When I first read about Kurt Warner last year, I was amazed at how a guy like that could perform such great acts with his arm, and how he won a Super Bowl with the Rams. And he originally was a backup to Trent Green!
Green's season-ending injury that year in a preseason game was a hidden blessing for the St. Louis Rams. Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk were the cornerstones for the famous nickname "The Greatest Show on Turf."
He was amazing while with the St. Louis Rams in 1999, leading the Rams to a 13-3 season with 4,353 passing yards and 41 touchdowns, throwing for three in each of his first three starts. A feat he alone has accomplished.
He was the NFL MVP that year and went to the Super Bowl against the Tennessee Titans, where he threw a Super Bowl record 414 yards with no interceptions (setting another Super Bowl record of 45 attempts with no interceptions) and two touchdowns, including a 73-yard strike to Isaac Bruce. He received the Super Bowl MVP for his performance and became one of only six players to receive NFL MVP and the Super Bowl MVP in the same year.
Two years later, he led the Rams to a 14-2 record with 4,830 yards passing (second only to Dan Marino's 5,084 yards) and 36 touchdowns. He went to the Super Bowl, where the Rams were upset by the 2001 Patriots and Vinatieri's clutch kick, but he still threw for 365 yards passing and a passing and rushing touchdown with two interceptions.
He suffered a few injuries and his ability decreased and eventually became expendable (at least in St. Louis's mind).
After his time with the Rams past, he shifted around a bit and finally ended up with the Arizona Cardinals, where he became a starter, but then he got hurt. He finally was put in the backup position. WOAH! I said when I read this. HE'S A BACKUP?! I wondered what the heck went wrong for him to get that far down
True, Kurt Warner had suffered some injuries, and his performance changed, but does that mean you put a two-time NFL MVP as a backup? This guy is a Super Bowl MVP and a passing machine! He needs to be worked with again and again, because if you have a guy that can stand toe-to-toe with Dan Marino, then you have a diamond as big as a the stadium itself!
In their defense though, I might have done the same thing if he was struggling, but I would have gotten him back on his feet. Last year, he took over for Leinart (who was put on IR) and was impressive and it looked like he got his groove back. Then Leinart gets healthy, and he expects Warner to hand over the reins and give him back the show.
NO WAY! Kurt Warner, ladies and gentlemen, is going to be the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year. At least a nominee.
As I wrote this, only hours before Kurt Warner threw for three touchdowns with no interceptions, to make a 158.3 QB rating (PERFECT RATING PEOPLE) over the Miami Dolphins, with a score of 31-10, he won the quarterback battle, he is the starter, and if he is given protection, he will remain the starter.
Sorry USC fans, but Matt Leinart will be sitting where he is supposed to be and learning from the master, like he should be. Leinart should consider it an honor to watch Warner and learn from him. If he learns, then he should have no trouble with success when he takes over the ropes.
I picked Kurt Warner to be my fantasy football quarterback and my choice was correct. It would not surprise me if he took the Cardinals to the Super Bowl and won. I have seen his ability on highlight reels, and he is smoother than the Santana song featuring Rob Thomas. This man is a first ballot Hall of Famer, and he will give Arizona fans something to see.
I'm looking forward to his next game.
Good luck Kurt!