As you would imagine, Matt Leinart isn’t happy about not starting in the Cardinals’ Saturday night preseason game against the Bears. Despite his current demotion behind Derek Anderson, Leinart still plans on being the starting quarterback in the regular-season opener.
Leinart spoke with the media Friday, and his comments are starting to filter out. Darren Urban of the team’s official Web site posted some comments, beginning with Leinart expressing his disappointment over the move.
“It is disappointing and a little bit frustrating,” Leinart said. “I can’t sit up here and say I’m happy and all smiles. It is frustrating. I am not sure the expectation put on me. I have high expectations on myself, and I think, based on my body of work in the preseason, I have been accurate and not turned the ball over. I think the preseason is about gelling together as an offense. We have a lot of new faces on the offense.
“When you don’t move the ball, it’s not what you want, but that is what preseason is for. To gel together as an offense. It is what it is. I don’t make these decisions. I have done everything coach has asked of me. I have been committed and I have worked extremely hard. If it is an open competition, then let’s have it that way from the start, if this is what this is.
“Moving forward, I have to keep working. Go out (Saturday) and work my butt off and let my play do the talking. I am confident in my ability. I am extremely disappointed, and I’m not exactly sure why this decision was made, but it’s not my decision.”
Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic also got some time with Leinart, who showed some accountability, then confidence that he’s up for the challenge.
“I feel I’ve been efficient. I’ve been accurate. I haven’t turned the ball over,” Leinart said. “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.”
“I’m going to keep grinding and keep fighting. Ultimately, I have to let my play do the talking. I’m frustrated and disappointed. I’m not really sure what’s being asked of me. I’m going to continue to be a leader on this team.”
“I think if it’s an open competition, then let’s make it that from the get-go, go out there and let the best player win. I believe that I’m going to be starter that opening game.”
This story is far from over, and it promises to get more interesting Saturday night.