Quarterback Matt Leinart just talked about getting demoted behind Derek Anderson. Not surprisingly, he isn’t happy, but he said he still planning on starting the regular-season opener:
— “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.”
— Leinart said he still expects to start in St. Louis, although he acknowledged he wasn’t sure where things will go from here:
“I have learned the last two weeks, you control what you can control. I think I have made the most of my opportunities when I have had the chance. We weren’t in the best situations all the time, and that’s all of us. I am the quarterback and I take the blame but collectively, like I said, preseason is about coming together. That’s my view.”
— On the mental side of dealing with the situation:
“It’s mentally draining. It drains you a little bit and it’s been like that the last three years. Physically I feel fine and I have been efficient this preseason … in the limited, limited opportunities I have had, I think I’ve done my best. Can I get better? Absolutely. I know that. I’m not perfect and I know I have a lot of work to do. If it’s open competition, I think you need equal opportunity. Who’s to say … I don’t know if that is happening.”
— On whether it could be coach Ken Whisenhunt trying to spark Leinart:
“Coach has a way of handling me and my situation the last three years, even when Kurt was here. For me, I’ve always kind of taken it with a grain of salt and continued to work hard. If he is testing me, that’s fine. I am disappointed but it’s not going to stop me from working and being a leader. I know guys are looking to me still. It’s adversity but I will get through it. I know hard work pays off.
“I’m not going to look much into it. I am going to go out, play my game, and take advantage of the opportunity I get. That’s all you can do.”
We will have video of it up later, but I thought his body language was fine. I sensed a guy hoping that chance will come again to start, not defeated. I sensed too he might have been (smartly) holding back. He’s definitely not happy. You know he knows Anderson has had 41 pass attempts this preseason and he only has 13. Maybe that gets flipped a bit tomorrow night. I will have a story up later too about more big picture for this week, but for now, we are getting on a bus soon to go to the airport.
Chicago here we come, quarterbacks and all.
Tags: Bears, Derek Anderson, Ken Whisenhunt, Matt Leinart, training camp
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