Matt Leinart has moved into a different neighborhood.
The Cardinals’ locker room is, for the most part, separated into positions. Leinart has long been along the wall closest to the equipment room, tucked between Kurt Warner on the end and Brian St. Pierre among the quarterbacks. But Warner is gone — Derek Anderson took that stall — and St. Pierre isn’t coming back. And that gave Leinart a chance to search for different real estate. He’d wanted to move in with the offensive linemen. He’s often done sprints with the linemen since he arrived in Arizona (he still had to make quarterback times) and this was just another angle.
“I just wanted to be with my lineman — simple as that,” Leinart said. “Now it’s all business. I’m not trying to do it to make a statement or anything, I’m just doing it because these are my guys. I just want them to know I’ll be a leader and I’ll have their back too. We can’t be an offense without them.”
So in the corner where the offensive linemen call home, Leinart is now between Brandon Keith — who may be his blind-side protector at right tackle — and Jeremy Bridges — who will battle Keith for that starting job.
“We welcome him with open arms,” Keith said. “He’s our quarterback. It’s weird he has moved, you have the big guys and the little skinny beanpole in between. It’s kind of funny.” (What’s also funny is that a 6-foot-5, 232-pound man can be considered a skinny beanpole, but that’s a blog for another day.)
Keith said Leinart has had a good relationship with the line, spending more time with them last season as well as the runs, “getting a feel for how all of us are.”
But does that mean Leinart has to start lifting like the linemen?
“We won’t put that on him,” Keith said. “He needs his arm for a special purpose, other than lifting weights. So he’s cool.”
Tags: Brandon Keith, Jeremy Bridges, Matt Leinart
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