Matt Leinart

So the mother of his child claims he's not a great dad? So he had the bad taste to date Paris Hilton after he got dumped girlfriend, Brynn Cameron (a University of Southern California women's basketball star), pregnant? So he has a cameo in one in a long line of dumbass Adam Sandler movies? So he was clocked speeding four times on the 101 loop (who hasn't been)? Matt Leinart's just what we've needed around here, a bona fide celebrity jock, the kind of guy whom The Bachelor (or, more likely, Age of Love) would kill to get. He's got the gleaming chompers and stubble to prove it!

But what's going to make the 6-foot-5 Leinart really famous is what he'll do on the football field this year. Even under ridiculous Coach Denny Green, Leinart had a good (now, we didn't say great) first year in the NFL. He set a rookie record for passing (405 yards) in the Minnesota Vikings game. Then (oops!) he went a dismal 13-for-32 passing against the worst team in football, the Oakland Raiders. Overall, he threw for 2,547 yards and 11 touchdowns and finished with a 4-7 record.

But we're telling you — the best is yet to come. The Heisman Trophy winner and quarterback of a national championship team was an NFL rookie last year! Leinart is set to take the league by storm — his first game this season notwithstanding. He vows he's gotten his Hollywood-itis under control and is focused on playing football for the hometown boys. The other Cardinals love the guy, which is saying something for a second-year player. He's got charisma, but it's more than that. The hardened pros around him, including veteran running back Edgerrin James, realize he's come to play, and that — based on his extremely solid performance last year — will only get better under a good coach and behind an improved offensive line.


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