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Steve Cofield

NFLers like Leinart turning to MMA to save or enhance their careers

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

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Matt Leinart, arguably one of the biggest stars in recent college football history, has flopped in the NFL. Many fans and media folks will tell you it's because the guy is soft. He wants to change that image and his conditioning. In the past, he's appeared to be the Phil Mickelson of the NFL. Not anymore, if he continues to do his caveman workouts at Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe, Arizona with NFL insider turned-MMA trainer Jay Glazer.

Glazer pulled no punches about Leinart saying that he thought the pretty boy from USC would show up for one day and then bail on the whole thing (VIDEO):

"His career is not going the way he wants, so he wanted to take some extreme measures. I told him day one, I have some pre-conceived notions about him like everyone else does," said Glazer. "He showed up the next day and the next day, now he can't shake it."

Leinart said it's a helluva workout:

"Man, the first couple times I went home and thought that was harder than I thought. I didn't want to make a fool myself, but you can real feel yourself getting better and feel yourself getting stronger mentally."

Leinart does the caveman workout for 90 minutes, three days a week. It's a grueling test that former UFC lightweight champ Sean Sherk has shown on YouTube:

"Having these football players, baseball players come in and train with us it's great for them," said The Ultimate Fighter 8 champion Ryan Bader, who makes his home at ACS. "A lot of it's your core. It's caveman training, basically hitting everything in your body."

Leinart did look athletic in the video, throwing punches in combination with knees. He's seen doing the rope drill and working his knees using a thai clinch.

"The whole thing was about teaching him to push through. When he sees a barrier to push through it," said Glazer. "He knows now he can get through anything."

Leinart isn't the only NFL player turning to MMA, Brendon Ayanbadejo has worked with Rashad Evans according to ESPN the Magazine:

"It's amazing to see how explosive and strong Evans is," said Ayanbadejo, linbebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. "He dominated me like I was a little kid. He's a bulldozer."

The NFL athletes are huge and now that more are taking an interest in MMA as a workout regimen, you wonder if there will be a wave of mid-20's NFL flameouts who will try to transition to a career in fighting. MMAJunkie reported last week that four NFL players were part of the cast of The Ultimate Fighter 10.

Back to the Leinart-Glazer tandem. The idea of a working NFL media member training a professional football player has got to be a first. How many times do you hear high level athletes tell media guys, 'what do you know, you're not an athlete.' Ariel Helwani at AOL Fanhouse says the Leinart-Glazer relationship crosses the line.

Glazer, is a respected dude in the MMA community. He has fought professionally in MMA and was a high school wrestler. He recently crushed radio host Dan Patrick with a rear-choke.

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