With the season opener for the Arizona Cardinals fast approaching, tickets to sell out the University of Phoenix stadium are surprisingly cool in the hands of those who peddle them.
As one of last year’s Super bowl contenders, it is hard to imagine the scenario that we have before us.
A recent rising underdog, Arizona came out of nowhere in the 2008 season, a tornado of red and white feathers, pig skins, and excitement, only to end their next preseason with a surprising 0-4.
The Arizona Cardinals still possesses one of the main ingredients for what could be another successful season, with the NFL’s second most accurate quarterback of all time on their roster.
With players such as Kurt Warner, the 2009 Pro Bowl NFC quarterback, one can only imagine the exciting offense that this team will once again possess this year, while hopes that team cooperation, something not shown so far this year, will follow suit.
The owner of many coveted recognitions, Kurt Warner remains the NFL record holder for highest average passing yards per game with a career average of 259.9 yards/game.
In the 2009 playoff season, Warner clinched the record for the most yards passed in a single season, with an astonishing 1,147 yards. Throwing in a total of 11 touchdowns, he went on to tie Joe Montana for the most touchdown passes in a single postseason that year.
The passing records continue, with little doubt being left as to why Warner is reverently viewed as the second most accurate all-time quarterback at a 65.4% rating, also ranking number three behind Steve Young and Peyton Manning with a career passer rating of 93.8%.
Not without worries, Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt and Strength and Conditioning Coordinator John Lott are taking special note of a recent hip surgery under Warner’s belt. Although his healing since March has gone well, he participated in just three of the team’s preseason games.
Facing off with the San Francisco 49ers on September 13th opener, the game will be of particular interest to Warner himself, who turned down a higher paying contract offer from the 49ers in the off season.
That prospect came about after Warner became dissatisfied with the Cardinals' re-signing contract offer after his best season to date with the Cardinals and third Super bowl performance.
Becoming a free agent for a brief amount of time, Warner chose to re-sign with the Cardinals for a better-than-before offer, though it still remained lower than the rejected deal offered by San Francisco team management.
I do not doubt that the opposing team will still be looking at him jealously, as their own quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Alex Smith practically flipped quarters to determine their slots.
While the upcoming season lies in limbo, we must look to Warner’s support network to determine how well of a year we are to anticipate.
With strong players like Larry Fitzgerald under his command , we are excited to once again see the enthusiasm that was displayed at last season’s games.
A dynamic display of talent, Fitzgerald is playing his position of wide receiver with vigor, showing the same type of dedication that Jerry Rice once displayed in that same role.
With this duo once again paired together, dedicated fans are not overly concerned over the meaningless preseason.
Bring it on San Francisco!