He's encouraged by the success of Aaron Rodgers and Kurt Warner, veteran quarterbacks who had to wait before emerging as stars. Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, is still only 28, and if he's learned anything through his topsy-turvy NFL career, it's patience.
Leinart relaxed in Southern California while the lockout dragged on, working on his game and spending time with his 4-year-old son, Cole. When the free-agent frenzy began, Leinart had a chance to rejoin his college coach, Pete Carroll, in Seattle and possibly earn a starting job. Instead, he chose to return to Houston to back up Matt Schaub.
He and Carroll led Southern Cal to two national championship games, but Leinart felt the Texans offer a better fit than the Seahawks.