Kurt Warner Interview: 'I Would Love to Coach and Teach People About Football'
Before Super Bowl XLIII, he was even presented with the 2008 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his personal charities throughout the Midwest and his active participation in team-based community programs, including NFL Network's Keep Gym in School initiative and the NFL PLAY 60/American Heart Association What Moves U in-school fitness program.
In a press release days after winning the award, here's what Warner had to say:
"I am humbled the Lord has given me such an amazing life to impact others," Warner said in a statement released by the NFL. "Of all the awards given to NFL athletes, the Walter Payton Man of the Year is the one that stands out above the rest to me because of what it represents."
For a man who loved the game of football, he loves helping underprivileged people even more. Not to mention that he has always had the utmost respect for the men and women in the United States Armed Forces, as well.
His appreciation of the Armed Forces has led him to team up with Tostitos to support the “Tostitos Homecoming Party Bowl.” The Tostitos Homecoming Party Bowl turns football dreams into reality by transforming an ordinary football game into the ultimate football party.
The one-of-a-kind celebration was created to celebrate the homecoming of veterans who have previously served overseas.
Besides Warner, the event included other football legends like Marcus Allen, Bobby Bowden and Urban Meyer. Per PR Newswire:
“The Tostitos brand is all about making anytime party time, and we couldn’t think of a better reason to throw a party than to thank the men and women in uniform for their service and sacrifice overseas,” said Tony Matta, vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay.
For more information on the event, check out the Tostitos Facebook page.
Bleacher Report: Tell the readers what it meant to you personally to be a part of the Tostitos Homecoming Party Bowl and its cause.
Kurt Warner: It was an incredible experience for me to be a part of the Homecoming Party Bowl from the standpoint of having the opportunity to look these men and women in the eye and tell them thank you for their service—to understand the opportunities and experiences I have on a daily basis is because of the sacrifices they make.
We had a great football game, we had an unbelievable experience, we surprised them in so many different ways, but for me the most meaningful aspect was just the opportunity to salute them and just say thanks to them.
Even though there were only 28 men and women represented, the event was really a way to salute all of our troops, all of our veterans, and those who have served at any point in time and provided us with the freedoms we have in our country.
Bleacher Report: Based on what you have seen this season, who will win the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Oregon or Kansas State?
Kurt Warner: I think you always have to lean towards a team like Oregon because they are so explosive. But, what I like about Kansas State is the fact they can control the football, and I think with Oregon being a high-powered offense, you want to keep them off the field. You want to get them frustrated by sustaining long drives and putting points on the board. That’s where Kansas State gets the advantage.
They are going to have to control the ball, control the clock, because it’s going to be tough as it always is for teams to score with Oregon if they get going and they start putting points on the board.
Bleacher Report: Heading into 2013, what should the Cardinals do at the QB position? Should they stick with Kevin Kolb, sign a different veteran free agent or draft a quarterback early?
Kurt Warner: That’s a tough question because you have to really make sure you do it right this time. I think the hard thing is they have made a few mistakes at the position with who they went with over the last couple years, and I’m not sure the verdict is out on Kevin Kolb yet.
So I still believe he has to be on the roster, he has to be an option, and then you have to try and find another option, and I don’t know if that’s available in free agency—you may have to pay too much. Is there a guy you could draft in the second or third round that you think could give you an opportunity? But Kevin is the best known commodity you have, so it’s going to be hard to let him go and not have anybody.
But at the same time, I think you have to try and find competition and make sure you’re continually looking at that position to get the best player or to upgrade the position from the play you got the past few years.
But I’m just not sure what is going to be available to the Cardinals to be able to make those moves, so it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how it transpires.
Bleacher Report: How different is it throwing to Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Larry Fitzgerald compared to a quote-unquote “normal receiver?" What makes those guys so special?
Kurt Warner: There’s different kinds of guys—you talk about Isaac and Torry in St. Louis. Those guys were unbelievable route-runners, quick and explosive out of their breaks, so for me it was easy playing with those guys because they would create such separation that you always knew when they were open. You could always see the space between them and a defender; it made it easy on a quarterback.
When I went to Arizona and I played with Anquan and Larry, they were a little bit different; they weren’t built on their quickness and separation. It was their size and strength that gave them such an advantage. So, for those guys it wasn’t about separation.
As long as they were in the right position, as long as they had the right leverage, they became open. And it was a great way to play because it was so hard for defenders to get around them and they were so strong with their hands you could put the ball in certain places and know that they could catch it. But if they couldn’t catch it, nobody would have been able to catch it.
So, it made for a unique environment to play quarterback in, and it was fun to play with all those guys, but fun to play a couple different ways throughout my career.
Bleacher Report: What did scouts tell you when you came out of the University of Northern Iowa that prevented you from being drafted or being in position to make an NFL roster?
Kurt Warner: You know it’s funny, not a whole lot of people told me a lot of things. I think a lot of people could see that there was talent there, that I could make the throws, that I could do what I needed to do. But, I think the biggest question was just if he played at a small school and he didn’t play very much, you know, you never really got that chance going in.
Never really had a mindset from a team or a scout that said, "Hey, there is something special about this guy. We have to give him a chance." I think they looked at me like they look at a lot of guys. He has a lot of talent, but he hasn’t really shown it—we can’t put much stock in this guy, so we are not going to go out on a limb and give this guy an opportunity.
It’s one of the things a lot of people face when they haven’t played a lot of football and they played at a smaller school, not on the big stage.
They are constantly in an uphill battle to try and convince someone that they really deserve a legitimate opportunity. I think that was the biggest battle I faced coming out of college.
Bleacher Report: What's your future goal in the NFL? Have you thought about coaching, front-office work or are you happy as an analyst?
Kurt Warner: I love the situation I’m in right now. And the schedule: It provides me to be able to watch my kids grow up, yet still stay involved in the game.
I could see myself doing more color in the future—I love being able to analyze game by game and share the stories with the players. I would love to be a creative offensive consultant where I could help design and help create plays and ways to attack other teams without having the coaching schedule.
That’s the biggest thing. I would love to coach and teach people about football. It’s just that the time constraints are so tough to coach, especially when you have seven kids and they are growing up. I’m just in too blessed of a situation to spend from five in the morning until 12 at night coaching and not watching my kids grow up.
So I would love to find some kind of niche where I can still bring my expertise, but it wouldn’t be a full-time position, so if that arises, that would be kind of cool, but if not, I’m very happy in my position with NFL Network.
Bleacher Report: Could you still play in the league today if you wanted to?
Kurt Warner: You know the thing is, I think most of us are like fans in that we remember what we did on the football field the last time we played, and we think that even though we sat on the couch for three years, we could step right back out there and be the same guy.
I’m not ignorant enough to think that I could be the same guy.
I’m in great shape, I feel tremendous physically, so I do believe I could go out and compete from that standpoint, but to think I could go back and play at the level I did when I was in the midst of it all, to me, is kind of crazy. I reserve myself to the understanding that I’m not that guy anymore.
Although, I like thinking about myself that way, and I like that fans still think about me that way, even though I couldn’t go out and play like I did before.
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