THUNDERING BLURB » Matt Leinart ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 en hourly 1 Quarterback Blurb Breakdown: Kurt Warner/Matt Leinart Thu, 16 Jul 2009 11:42:08 +0000 admin Can Warner stay healthy and can Leinart succeed if he cant?

Can Warner stay healthy and can Leinart succeed if he can't?

It’s easy to just focus on Warner given the last few years.

While Matt Leinart has floundered with internet drinking photos, poor displays of prowess in his limited game action and perceived general lack of discipline, Kurt Warner keeps putting up great numbers.

At least that’s what it all looks like at first blush.

Warner certainly deserves the accolades for his 2008 season. 

His 4,582 yards were his second highest total ever (second to his 4,830 in 2001) and his 30 touchdowns marked his third highest total. He also finished the season, something he hasn’t done as a starter in – well, let’s just say ‘in some time’.

That’s you’re first red flag though. Call it luck, point to vastly improved offensive line play, say he got cybernetic implants – whatever the reason, he made it through the whole season without missing a game.

Never forget though, in his 11 year old career, he has played a whole season as a starter just three times.

Sure, discount 1998 when he wasn’t a starter or 2004 when Eli Manning stole his job. But historically, the man cannot stay healthy and at 38, isn’t getting more durable with age.

There is a fair chance he will get banged up.

Then why, you may ask, do I have him as a top quarterback?

Well, simply put he’s the starter on a dynamic pass-driven team with two of the best wide receivers in the game at his command. And no, I don’t expect Boldin to be traded at this point. Even if he was, Steve Breaston could step in very ably as well.

Even when he doesn’t play every game ­‑ like in 2007‑ he still put good enough numbers up to be a top 10 quarterback. The weapons at his disposal are just too good and if the blocking keeps up the sky could be the limit.

Which brings us to Matt Leinart who has to make some sort of showing in this, his fifth year  in the league.

He hasn’t done a whole heck of a lot thus far.

Leinart has athletic ability and I believe he has the general skill-set to succeed in the NFL, though after several years of a whole lot of nothing, I doubt he’ll ever reach an elite level.

As much as anything else, his head has gotten in his way. He was reportedly focused more during last season as well as this off-season but frankly I’ll believe it pays off when I see it pay off.

Still, since Warner has had issues with injuries in the past and the offensive weapons are outstanding, you have to consider Leinart. Given the value he could have, it’s worth thinking about snagging him as a security blanket for Warner later in your draft. 

However until you see Leinart have even a moderate version, don’t grab him early expecting him to easily replicate Warner’s numbers if the old man can’t finish.

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The Lost blog Mon, 25 Aug 2008 22:07:00 +0000 admin Unfortunately I ain’t talking about the TV show. Blogger or my computer or something just wiped out the post I made and I can tell you – it was the greatest thing ever written.

But here are the quick hits on it:

Warner vs Leinart
I wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole. Yes, Matty L looked BAD this weekend. Yes, Warner can throw deep TDs. He also threw 17 INTs last year. Leinart didn’t throw an INT until this weekend and Warner hasn’t been Joe Montana in play so far. Honestly, Warner might be better from a fantasy perspective but he’s also going top make you pay if you get dinged for INTs.

And as HC Whisenhunt took issue with ESPN’s Chris Mortenson’s assumption Warner will be the starter, I’m wary of getting stuck with the wrong guy post-draft.

Chad Johnson
I love Chad – I mean as a journalist how could you not?’ ‘I need surgery, but I won’t get it because I really don’t need it?’ It’s not an exact quote but darn close. What’s not to love about Ocho Cinco?

Well, the fact that the shoulder could pop out again is a concern. That happens and if things tear too hard – well, bye for the season. The more you dislocate the easier it is to do and the more damage you do. If he can make it through the season he’s going to have tremendous value – I snagged him as a 3rd WR in a 12 team experts league – round 4. The key is – and this is critical – you have to cover your rear and make sure the WRs behind him are stable.

So don’t worry abouttaking him after you have at least your stud WR – if he drops like he has and you cover yourself, you can reap the benefits when he plays and protect yourself in case he can’t.

I think Johnson wants to play, probably can play but is likely to get hit hard and could miss games here and there. So no #1 WR spot for him, but plenty of value anyway.

Preseason = Injury-palooza
Merriman, Osi Umenyiora, Jason Taylor, Chad Johnson – the list goes on. Every year we hear about the injuries, every year someone critical goes down and every season a Fantasy Team gets nailed.

Now, this is reason #1 why you wait as long as you can for drafting a redraft league – just too much goes on. If you grabbed the Chargers or Giants D early, you may have a real issue. Merriman’s impact on that D is huge. Umenyiora’s injury has the Giants scrambling, moving players around and are calling Strahan. But of course, they draft to be deep – rotating lineman and linebackers in and out throughout the game. So it might only make them stumble.

Will we see a decrease in the amount of games? I can’t say – there’s a lot of cash wrapped up in the preseason.

We’ll have an early post tomorrow (shooting for 6:30 amPST/9am EST) and will be back on track all week so you’re ready to go Week 1.

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Tuesday Stampede Tue, 12 Aug 2008 16:18:00 +0000 admin I will be posting my top 20 College Football rankings this afternoon either all at once or in halves – depends on how long the list is with commentary.

Onto the NFL -

Arizona Cardinals
Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt says that Matt Leinart has improved his audibling and red zone work and will not be coming out of games at that spot on the field. While I still think Leinart is a shaky choice for a Fantasy QB until he shows me he can be consistent, it’s good to hear he won’t get ‘middle relievered’ during an important Fantasy sequence on the field and it does lessen my concerns a bit.

Oakland Raiders
From ‘The Sky is Falling’ column – rookie RB Darren McFadden fumbled 3 times in Monday’s practice. While I don’t think think the sky really IS falling (first fumbles of the preseason) you will now recall that one of the issues some people (including me) had with him pre-draft was his 15 fumbles his last year at Arkansas. This was a concern and will continue to be until he proves otherwise, but as these are his first fumbles in camp, I won’t worry much, he shouldn’t be going so early in drafts that a fumble problem will leave you hanging too badly.

Cincinatti Bengals
Rookie Keith Rivers seems undaunted by missing a teeny bit of camp – he led the Bengals with 7 unassisted tackles Monday night and didn’t even start. He will probably be an intriguing late round/waiver pickup in IDP leagues, asssuming people chalked him up to ‘rookie’ and he went undrafted in the first place. He certainly seems to have stepped right up for the Bengals which they really needed to have happen. Tight End Ben Utecht seems to really be getting those promised looks in the offensive scheme. He had a good Monday night and the staff is putting ’special plays’ together for him. I might be starting to believe it…..

San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates is running but also in a lot of pain, and apparently very frustrated with his lack of progress. He says he will not play early if it damages the season long term, which is good for your overall season, but bad if you want to draft him. If you get Gates, you may be in the position of being forced to take a back-up TE early to cover for him if he’s out a few weeks. If you go early on a tight end, my advice is to think of Jason Witten or even Tony Gonzalez. Better yet, get one of the later tier guys and keep an eye on the waiver for value. Amongst the TEs I like later are Jeremy Shockey, Vernon Davis on the earlier side, Owen Daniels, LJ Smith, Ben Utecht on the later side.

Baltimore Ravens
More great news for McGahee owners – the knee he just had scoped? It’s the one he has had multiple surgeries on, the one he wrecked in the Fiesta Bowl 5 years ago. He showed up to camp out of shape so rehab is an iffy proposition. Ray Rice continues up the boards as McGahee drops.

That’s all for now – questions and comments can go to as well as the comment section below.

College rankings coming later this afternoon (my afternoon, not the East Coast’s).

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More Training Camp News and More Favrewatch 2008 Sat, 26 Jul 2008 23:21:00 +0000 admin The Brett Favre saga continues. It looked for a time as if the NY Jets were close to making something happen but according to the Newark Star-Ledger chances now seem remote that the Cheese State Gunslinger will play in the Meadowlands this season for Gang Green. How remote – well if you click on the linked article and read the web address in your menu bar the link ends with:

I assume the ‘de’ starts the word DEAD. While I won’t go that far (and the title says ‘very remote’) it isn’t looking pretty. Now is that a Favre thing or will the Pack not budge off the request for a 1st round pick (a price way too high for the Jets in my opinion)? We may never know. But as a wise man once said – it ain’t over until it’s over.

Favre didn’t file his paperwork for reinstatement with the league yet – though he could fax it in at any time – so we won’t see him Sunday and maybe Monday.

Stay tuned!

Asante Samuel Strains Hammy, set for MRI

Samuel strained his right hamstring this mornign at practice – according to, he’ll have an MRI tomorrow to see the extent of the injury. I was just saying the other day how Lito Sheppard might benefit from setting up across from Samuel this year – but given Lito wants some new money, he might benefit in different ways if Samuel is out for any amount of time.

In other MRI News -
Saints Running Back Deuce McAllister Already Had One
McAllister missed Saturday’s practice after his knee swelled up post practice on Friday. The New Orleans Times-Picayune says the MRI was negative and revealed no structural damage but you can’t be very happy that after a handful of practices, he already had some doubts. I’ve been touting Pierre Thomas for a while now and I think he’ll compliment Bush very well at some point – whether that point is imminent could be debated but McAllister has now had both knees rebuilt and the Saints were looking at LaMont Jordan (I’ll get to him in a second) so they can’t be all that sure about Deuce either. Thomas played well in limited action and I think is a sneaky play in Fantasy Leagues this year – it ain’t just me and if you don’t want to take my word for it, listen to Brian Baldinger back in May. All I’m saying is, Baldy knows his stuff (even if I think he’s way overstating his case regarding Darren McFadden), so think on it.

Speaking of LaMont Jordan -
The Pats Swooped in and Signed Him
Almost as soon as Jordan was released, Adam Shefter was saying to watch out for the Pats. And he was right. I don’t know if I am that worried about Maroney now that this has happened – frankly Jordan is turning 30 and wasn’t as effective as everyone thought he would be when he left the Jets a few years ago, though much of that wasn’t his fault. He’s more likely a security deposit on Kevin Faulk than Maroney. I don’t expect huge things from him and he shouldn’t be drafted in a Fantasy League as anything but a deep back up. But I also am not worried about Maroney and he should remain a #2 or 3 back for you.

All that said, from a practical NFL standpoint, good signing. Jordan will fit in well there I think, the Pats can turn careers around and revitalize them (see: Dillon, Corey and Moss, Randy) and frankly they won’t expect him to carry the team so there will be less pressure than he’s had in the past.

Finally – for this edition -
The Arizona Cardinals Might Use Kurt Warner in a Specialist Position Again
This would just kill the value of either QB in a Fantasy League – and I have said this before, but it’s a terrible idea for the developement of Leinart. HC Whisenhunt has called Leinart the starter, but ‘won’t rule out’ using Warner like they did prior to Party Time Matt’s collarbone breaking last season – as the ‘no-huddle’ guy.

Listen, either Leinart is your Qb or he isn’t. Enough is enough. A quarterback needs to be in a rhythm during a game – throwing one in on special sequences is ridiculous. This soudns worse than when Romeo Crennel figured out his starting Qb last year by flipping a quarter. And I think HE was joking at least.

I’m not saying Leinart should win the job – I have no idea, and frankly I lean towards him beign a bust as he seems to spend more time beer bonging with nubile young co-eds than practicing or working on his game in the off-season. But he could be working when I don’t see him. Or he could be that gifted. But whatever – slapping Warner in during certain (and might I add pressure packed) moments of a game smells of a lack of confidence. Ify our franchise Qb can’t hack it when you need him most…. well, you need to question if he should be your franchise QB. Pulling him can’t be doing his confidence any favors and I am adamantly opposed to it. Either go with Matty L or with Warner. enough waffling.

Warner has been told it’s an open competition though Whisenhunt says it’s Leinart’s job. Further messy communication or motivation ploy? I can’t tell, you guys can let me know.

That’s it for now. More later and regularly M-Fri as we swing into Training Camp full force.

Leave a comment below or email me at

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