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Matt Leinart Sounds Off About Benching

Derek Anderson is going to start at quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals in the all-important third preseason game on Saturday night against the Chicago Bears.  From a fan’s standpoint, the NFL preseason is meaningless.  For a player, there are certain moments that are crucial.  The third preseason game is one of those moments, as it represents the game that is most closely treated like a regular season game where the projected starters get the most playing time.

If you start the third preseason game, there’s a good chance the position you start at is yours to lose.  With that in mind, it’s understandable that Matt Leinart is frustrated he has been benched.  To the outside viewer, it’s hardly a surprise.  We knew the Cardinals weren’t comfortable with their quarterback situation when they brought Anderson in this past off-season and explored adding Marc Bulger.  I don’t know if it’s the former Heisman winner’s absence of effort or his attitude, but the Cardinals have never seemed enthusiastic about him as the starter.  Based on his recent comments to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a combination of the two.

I’m disappointed. I’ve done everything to this point that they’ve asked me to and more. I’ve worked hard and been a leader. I’m trying to be that guy in this new role. I have high expectations for myself.”

“I feel I’ve been efficient. I’ve been accurate. I haven’t turned the ball over. I don’t know how we judge performance when you have 13 pass attempts to the other guy’s 40. I’m not going to sit here and complain and point the finger. I have to get better and I’m going to get better.”

The only problem with his logic is that talking about how you haven’t gotten enough snaps and essentially whining about not being given a chance can easily be construed as complaining.  At this point we have no idea who the starter will be come the first game of the regular season.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it were Leinart.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if he were no longer on the Cardinals roster.

Sources:
Leinart talks about demotion [Arizona Republic]
Matt Leinart bristles at his benching [Pro Football Talk]


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