed line of backups who can't pass protect worth a darn and throwing to a bunch of guys who couldn't get open and who by and large aren't in the league right now.

Preseason is so distorted it's hard to get a read on what guys are doing. Unless the player just crumbles like Trindon Holliday did his rookie year it's hard to tell who's shining and who sucks.
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Old 11-15-2011   #167
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
I went home last night and watched a pre-season recording I still have dvr'd. I'm not sure he'll do the same thing now, but it seemed to me that Leinart checked down a lot. Which is fine if it's all the defense is giving, but dang, it seemed much more noticeable with him than Schaub.

Anyone else remember this during the pre-season?

Anywho, I think Leinart will be ok. I reckon he'll be a bit jittery at the get go, so let's hope the fellas can pick him up.
The Big Show this morning had an Arizona reporter that used to co-host a local radio show with Leinart.

It was a very interesting interview, and the guy really shed some light on Leinart's early years.

Denny Green was the HC, and that team was in complete disarray. Figure where Leinart was drafted, so it's obvious they were not a good team. We can't hold that against Leinart's career.

He said early on Leinart took things for granted, but as he matured behind Kurt Warner, he started showing some very solid work habits, very deep into film study, and became a student of the NFL game.

His only real knock on Leinart was checking down receivers, so your post is actually a positive. It is most likely something that Kubiak has been working on. There is a reason that Kubiak likes him, as well as a reason why Leinart refused to even entertain offers from other teams. Dude wants to be a Houston Texan.

Quote:
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I wonder if the team really will "rally around" Leinart like they say they will. Or are they really thinking "we're screwed" in the back of their minds? Will they still play like they have been?
I think this team has a lot of heart. We've lost some big names, but like a shark's mouth, lose a tooth and the next one takes it's place. I would be shocked if this team did not rally behind Leinart. And as cynical as I am, I still feel good about the rest of the season.

This team will win this division and make it's first trip to the playoffs. I felt that way before Schaub going down, and I feel it today. Regardless of how a playoff game turns out, I'd consider this season a success when they earn that division title.
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Old 11-15-2011   #168
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

I'm hoping that Matt Leinart + AJ > this year's subpar Schaub - AJ.

Oh, and the first play vs. the Jags is going to be a play-action boot bomb for a TD.
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Old 11-15-2011   #169
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
The Big Show this morning had an Arizona reporter that used to co-host a local radio show with Leinart.

It was a very interesting interview, and the guy really shed some light on Leinart's early years.

Denny Green was the HC, and that team was in complete disarray. Figure where Leinart was drafted, so it's obvious they were not a good team. We can't hold that against Leinart's career.

He said early on Leinart took things for granted, but as he matured behind Kurt Warner, he started showing some very solid work habits, very deep into film study, and became a student of the NFL game.

His only real knock on Leinart was checking down receivers, so your post is actually a positive. It is most likely something that Kubiak has been working on. There is a reason that Kubiak likes him, as well as a reason why Leinart refused to even entertain offers from other teams. Dude wants to be a Houston Texan.



I think this team has a lot of heart. We've lost some big names, but like a shark's mouth, lose a tooth and the next one takes it's place. I would be shocked if this team did not rally behind Leinart. And as cynical as I am, I still feel good about the rest of the season.

This team will win this division and make it's first trip to the playoffs. I felt that way before Schaub going down, and I feel it today. Regardless of how a playoff game turns out, I'd consider this season a success when they earn that division title.
Thanks, man. I'm feeling much better about this situation as it sinks in.

I'd feel much better if the Falcons wipe their collective ass with the titans this Sunday.
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Old 11-15-2011   #170
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
Thanks, man. I'm feeling much better about this situation as it sinks in.

I'd feel much better if the Falcons wipe their collective ass with the titans this Sunday.
Yeah, I was shocked with the news yesterday.

But the more I thought about it and the way that this team is built - strong defense & running game - and the heart they collectively show as a team, the more I started thinking that this division is still ours to take. Our only real rival is the Titans, and they are mediocre at best with the Saints, Texans, and Falcons still to play.

I won't speculate about playoffs until they earn the spot and we see Lienart in action. However, we still have the strengths of traditionally strong playoff teams with the defense and running game. Leinart will just need to minimize mistakes. If Dilfer can win a Super Bowl with a great D and running game, I do not see a reason to jump off the cliff because of Leinart.
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Old 11-15-2011   #171
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

I've decided the bye week is good timing for the team, but terrible timing for the fanbase.

We are going to go nuts with the extra week to angst about how Leinart is going to work out.
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Old 11-15-2011   #172
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

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Originally Posted by GlassHalfFull View Post
I've decided the bye week is good timing for the team, but terrible timing for the fanbase.

We are going to go nuts with the extra week to angst about how Leinart is going to work out.
True....but you can't say it won't be good for message boards.
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Old 11-15-2011   #173
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

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Pretty much what i've been saying. Rep your way for the hope inducing article.

Wisenhunt has made terrible decisions on his QB position while Kubes has always made sound decisions (although the whole HWSNBN was probably him trying to get a job) and I think if Kubes thinks so much of Leinart that says all I need to hear.

I don't think Leinart is so bad that he's going to make everyone around him worse. I can also buy into the whole theory that he came into the NFL expecting results and has since been humbled and has now worked his tail off and is just waiting for his next opportunity.

I completely buy into the theory that Leinart is unproven. He's pretty much had one year under Green his rookie year and he did not play horrible and had a respectable year for a rookie QB.

In the prediction thread I still expect this team to go 12-4 and I think I expected that WITH Schaub in so I'm not expecting a huge drop off.
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Old 11-15-2011   #174
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

If Leinart goes for like 10-15 for a buck and a half, with a couple of those shots being down the field, I'd be fine. That would or should be enough to keep the defense honest.
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Old 11-15-2011   #175
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

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If Leinart goes for like 10-15 for a buck and a half, with a couple of those shots being down the field, I'd be fine. That would or should be enough to keep the defense honest.
Me too....as long as there was a W involved.
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Old 11-15-2011   #176
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

I hope we utilize more screens and dumpoffs to Tate and Foster. I've called for this with Schaub and we've used the RBs more like short recivers. It's worked pretty well, but let's ramp it up. Use Andre and other WRs on slants, use TEs for security blankets.

Don't change much, but adjust to get Leinart as comfortable as possible. If we have to dink and dunk our way, I hate it but thats what we gotta do.
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Old 11-15-2011   #177
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

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Originally Posted by TheMatrix31 View Post
I hope we utilize more screens and dumpoffs to Tate and Foster. I've called for this with Schaub and we've used the RBs more like short recivers. It's worked pretty well, but let's ramp it up. Use Andre and other WRs on slants, use TEs for security blankets.

Don't change much, but adjust to get Leinart as comfortable as possible. If we have to dink and dunk our way, I hate it but thats what we gotta do.
Schaub did this all year anyways. Without AJ it was pretty much up to him to just manage the game.

Like I said before, I don't think there will be that big of a drop off. Matt Cassell stumbled into a similar situation and did fine.
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Old 11-15-2011   #178
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

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I agree with your whole post. Just didn't quote it all because I'm hoping everyone already read the great post you put up.

Kubiak just needs to remember that we won 7 games by playing great defense and using our awesome running game. Everyone in the league is talking about how this is a passing league now but look at some of the top teams in the league like San Fransisco. They are winning by playing great defense and running the ball. We can do this.
Thanks, El Tejano. Of course, now you're "crazy" for agreeing with me. Poor guy. I'm sorry your reputation is at stake now.

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How is it possible that you aren't an NFL coach already?
I'll just use your own "NFL analysis skills" against you. You said, IIRC, Steve Slaton was running better in the camp and preseason of THIS year than he did his ONLY good year back in 2008. Right? And I see where you recently listed Andy Dalton as someone we could have done worse with instead of Leinart. Correct?

I think all that "good stuff" you thought I'm smokin' is sitting right by your armchair at home...the smoke clinging to the air and hovering there constantly.

I think it's fair to say that Schaub throws a lot of wonky passes with not very much spin on them. When you look at Andy Dalton's mechanics, it's 10 times better than Schaub's mechanics. The spin Dalton puts on a ball, consistently, and the trajectory he puts on the pass, combined with his cannon of an arm, is what's got the Bengals where they are right now. The kid can ball. Period.

But you think he's worse than Leinart. LOL.
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Old 11-15-2011   #179
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I hope we utilize more screens and dumpoffs to Tate and Foster. I've called for this with Schaub and we've used the RBs more like short recivers. It's worked pretty well, but let's ramp it up. Use Andre and other WRs on slants, use TEs for security blankets.

Don't change much, but adjust to get Leinart as comfortable as possible. If we have to dink and dunk our way, I hate it but thats what we gotta do.
I understand that line of thinking, and don't disagree for the most part, but we have to take some shots down field. If defenses start to realize that our entire offensive plan takes place with 10-15 yards from the line of scrimmage, then the playing field becomes compressed much like it is in the red zone.
Flat out, there has to be a decent mix of five step drops and throws over the top to keep the short area loose.

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Old 11-15-2011   #180
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Default Re: Predictions for Matt Leinart

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True....but you can't say it won't be good for message boards.
that pretty much depends on your definition of the word "good"
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