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Burns: Not what Leinart said but how he said it

Do you believe in body language? In the idea that it’s not what you say, but how you say it? In the subtle hints and clues that you can pluck from tone, posture, pauses, inflection and the like?

I do. Big time. Maybe I’m an old fashioned radio geek, but, part of my job is to listen to people. That’s why they hand you headphones on day one. So you can listen. So while “Warner Watch 2010” continues into week number two, I think I found heard the clue that will break the case. And it comes from a surprising source: Matt Leinart.

Did you hear the Cardinals backup quarterback on with Gambo and Ash Thursday? If you didn’t….listen to it now, . Don’t focus on what he says; focus on how he says it.

It sounds like he knows. It sounds like he knows Warner is stepping away.

I could put the quotes in this blog for you to read but that probably won’t do you any good. It was deeper than that. You won’t gain the same insight compared to when you listen to it. It sounds like he knows that Warner is retiring but he can’t say it. It sounds like he’s been given the You’re-The-Man-Of-The-House-Now speech but he has to keep it to himself.

Up until now, most of us have focused on what Warner said, including his money quote to Rick Reilly of ESPN the other day “I pray that God takes away the desire in me to play this game,” he says. “I’ve loved it for so long. I need Him to take that away from me, so that I can be comfortable with this decision.”

I interpret that as, I want to play football but I need to stop and I want God to give me permission to do that. Pretty strong stuff. If indeed Warner steps away, that money quote will probably be cited as the moment you knew he was stepping away. Not for me. I wasn’t there in his living room; I didn’t hear him say it.

For me, I’ll go back to Thursday’s money interview with Leinart. Not one quote or moment stands out. But as anyone who has ever had a secret (um, all of us) can tell you, there is a certain way you speak when you know you are absolutely not allowed to reveal the secret. And that’s what I heard in Leinart’s voice. Maybe I’m completely misreading the putt, but I’m guessing…..he knows. He knows he’s going to be the starting QB next year.