Can Leinart Win Over Teammates?
QB Matt Leinart (Chris McGrath/Getty)
QB Matt Leinart (Chris McGrath/Getty)

Posted Apr 12, 2008

Taken as an isolated incident, evidence of Matt Leinart's recent party isn't a big deal. Pictures surfaced of Leinart holding a beer bong for a girl and enjoying a hot tub with several other females.

Now, Matt Leinart is young, rich and good looking. Not many people in his position would pass up a chance to spend some time with those of the opposite sex.

But Leinart has to know by now that he isn't living in a vacuum. While this was just one incident, it joins several other instances that, combined together, make fans question his commitment to the game.

Maybe that's unfair, but it's reality. Since leaving USC two years ago, Leinart has been linked to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. He's endured a nasty and public custody argument with the mother of his son, Cole. And there have been photos of him speeding on a Phoenix Freeway.

Combine all that with coach Ken Whisenhunt's occasional musings about Leinart needing to work harder off the field, and it's no secret why Leinart is no longer the darling of Cardinals fans.

They want to see results.

Leinart has said all the right things about realizing as much. And by all accounts, he's worked hard this offseason, both in the weight room and in winning over the hearts and minds of his teammates.

Fair or not, he needs to realize that his off-field escapades, no matter how innocent, strike at the heart of the credibility he's trying to build.

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