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Oakland Raiders' Matt Leinart 'here to help' Carson Palmer

  • By NFL.com
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Although the Oakland Raiders' Matt Leinart still wants to be a starting quarterback, he figured backing up his friend Carson Palmer was the next best option.

"I knew I wasn't going into a place to be a starter," Leinart said on Monday conference call with reporters. "This is a place I could do well."

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Leinart signed a one-year deal with the Raiders in April after spending the previous two seasons with the Houston Texans, which cut him in March. Leinart is reunited with former Texans offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who took the same job in Oakland this offseason.

"I'm here to help Carson with reads," Leinart said of his role as the signal-caller with the most experience in Knapp's system.

"The great thing is I've (repeated) a lot of these plays over the past two seasons and (Carson) is just doing it for the first time," Leinart added. "I told him today to just stick with this route because it's a great route.

Palmer and Leinart, both Heisman Trophy winners, were teammates for two seasons together at Southern California.

"We're so comfortable with each other," Leinart said. "I'm here to help him."

Leinart took over for injured quarterback Matt Schaub last season before suffering a fractured collarbone that ended his year in the first half of his first start.

Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2006 to be their franchise quarterback, Leinart struggled, eventually surrendering the starting job to Kurt Warner.

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