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Matt Leinart gaining a reputation as Captain Checkdown

Matt Leinart has completed 10-of-13 passes this season, but those passes have averaged a measly 5.9 yards per attempt.

It’s grossly unfair to draw conclusions from a limited sample size in the preseason, but Leinart struggled to stretch the field last year as well.  He threw 77 passes and averaged only 5.6 yards per attempt. 

Leinart didn’t embarrass himself against the Titans last regular season in his start, but he only led the team to one offensive touchdown.  And the Titans are noticing a trend in Leinart’s play after facing him again this preseason.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic relays a story from the Cardinals-Titans joint practices on Wednesday.  A Titans cornerback watched Leinart approach the line of scrimmage and told his teammates on the sideline,  “I got a buffalo nickel that says he checks
down.”  (It turned out to be a running play.)

It’s a small thing, but the Titans have seen Leinart play more than any team of late.  Leinart has to prove to his teammates and opposing defenses that he won’t always check down when he’s pressured.

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39 Responses to “Matt Leinart gaining a reputation as Captain Checkdown”
  1. SeanKav9 says: Aug 26, 2010 11:32 AM

    I don’t think so….Trent Edwards was Captain Checkdown longggg before Hollywood Matt started sucking. Sorry you’re going to have to find another name for Leinart because chances are Edwards will be checking down much more with the addition of CJ Spiller at his disposal to do so.

  2. minhw0714 says: Aug 26, 2010 11:40 AM

    Matt Leinart will have to battle Joe Flacco for that nickname.

  3. dafish says: Aug 26, 2010 11:43 AM

    Call me crazy, but isn’t the checkdown a staple of the West Coast Offense? I mean, why is a short dump pass such a bad thing if the NFL is all about the YAC?

  4. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Aug 26, 2010 11:44 AM

    “You never go broke making a profit.”

  5. Jeff says: Aug 26, 2010 11:46 AM

    Chan Gailey is gonna come at you hardcore for saying that. Checkdown Trent owns that nickname and him nor any of the second rate players the bills have on Jake Locker’s future squad are going to sign autograph’s for you now.

  6. Dan says: Aug 26, 2010 11:51 AM

    Genius Florio – 6 YPA isnt horrible (Not good). But 7.6 YPC is really bad. 10 of 13 makes the YPA look better than it really is.

  7. subadai says: Aug 26, 2010 11:56 AM

    Brady Quinn begs to differ.

  8. Didier says: Aug 26, 2010 12:01 PM

    Matt, meet your fellow “checkdown” artists — David Garrard, Josh McCown, Luke McCown, Brady Quinn, JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson, Mark Sanchez . . . .
    So, Matt, don’t feel alone.

  9. jj jones says: Aug 26, 2010 12:03 PM

    David Garrard is offended

  10. SterilizeTHenry says: Aug 26, 2010 12:07 PM

    @ minhwo
    Flacco?? Now, he doesn’t wing the ball like Brees or Rodgers, but he is far from a Captain Checkdown. Also, when you’re most reliable pass-catcher is Ray Rice, you kind of have to check down a lot. Boldin and Stallworth will give him options to stretch the field this year.
    The Captain Checkdown title is currently between Leinart and Edwards. Cassel has thrown his name in the hat too. And if Quinn was starting he would make a strong bid at it.

  11. Joe says: Aug 26, 2010 12:15 PM

    David Carr is the original captain check down…
    famous for he 5 yard out routes passes on 3rd and 7….
    thank the dear lord for Matt Schaub!!!!!!!!!!

  12. PackAttackBackMan says: Aug 26, 2010 12:18 PM

    One positive spin on this, at least he’s not turning the ball over while checking down….
    BTW, Anderson will be the QB by week 4 and is one of my fantasy sleepers this year…

  13. The Black Cat says: Aug 26, 2010 12:21 PM

    He’ll always be Captain Beer Pong to me!

  14. Jeff says: Aug 26, 2010 12:21 PM

    Didier says:
    August 26, 2010 12:01 PM
    Matt, meet your fellow “checkdown” artists — David Garrard, Josh McCown, Luke McCown, Brady Quinn, JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson, Mark Sanchez . . . .
    So, Matt, don’t feel alone.
    ^^ Don’t feel alone matt, but feel awful because all those quarterback are not good, and none of them have larry fitzgerald.

  15. BBB82 says: Aug 26, 2010 12:22 PM

    Who the hell has a buffalo nickel?

  16. jwvt123 says: Aug 26, 2010 12:24 PM

    I think thats a bullsh*t nickname. First off, in the first two preseason games theres NO game planning. Plus, No Fitzgerald and No Boldin anymore. How many times have we seen coaches say to take care of the ball! As long as hes not throwing INT’s and hes moving the chains then Id say hes doing what hes told. When he gets Fitz back and they start game planning then he can open it up more.
    As for Trent Edwards, that O line is so bad he only has time for the checkdown. This is a team game people, go look at Favre’s stats when Green Bay was a sun-.500 team… they look about like Edwards has. You need a team around you to win in this league.

  17. TheByrdMan says: Aug 26, 2010 12:27 PM

    Sorry boys, Edwards has already got a nickname. Trentative Edwards.

  18. minhw0714 says: Aug 26, 2010 12:33 PM

    @SterilizeTHenry
    Since when has Boldin even been a down field threat? Did you ever watch the Cards play? The only down field route I ever remember him running was when he got his jaw broken by the Jets at the goal line by Erik Smith (??). Boldin is the King of YAC who turns a slant into a 40 yard dash.
    If you pin your hopes on Donte Stallworth . . . wow. Please keep off the bridges.

  19. Mangy66 says: Aug 26, 2010 12:34 PM

    Matt Leinart = Danny Wuerfel
    When we tried that horrible experiment with Spurrier and Danny Awful in DC, we saw check-downs galore.
    After experiencing that…I feel for Cardinals fans if this continues.

  20. SomeFans says: Aug 26, 2010 12:37 PM

    Sounds like his look alike mark sanchoke…
    both will share the same fate.

  21. CKL says: Aug 26, 2010 12:39 PM

    Joe says: August 26, 2010 12:15 PM
    David Carr is the original captain check down…
    famous for he 5 yard out routes passes on 3rd and 7….
    ____________________________________
    You are correct sir. Man he was painful to watch and I’m not even a Texans fan. He also mastered the art of taking sacks by running OOB behind the LOS.
    I am not sure if Leinart has what it takes but the AZ pass pro was horrible when he was in.

  22. Jeff says: Aug 26, 2010 12:40 PM

    jj jones says:
    August 26, 2010 12:03 PM
    David Garrard is offended
    ^^What you meant to say was
    David Garrard’s play if OFFENSIVE

  23. Dan says: Aug 26, 2010 12:49 PM

    Not to defend leinart…
    But vs Tennessee Hightower had 3 carries for -4 yards on leinarts 3 drives.
    First drive: Hightower -1 Cards punted on 4th ad 1
    2md drive: Hightower -1 Cards punted on 4th and 9 after a 5 yard penalty.
    3rd drive Hightower -2 Cards punted on 4th and 1. (An 11 yard completion to Andre Roberts gave em a 3rd and 1).
    Just saying…..

  24. Meldog says: Aug 26, 2010 12:56 PM

    I have to agree with the people who don’t give a damn if he throws short passes. As long as he has the tools to make an accurate long pass when the time comes; those short passes can lead to first downs.
    I remember when Trent Edwards first started playing 3 years ago. My initial response was positive because he actually made use of Buffalo’s tight ends.

  25. PatricktheDookie says: Aug 26, 2010 1:15 PM

    If a QB can’t go downfield, the runner will see 8-in-the-box. So you can’t say Leinart had nothing to do with the poor running game.

  26. CarlHess1 says: Aug 26, 2010 1:20 PM

    I never remember preseason games meaning as much as they do this year. It’s to the point of insanity. There is so much over reporting going on i dont know what to do.
    The other day Damaryius Thomas gets hurt and the report is “it can be anything from scar tissue breaking up to a stress fracture”. Wow thanks. Does that really have to be reported?
    Anyway, Its easy to pile on Lienz at this point.
    P.S. David Carr is the orginal Captain Checkdown. I never could figure out why the expert analysts would go on and on about how bad the texans o-line was but never that Carr would hold the ball forever only to throw 5 yard checkdown passes. David Carr is the worst #1 overall pick ever IMO. Yes including Jamarcus Russell.

  27. ejtowne says: Aug 26, 2010 1:27 PM

    Jeff says:
    August 26, 2010 11:46 AM
    Chan Gailey is gonna come at you hardcore for saying that. Checkdown Trent owns that nickname and him nor any of the second rate players the bills have on Jake Locker’s future squad are going to sign autograph’s for you now.
    First Trent is no longer “Captain Checkdown”, second, when Edwards takes the Bills to the playoffs this year they will no longer need to search out a QB to replace him. Question for you? Were you one of those AS-ES that was heckling Trent Edwards at camp? Cause you sure sound like one of those guys.

  28. sacdaddy says: Aug 26, 2010 1:35 PM

    Dear Matt, you’ve had a good run buddy (at least in college). You banged some smokeshows, partied hard, and made some money. Now it’s time to just turn around, put your head down, and kick rocks all the way into NFL nothingness.

  29. hemry27 says: Aug 26, 2010 1:57 PM

    Cards should’ve drafted a qb when Warner retired. mouse-heart will never win a game. Sorry Fitz and Wiz.

  30. WNYhell5 says: Aug 26, 2010 2:02 PM

    Trent Edwards owns Capt Checkdown. Matt Leinart can be Capt Douchebag.

  31. thunkened says: Aug 26, 2010 2:06 PM

    Drew Brees was Universal Checkdown Man in San Diego.

  32. Jeff says: Aug 26, 2010 2:10 PM

    @ejtowne
    I wish I was one of those guys at camp but I couldn’t be for several reasons. First I could never imagine myself being a bills fan, let alone wasting my time going to their training camp. Second, I would’ve heckled chan gailey as well for ending the cowboys dynasty in his last head coaching gig, and for designing his entire defense around last yrs first round bust (maybin). And third, I sure as hell wouldn’t have been caught dead asking any of those players for autographs so that wouldn’t have been an issue either. Anyway I don’t need to heckle Trent and his weak arm when I can just use stats to back me up. The guy is plain terrible, and he’s become a pathological loser. His last winning season was in high school, and hes proven time and time again he is not a professional level starting quarterback, maybe not even back-up level. And unless trent becomes peyton manning and that offense with 1 receiver 3 runningbacks and no O-line puts up a ton of points they’re going nowhere especially with a defense their personnel isn’t suited for yet and in one of the best divisions in football where the other 3 teams do have talent. And for the record hes not captain checkdown, he doesn’t deserve to be called captain, hes just plain old checkdown trent.

  33. CanadianVikingFan says: Aug 26, 2010 2:23 PM

    Tarvaris Jackson is heart broken, he could not attain the title.

  34. Ilovefoolsball says: Aug 26, 2010 2:40 PM

    thunkened says: August 26, 2010 2:06 PM
    Drew Brees was Universal Checkdown Man in San Diego.
    _______________
    boy how times have changed huh? You’ll not find another offense in the league since he’s been with the saints that has more 15+ yard passing plays. They continually stretch the field and test the secondary of defenses.
    Josh Freeman will be the 2nd lieutenant checkdown.

  35. SayItAin'tSoFlorio says: Aug 26, 2010 2:41 PM

    Gregg: I’m not disputing your use of the word “Checkdown” for a nickname, but against the Titans none of his completions could be defined as check downs. Three were caught by wide outs and one by a tight end. Just because his average per attempt is below normal, doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a “check down” artist.
    Are you sure you know what a “check down” is? BTW, I’m also not making any excuses for him (or Derek Anderson, for that matter).

  36. metaldeth says: Aug 26, 2010 4:22 PM

    Cassel is king checkdown

  37. smokeydabear says: Aug 26, 2010 8:17 PM

    this is trent edwards’ nickname. no one better be stealing this from us. we had this nickname for him for the past two years.

  38. superb owl says: Aug 26, 2010 8:46 PM

    leinart is now commander clipboard

  39. ejtowne says: Aug 27, 2010 1:47 PM

    Jeff: The season begins soon, only time will tell if you are right or wrong. All i have to say is prepare to eat those words. I’ve been to the Buffalo training camp and Trent looks great. Everything about him has improved, arm strength, accuracy and his leadership skills. Go Bills!!

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