Kurt Warner Is a First Ballot Hall of Famer.
This Friday Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kurt Warner decided to hang up his cleats and announce his retirement. When Warner was good he was among the best in the league if not the best.
He Quarterbacked the greatest show on turf to two Super Bowls and one Super Bowl win. He followed that up by stumbling around in obscurity in New York, being the mentor to Eli Manning.
His Swan song included him Quarterbacking the lowly Cardinals to within an inch of a Super Bowl victory.
The question has been floated out there by numerous sports experts and most notably over and over again by ESPN. Is Kurt Warner a Hall Of Famer?
In short, yes.
It's easy to church up Warner's many accomplishments, and I will get to those. but lets first take a look at all the questions that are posed about Warner's alleged Hall Of Fame career and compare them to the most recent Quarterbacks that made the trip to Canton.
Kurt Warner didn't have a long career. Warner only played six full seasons as Quarterback of the Rams and Cardinals. Warner didn't play his first full season until he was 29, spending most of his younger years bagging groceries and playing for the Arena football league. One recent Hall of Fame Quarterback had a similar start to his career.
Steve Young didn't put together a full season of success until 1992. Young finally got to step up to the starting Quarterback of the 49ers at age 30, Young then put together four more full seasons at Quarterback for the Niners. Steve Young no doubt is a hall of fame Quarterback, he has the all time best Quarterback rating in NFL history, do you know who is second? It's Warner.
Kurt Warner lost two Super Bowls. Warner was beat by the Patriots and the Steelers in the biggest game in sports. Recent Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly lost four. Kelly also performed poorly in the Super Bowl throwing two touchdowns and seven interceptions to compile a Quarterback rating of 56.9. Warner threw six touchdowns and three picks and had a 95.9 rating.
Kurt Warner played in a pass heavy offense. Dolphins Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino also played in a pass first scheme and didn't come close in his 16 record setting seasons to obtaining Kurt Warner's success in his six seasons. Warner went to three Super Bowls winning one, Marino went to one Super Bowl which he lost.
Kurt Warner had great weapons around him. Warner has been blessed with some of the best players in the league to throw the ball to. He had Faulk, Holt and Bruce in St Louis and he has Fitzgerald and Boldin in Arizona. Recent 49ers Hall of Famer Joe Montana also had incredible weapons around him. He had Rice, Craig, Clark, Jones and Taylor to throw the ball to. No doubt both of these Quarterbacks made the players around them better.
Is Kurt Warner the best Quarterback ever? No. Is Kurt Warner an elite Quarterback? Absolutely. When all the chips were on the table and his team needed a big game Kurt Warner delivered. The top three passing games all time in Super Bowl history are: 365, 377 and 414 yards, all by Kurt Warner.
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