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Category: Matt Leinart

Pete Carroll, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez to attend memorial

USC Coach Pete Carroll and former Trojans quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez are scheduled to attend a memorial service for Ryan Davidson on Saturday in Wisconsin.

Davidson, who fought a 10-year battle against brain cancer, died Feb. 19 on his 16th birthday. He inspired many.

Davidson first attended a USC game in 2004 and was adopted by the program as a good luck charm over the last five seasons.

Before the 2005 Bowl Championship Series title game, running back LenDale White said he was inspired by the presence of then-11-year-old Davidson, who had attended a team meeting and rode the bus to practice in Davie, Fla. White had been nursing an ankle sprain.

"I see him and it took all my pain away," White said. "Nothing can be harder than that. That's real life."

Last October, Davidson served as an honorary captain when the Trojans played Arizona State at the Coliseum.

-- Gary Klein

Cardinals' Matt Leinart keeping his chin up

Matt LeinartTAMPA, Fla. -- Former USC star Matt Leinart was asked about the difficulty of keeping a positive attitude after losing the starting quarterback job to Kurt Warner just before the beginning of the season.

“It took me a while just to sit back and say, 'You know what? I can be a distraction and be all mad and point the finger, or I can be a good teammate and support Kurt, and still work my butt off and prepare every day like I’m the starting quarterback,''' he said. "And that’s the road I decided to take."

That said, does he have regrets about staying for his senior season at USC, rather than leaving as a junior and almost surely winding up with another team?

"No regrets at all," he said. “That was the best decision I could have made at the time. There isn’t one day that goes by that I wish I had come out. ... It hasn’t been the way I pictured it, but it has been good. It really has.”

-- Sam Farmer

Photo: Matt Leinart. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Sam Farmer breaks down Super Bowl teams

The Arizona Cardinals' Matt Leinart, left, and Karlos Dansby.

You may have read Sam Farmer's posts from Tampa, Fla., where the Super Bowl XLIII frenzy is building. With the 3 p.m. PST Sunday kickoff nearing, what could be better than getting Sam's help with an interactive breakdown of how the Pittsburgh Steelers line up against the Arizona Cardinals?

Our NFL columnist teamed up with EA Sports to provide an audio-visual guide to the Super Bowl showdown (and if you look really hard, you can kind of make out a pixelated Matt Leinart on the sidelines).

Click here to check out the simulation.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: The Arizona Cardinals' Matt Leinart, left, and Karlos Dansby turn their camcorders on the media today during Super Bowl XLIII media day at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Rob Schumacher / The Arizona Republic / Associated Press

Who is the worst player in the Super Bowl?

Larry Fitzgerald Scouts Inc. has rated all 105 players on the rosters of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, left, is rated No. 1.

I won't give away No. 105, except to say he's a Californian.

No, it's not Matt Leinart. He's rated behind both kickers but ahead of both punters.

-- Randy Harvey

Photo: Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald during a practice break Thursday at the team's training facility in Tempe, Ariz. Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press

Wake-Up Call: Matt Leinart, Ben Roethlisberger, Jeff Fisher, Mickey Rourke, popcorn

Matt Leinart, about to be stripped of the ball.

First things first: The Arizona Cardinals are playing so well that they could well get to the Super Bowl. Of course, they have to get through the Philadelphia Eagles first for the NFC title. And then they could win it all now that quarterback Kurt Warner has regained his Super Bowl form. And what a hoot it would be if the Cardinals do just that and the fumbling (on and off the field) Matt Leinart actually gets a Super Bowl ring. Remember Matt Leinart? Let's see ... he played in four games for the Cardinals this season and had 1 interception, 1 TD, fumbled twice, completed 15 of 29 for 264 yards for a rating of 80.2.  Not fair, you say? OK, let's look at 2007. And 2006 was no different but noteworthy in that he had 8 fumbles in 12 games.

Add Arizona: If the Steelers beat the Ravens, then Cardinals Coach Ken Whisenhunt goes up against his old team. Remember, he was offensive coordinator at Pittsburgh when Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers to the playoffs as a rookie and the Super Bowl title in his second season. And will the Ravens' defense be off their game now that they know their leader, defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, interviewed for the New York Jets head coaching vacancy?

Add NFL: Dan Patrick may have the best solution to the "blown call" from Saturday's Titans-Ravens game when the play clock went to 0: The ball should deflate when time runs out. Another solution? A buzzer goes off  in the officials' pockets. Meanwhile, the Titans (and ex-USC star) Jeff Fisher are still upset.

Add NFL: Tiki Barber doesn't miss playing for Tom Coughlin, the Giants head coach. But Sunday, he probably didn't even miss playing football. He was on the red carpet talking to Hollywood stars arriving for the Golden Globes, which was broadcast by NBC. Yeah, talking to Salma Hayek and Beyonce might be better than getting hit by the likes of Mike Patterson (and wasn't he fun to watch Sunday on that rumble downfield).

Add Golden Globes: Even after reading the stories about Mickey Rourke and his movie "The Wrestler," it still was numbing to see him at the Golden Globes. And he won. So although he may have lost that handsome, devilish look of "Diner," he hasn't lost the ability to act.

Late but not least: Totally Random last week mentioned the prank Sacramento Kings rookie Jason Thompson suffered through. 

Photo: Brandon Meriweather of the New England Patriots strips the ball from Matt Leinart of the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 21 in Foxboro. The Patriots won 47-7. Credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images

Pop-up photo: Salma Hayek arrives at the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press

Why did Matt Leinart start at USC instead of Matt Cassel?

Brandon Meriweather of the New England Patriots strips the ball from Matt Leinart of the Arizona Cardinals.

Boston Herald writer Ron Borges had a good time lampooning Arizona Cardinals reserve QB Matt Leinart after his former USC backup, Matt Cassel, and the Patriots whomped the Cardinals in the snow at Foxboro on Sunday, 47-7.

Borges asked: "How in the world Matt Cassel ever rode the bench [at USC] behind an Arizona Cardinals scrub named Matt Leinart..."

On Sunday, Cassel picked up his 10th win as Tom Brady's replacement. Cassel was 20 for 36, with 345 passing yards and three touchdown passes. The score was 44-0 when Leinart came in. Leinart had a fumble, an intereception and ended up 6 for 14, for 138 yards and one TD pass.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick yanked Cassel to rest him while Leinart was getting his garbage time.

After the game, Patriots guard Logan Mankins was asked to explain why Cassel, a seventh-round draft pick, is starring in the NFL, while Leinart is a non-factor in pro ball, yet Leinart kept Cassel on USC's bench. Answered Mankins: "Something bad must have happened on the day they had tryouts."

QB Cassel was PC: "I think Matt Leinart is a great player and he'll be a great player in the NFL," Cassel said. "He did a great job at USC. We won two national championships with him as a starting quarterback at USC so they obviously made the right decision."

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: Brandon Meriweather of the New England Patriots strips the ball from Matt Leinart of the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium on Sunday in Foxboro, Mass. Credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images.

UCLA's Norm Chow pulls trick on USC Trojans

It's still early in the second half, but at this point it looks like UCLA's offensive highlights might begin and end with its first-quarter touchdown.

On third and 11 at the USC 21-yard line, Bruins quarterback Kevin Craft passed to his left to split end Dominique Johnson, who caught the ball and then threw it across the field to running back Kahlil Bell for a touchdown.

For USC, the trickery that Bruins offensive coordinator Norm Chow employed harkened to the 2004 Rose Bowl game against Michigan.

Going toward the same end zone, quarterback Matt Leinart handed the ball to tailback Hershel Dennis, who ran to his right and then lateraled the ball to split end Mike Williams going back to the left. Williams, a rangy left-hander, lofted the ball to a wide-open Leinart and hit him in full stride along the left sideline for a touchdown.

-- Gary Klein

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