Matt Leinart: 'I am not going to give up'

A season spent on the bench with the Houston Texans is what Matt Leinart says will help him jump-start his NFL career.

Cut loose by the Arizona Cardinals before the beginning of last season, Leinart was scooped up as a backup in Houston, where he didn’t throw one pass all season.

Now, the former 10th overall pick and the wildly successful Heisman Trophy winner from USC is ready to get things moving.

“Houston helped me get my confidence back, being around great coaches and a great team,” Leinart told the Daily Trojan. “It has jumpstarted me this offseason.

“I am not going to give up. I am not going to say it has been unfair, but I am just hoping for the opportunity to come.”

Truth be told, Leinart needed to get out of Arizona. It was time for a fresh start, and his career there had run its course. Now, it’s a matter of timing. He’s got to find the right opportunity and then catch some breaks. Then, he’s got to take advantage of the situation and not squander it like he did too often in his first few seasons.

“You can either give in to all of the criticism, or you can use it as fuel and motivation,” Leinart said. “I know what I can do. I am just waiting for the opportunity to go show it.

“I have had a lot of learning experiences and ups and downs, but I know that I have grown as a player and as a person, on and off the football field. I am totally ready to take advantage of the next opportunity I get.”

When the work stoppage ends, Leinart will be a free agent. We’ll see what kind of chances he gets.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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