Posted by Jackelope
This came as a surprise even to the local radio stations here in town who follow the Cardinals religiously. Hell, I'll admit I was flat out wrong. I thought for sure, as did many other fans, that Leinart had paid his dues behind Warner for those years and that the starting role was a given.
That being said, it has come out in just the past few days that things were going on off the field that may have contributed to this more than anything else. Namely, the Fitz thing (which was just a rumor started by Cris Carter but seems to be gaining steam) and on top of that Kurt Warner has stated that Whiz and Leinart don't seem to have the best relationship.
I would stand up in defense of Leinart saying that it has nothing to deal with his off field antics and more to deal with his relationship with the team and his poor preseason production. That's the stigma that has followed him around due to a few screw ups earlier on in his career but he hasn't had any problems since a few years back. Even Jay Glazer and Ken Whisenhunt will happily report Leinart has been working very hard in the off season and both have already done so.
I think the jury is still out on Leinart and I hope he gets a starting job somewhere so he can have a chance to prove all his critics wrong.
I know exactly what you're saying about his hard work and training, but his inability to get the ball down the field has been something that has actually led to his teammates not trusting in his ability to win games.
It certainly has become clear that those incidents early on in his career aren't the reasons people want him out, per se.
I can't help but wonder how those incidents have impacted his progression in the overall scheme of things, Jackelope. Do you know what I mean?
If he hadn't have been dicking around when he arrived he wouldn't have to be working this hard to catch up now.
There's no way to truly tell if those off-the-field mistakes he made when he arrived have off-set his progress and his maturation as a team leader, but I'd be willing to be dollars to donuts that they didn't help.