Leinart radio interview

Matt Leinart appeared as a guest on the ESPN radio post-Huddle radio show with Dave Stone, Garry Paskwietz and Mike Martinez. Click below for a transcript from that interview:

DS "What jumped out at you from the scrimmage?"

ML "I thought we ran the ball extremely well today. All the running backs were running the ball really hard. The receivers had a big today too so it was just a good day for the offense. We had a few field goals, a few touchdowns, a lot of big plays, I'm very pleased with the way we played as an offense."

DS "We were talking earlier about the young offensive line and the new receivers. It's probably going to take some time for the offense to come together but the talent is there, wouldn't you agree?"

ML "Absolutely, we've got a very talented group up front and it's surprising that they have come together this quick but they're doing a great job and that's awesome for us. We have freshmen and sophomores up front that have never played but they're getting thrown in there right away going against our defense, one of the best defenses in the country, so I'm very happy with that they're doing. They're playing well and they're controlling the defensive front which is pleasing to see."

GP "What did you think the key was today because the offense moved the ball better than we've seen in recent years at the Trojan Huddle?"

ML "Right. I don't know what the reason is but it's kind of pleasing and surprising that the offense has come together so fast. We have a lot of new faces on offense but we've got a lot of talent and a lot of depth with great running backs and great receivers so it's just a matter of getting the ball to the open guy. The defense stopped us a few times but I thought we ran the ball extremely well and we made big plays when we needed to."

GP "It was great to see the running game going so well. I thought that was the best we've seen from LenDale White this spring."

ML "Oh yeah, he's been hampered by little injuries here and there so it was great to see him get out there and be himself. He was running people over, being tough through the tackles. Hershel ran the ball real well. Reggie, he's Reggie, he's going to make his plays. Those three running backs are extremely gifted and they're all going to have big years."

MM "With the loss of so many offensive linemen do you see it being more of a controlled offense this year?"

ML "I don't think so. I think we've got a lot of talent and everyone is ready for the challenge, I mean, maybe we'll be a little conservative at times and run the ball more but with all the talent we have at receiver and with the o-line coming together I think it's gonna be just like last year. It's gonna be wide open, spread the ball, run, throw, make big plays. I thought today we showed a lot of big plays, we had a lot of long drives and that was good."

GP "Talk about Steve Smith and Whitney Lewis. I know you had a touchdown pass to each today, talk about what you like from them so far."

ML "Steve is just real smooth, he's real fluid. He reminds me a lot of a younger Keary Colbert, he's got tons of talent and he's still got three years left. He's gonna be our go-to guy, the one we can count on to make those plays and catch the ball. Whitney Lewis, he's an amazing talent. He's big, he's strong, he's got great leaping ability, that allows him to make big plays. He also knows how to get open. It's great to see those two guys real stepping up and taking control of the wide receiver spot. You also have other guys like William Buchanan, Chris McFoy, Jason Mitchell, there are a lot of other guys who are pretty good too. We have plenty of talent, guys like Fred Davis, plenty of talent to keep it going and all of those guys are going to be involved. It's nice to see that."

GP "One guy who I know you're happy to see back out here this spring is Alex Holmes."

ML "Oh yeah, I mean, we need him. He's a big part of our offense and it's great to have him back. He's having a big spring, he's making big plays, he's moving well and he's catching the ball. We need him to be a leader on this team and he knows that. In the fall we're going to get Dominique Byrd back and Gregg Guenther as well so that's gonna give us a real good trio of tight ends."

DS "Will we see some multiple tight end sets to get those guys on the field at the same time?"

ML "We used a lot of multiple tight end sets last year until a couple of those guys got hurt. We want to mix it up and a lot of times when you're in a multiple tight end set people assume you're gonna run the ball but we have the talent at the tight end position where they can go and run routes and catch the ball. That's gonna be a big weapon for us to get mismatches with our tight ends."

GP "One of the things I've noticed this spring is your comfort level, you seem to be so comfortable in this offense."

ML "I sat for two years and got to learn the offense so that's why last year I think it was easier for me as the season progressed. A lot of people think it's a difficult offense to learn but it really isn't. It's a lot of multiple formations, a lot of switching just to create havoc with the defense and then after that it's up to us. It helps when you have athletes like Reggie Bush, I don't think Coach Chow has ever had anybody like Reggie who could run so well and who could be a receiver if he really wanted to, but there really isn't any great secret to the system. You need to have someone who can run it and that's the responsibility I've taken on. It's my job to get the ball to the open receiver and as long as I do that the system will work."

MM "How has the transition been from Steve Sarkisian to Carl Smith as your QB coach?"

ML "Sark had such an advantage because he knew Coach Chow so well, he played for him, he knew the system. I was used to him because he was my coach for three years. Now we get a guy like Carl Smith who is extremely knowledgable and who comes from the NFL with just a ton of experience coaching great quarterbacks. That's gonna help me because he brings different things to the table, he hasn't been in our offense before so he brings new ideas and new plays and that's helped build our relationship."

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