Saturday, April 28, 2012
Leinart-Raiders connection makes sense
By Bill Williamson
A long-expected pairing is likely to occur.
Oakland will visit with and is expected to sign Matt Leinart to be Carson Palmer’s backup quarterback, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
This is no surprise. Leinart played for Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and as soon as Leinart was cut this offseason, we’ve been expecting a reunion. Plus, Leinart was Palmer’s backup at USC and they remain close. Both share a bond as Heisman Trophy winners.
I am not surprised at all that Leinart and not Terrelle Pryor will be the backup. Pryor is still very much a developmental quarterback. Plus, he wasn’t taken by this regime. They must watch and work with Pryor before putting him one play from becoming a starter.
In Leinart, Oakland has an experienced player who you can count on in a pinch. Most importantly, he is a player who is comfortable in Oakland’s system.
In other AFC West notes:
- Oakland third-round pick Tony Bergstrom is married to the sister of Baltimore linebacker Paul Kruger.
- Ronnie Hillman played for Snoop Dogg’s traveling youth team in Southern California as a youngster.
- San Diego second-round pick, defensive lineman Kendall Reyes, was a receiver in high school. He is now 295 pounds.
- Kansas City third round pick, tackle Donald Stephenson, is from Kansas City. His reaction to getting chosen by the Chiefs? “I’m speechless,” the Oklahoma product said. “I love the Chiefs. I’ve always loved them. To have a chance to play in my hometown is huge.”