It’s no secret that Arizona Cardinal fans are fearing the potential retirement of starting quarterback Kurt Warner.
For the last three seasons, fans of the Cards have had a front row seat to one of the greatest comeback stories in professional sports. The idea of that ride coming to an end and a new one beginning and led by Matt Leinart is unsettling.
While most will assume the possibility of “Hollywood Matt” taking the helm is why the desert-dwelling football fans fear the retirement of No. 13, it’s far from the only reason.
There are ten solid reasons why non-bandwagon Cardinals hope Kurt Warner spends one more season on the gridiron and away from the rocking chair.
Stat Line: 30-for-57, 337 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 48.5 Quarterback Rating
Stoney Case started one game for the Arizona Cardinals in 1997, spelling original starter Kent Graham. Case’s one start featured an 11 for 22, 94-yard performance in a 13-10 overtime loss to the Eagles. Apparently, the coaching staff was unimpressed. Rookie Jake Plummer made his first career start the very next week in a loss to the Tennessee Oilers.
After that lone start for Arizona, Case didn’t take another snap in the league for two seasons. So he wasn’t the best quarterback ever, but he did date Doritos Girl Ali Landry (pre-Mario Lopez), and that counts for something in my book.
Stat Line: 208-for-367, 2247 yards, 13 TDs, 15 INTs, 69.6 Quarterback Rating
Jeff Blake was one of the quarterbacks who came through the revolving door during Denny Green’s tenure as Cardinals’ head coach. Blake had some success earlier in his career as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, but never recaptured any of it in Arizona.
His 13 starts with the Cardinals were, how should we put this, oh yeah, horrible. The team was just 3-10 with Blake as a starter. On December 7, 2003, Blake’s tenure as the starter came to an end with a forgettable performance in which he completed just eight of 20 passes for 59 yards and two picks in an embarrassing 50-14 loss to San Francisco.
Stat Line: 126-for-243, 1442 yards, 4 TDs, 9 INTs, 60.07 Quarterback Rating
Dave Brown started seven games for the Cardinals in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. As you can tell from his stats above, his time in Arizona was nothing to celebrate.
His starts came due to injuries to Jake Plummer, and his play made fans at Sun Devil Stadium long for Jake the Snake’s interceptions and wacky improvisation.
Stat Line: 23-for-43, 219 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 46.6 Quarterback Rating
Jim McMahon made a brief and less than memorable stop in Arizona. He came to Arizona because of his ties to then-Cardinal head coach Buddy Ryan. Ryan was on the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff at the same time McMahon played for the team.
McMahon only got one opportunity to start for the Cards, and that one start was more than enough for fans as he threw for 169 yards and two interceptions in the Cardinals’ 32-0 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
His time was so brief in Arizona that a search to find a picture of him in a Cardinals uniform turned up nothing.
His lone start as an Arizona Cardinal was the last in his fifteen-year NFL career.
Stat Line: 234-for-455, 3075 yards, 9 TDs, 22 INTs, 59.5 Quarterback Rating, 6 punts for 280 yards
You read that right. Longtime NFL punter Tom Tupa began his career as a quarterback for the Phoenix Cardinals.
Let that sink in for a second—Tom Tupa was a Cardinals quarterback from 1988-1991.
Even worse, he started 13 games for the Redbirds and finished just 4-9 as a starter. His first start may have been his worst. Tupa completed just 16 of 41 passes for 266 yards and six interceptions (a QB rating of 22.05!) in an ugly 17-5 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
After attempting 455 passes in his four seasons in Arizona, Tupa only threw 49 passes over the next 12 years of his career.