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Former USC quarterback Matt Leinart models for MF

Former USC quarterback Matt Leinart was one of the most successful college football players ever: He won the Heisman and led Southern Cal to 34 straight wins and two national titles (Texas QB Vince Young’s miraculous 2005 Rose Bowl performance prevented a three-peat). But as an NFL rookie, Leinart won only five games with the Arizona Cardinals. This season, armed with new weapons and a new coaching staff, Leinart believes the Cards will make the leap to the elite.

ON THE NFL VS. USC:
“You just can’t compare. I’m playing with the best of the best now, you know what I mean? I was playing with the best of the best in college; now I’m playing with the best of the best in the pros.”

ON WEIGHT- LIFTING:
“As a quarterback, I like to lift a little harder because I do less on the practice field, since I don’t run around as much. But during the season, I do a lot lighter weightlifting, and the off- season is when I hit it hard.”

ON THE MEDIA:
“It’s not like a sickness, but it almost could be. Everyone wants to know what everyone’s doing, and they’re not afraid to write anything about it. You really have to be careful what you do and who you hang out with.”

ON PLAYING IN SUPER BOWL XLII, WHICH WILL BE IN ARIZONA:
 “It would be awesome, dude.”

ON NFL SURPRISE TEAMS IN ’07:
“The Cardinals, man. A new feeling, a new attitude, a new coaching staff with new goals. It’s just different. It’s a different thing than I had last year. I think the 49ers are going to improve a lot too.”

ON HIS TRAINING REGIMEN:
“Monday and Thursday, I’ll do chest—bench press, dumbbell bench, chest flys. Then Tuesday and Friday, I’ll do back, bi’s, and legs. Wednesday is my lifting day off, but I’ll do cardio and core. I’m training five days a week when I’m in training mode. But even when I’m completely off from football, I’m training four days a week. My routine is a lot more like a baseball pitcher’s. I do a lot of shoulder exercises. As a quarterback, you have to focus on your legs, your core, and your shoulders. You also want your throwing shoulder to be strong.”

ON THE PERKS OF BEING A PRO:
“When you’re a pro athlete and you’ve got celebrity status, a lot of people want to give you things. A lot of people want you to wear their clothes. They want you to wear their brand. In college, you’re not allowed to accept anything. [When you’re a pro] all these people are throwing things at you: ‘Wear my clothes,’ wear this, wear that. It’s definitely a perk, and it’s definitely fun.”

(See full photo spread below)

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