Matt Leinart wasn't a top five NFL draft pick there are some who give him the dreaded bust label. That'll happen when you have a celebrated college career (Heisman Trophy,national championship, Manning Award, Johnny Unitas Award, Walter Camp Award and two Archie Griffin Awards). I wouldn't call him a complete bust, more like a flop which to me is a notch below bust.
After flaming out with the Arizona Cardinals, where he was beaten out by Kurt Warner, Leinart landed with the Houston Texans in a backup role. He's now a free agent and personally I don't think this joker will get a legit shot at a starting job again. It never helped that he had an image as a "party guy", something he picked up while he was starring at USC.
In an interview on ESPN Los Angeles Leinart talks about his days in Arizona and the bust label that has been bestowed upon him.
“I’ve heard everything. I’ve heard everything. I’ve seen everything. For me I haven’t proven anything, so I haven’t proven that I could play game in and game out. I understand that. I believe I can play and I’m not one to make excuses. I’ve never made an excuse with my time in Arizona. It just didn’t work out for whatever reason. Those are reasons people outside of the organization won’t understand, but it didn’t work out and it wasn’t a right fit, so you move on. You kind of look at the timeline of what has happened to me and with having a pretty good rookie year and the second year getting the injury and Kurt Warner played himself into the Hall of Fame in the last 3 years. There’s not a lot I can do about that. I battled with a Hall of Famer two training camps in a row. I thought I competed as well as he did and obviously Kurt was a great player. He took us to a Super Bowl. I truly believe he got himself into the Hall of Fame those last couple of years. Last year with everything that happened it just didn’t work out. I said what I said about the situation and I moved on, so there’s people thought I never got a fair shot. People that think I can’t play. There’s a lot of things. For me I’ve worked hard this off-season and I’m always work hard. I’m always ready. I’m always prepared and like I said it’s just always about being a quarterback, but being the right situation. For me hopefully that situation comes up this year and I can thrive and show I belong in the league and I can play because I know I can and that’s what I plan on doing.”
Sounds like he's on the defensive throughout the interview. I guess I would hate being labeled as a bust when you really haven't been given a chance to play. But the stats will tell you why he's been glued to the bench. I do agree that Warner played himself into the Hall of Fame while he was with the Cardinals. When you watched them play last season they looked lost without him.
For Leinart it's just not going to happen.