Matt Leinart has known Derek Anderson for a long time. They graduated high school the same year, so the two schoolboy star quarterbacks attended a high school invitational camp together — Anderson coming from Oregon, Leinart from California — and then they battled for a few years when Anderson quarterbacked Oregon State and Leinart USC. Now, they are teammates with the Cardinals.
“I think Derek is a good quarterback and I think he will push me,” Leinart said. “I knew something was going to happen (with signing a quarterback), but whoever it was going to be wasn’t going to change how I was approaching any of this.”
How Leinart is approaching this is as starter, which for the time being was clarified by coach Ken Whisenhunt Wednesday when he said Leinart had earned the right to be No. 1. Such a declaration was something Leinart had hoped would happen, and he admitted it was “nice to hear.” But that wasn’t going to change anything either.
“My mindset it to become a great quarterback and keep this team playing at the level at which it has been playing,” Leinart said.
If Anderson wasn’t going to change Leinart, or Whisenhunt’s words, then was anything different for Leinart this offseason? Yes.
“I know I can be a starter in this league, but when you have Kurt (Warner) in front of you , a veteran going to the Hall of Fame, you know your position and you have to prepare just having to be ready if the opportunity comes,” Leinart said. “Now, it’s a totally different mindset because this is my time, the opportunity I have wanted and it is here. I am more focused and hungrier than I have every been in my entire football career, college and pro.”
Tags: Derek Anderson, Matt Leinart
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