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Matt Leinart: Kurt Warner ran the 2008 Cardinals, not Ken Whisenhunt

Ken-Whisenhunt-ChargersOne of the main reasons Ken Whisenhunt is a respected coach in the National Football League is the success he had with the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. With Kurt Warner as his quarterback, Whisenhunt led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to Matt Leinart, it was Warner who got the team there — not Whisenhunt.

Earlier this week, Leinart told FOX Sports Live that he does not believe Whisenhunt will be a good fit with the Tennessee Titans.

“I don’t think it’s a great fit, and I don’t think it’s great timing, and here’s why,” Leinart said, via Vince Marotta of ArizonaSports.com. “You look at his tenure in Arizona — only two years, he had success, and in those two years, Kurt Warner ran that football team — I was a part of it.

“Every single Monday, Kurt Warner would come in and implement 20-to-30 new plays which he would say, ‘I want these in my game plan.’ We became a spread offense and we became Kurt Warner’s offense. Then Kurt Warner retires, they go 5-11 twice and they go 8-8.”

Without Warner, the Cardinals would not have had the same success they had five or six years ago. The same could be said of a lot of teams with great quarterbacks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the head coach deserves no credit.

Look no further than the 2013 San Diego Chargers, who ranked 5th in the NFL in total offense this season with Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator. A year ago, the Chargers finished the 2012 regular season ranked 31st in total offense. That team had most of the same pieces that Whisenhunt had to work with this season. That certainly tells you something.

Fox acquires rights for movie on Kurt Warner’s life

Kurt Warner20th Century Fox has acquired the rights to make a movie based on former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner’s life, according to a report from Deadline.

As part of the deal, Fox has the life rights to Warner’s story and parts of the quarterback’s autobiography. Deadline says Temple Hill partners Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey will produce the film.

Warner had perhaps the greatest fairy tale career in NFL history. After an unspectacular career at Northern Iowa, Warner went undrafted and then was cut by the Green Bay Packers. The quarterback then famously stocked shelves at a grocery store for $5.50 an hour while hoping for another shot at the NFL. He briefly tried to coach as a graduate assistant before embarking on an Arena Football League career. After impressing with the Iowa Barnstormers, Warner was signed by the St. Louis Rams in 1998 and sent to NFL Europe. He finally got a chance to play for the Rams after Trent Green got hurt in 1999, and went on to have a spectacular MVP season.

Warner was a two-time league MVP, Super Bowl champion and MVP, four-time Pro Bowler, and he reached three Super Bowls.

“For so long people have told me my life story would make a great movie. I am humbled and thrilled to have found a team as excited as I am to make that happen,” Warner said in a statement.

Warner’s life story is perfect for a movie. Now the only question is: who will play him?

H/T SBB Live

Trevor Pryce calls Amani Toomer’s comments about Kurt Warner ‘idiotic’

Kurt Warner recently said he would not want his sons playing football because of the health risks involved, and we don’t blame him. As a parent, Warner has a right to express his opinion and choose what he thinks is best for the safety of his children — regardless of his job title. However, his opinion has been met with more than a little opposition. Amani Toomer blasted him for “trashing” the game and Merril Hoge said the comments made Warner sound uneducated. Two-time Super Bowl champion and four-time Pro Bowler Trevor Pryce strongly disagrees.

“What Amani Toomer said is probably the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard,” Pryce said on ROME according to Eye on Football. “And here’s why: the fact that Kurt Warner said he didn’t want his kids playing football should be predicated on one thing — he didn’t want his kids playing NFL football. And that’s a big difference. Little league football? Every kid wants to play little league football.

“But there’s more than one way to play football. You can play flag football, you can play Madden, you can do a lot of things. I think you have to quantify it by saying NFL football is dangerous — more so than middle school football, high school football or even college football. But that adds up. By the time you get to the NFL you’re probably damaged goods.”

Again, I don’t think there’s any debating the physical risks the sport of football poses when compared to something like, say, basketball. Ankle injuries and knee injuries are certainly common in basketball, but head injuries that would stay with you for life are far less likely. It’s one thing to disagree with Warner’s comments in general, but it’s another to do so because you believe his job as an NFL Network analyst is to be a puppet. Toomer and Hoge sound like idiots because of the reasons they gave for their stance.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Merril Hoge rips Kurt Warner for being ‘irresponsible’ and ‘uneducated’

Earlier this week, Kurt Warner turned a number of heads with his comments about not wanting his children to play football. In the wake of the Junior Seau tragedy and what we currently know about head trauma caused by football injuries, Warner said that as a parent he would prefer for his sons to play something else. First, we heard Amani Toomer blasting the former NFL quarterback for what he saw as Warner trashing the game of football. On Friday, Merril Hoge had even stronger words for Warner.

“I think it’s irresponsible and unacceptable,” Hoge said on NFL Live according to Pro Football Talk. “He has thrown the game that has been so good to him under the bus. He sounds extremely uneducated.

“Head trauma is not the issue here — it’s how head trauma is treated. The game is safer than it has ever been because we’re being proactive with head trauma. That is the biggest issue.

“I can’t believe that he would share that message because now moms and dads that are out there, and Billy wants to play, but they are uneducated and they are unsure, and they love Kurt Warner, they’re like, ‘He doesn’t want his kids to play? Why should I let my kids play?’”

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Amani Toomer says Kurt Warner is trying to trash the game of football

As a father, Kurt Warner says he would not want his sons to play football. With the awareness that has been raised over the past several years in terms of concussions and head injuries, his opinion is one that is shared by many parents across the country. Football is a violent game, and some people would prefer that their children play a sport that is less aggressive.

When discussing the Junior Seau tragedy on the Dan Patrick Show Thursday morning, Warner said there is “no question in (his) mind” that he would prefer that his sons not play football. Former Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer thought those comments were highly hypocrtical.

“I’d definitely have my son to play football,” Toomer said on NBC SportsTalk Thursday according to Pro Football Talk. “That’s what the Toomer family does. We all play football. But what this reminds me of is the guy at the basketball court, who once he gets done playing takes the ball and ruins the game for everybody else. I think Kurt Warner needs to keep his opinions to himself when it comes to this. Everything that he’s gotten in his life has come from playing football. He works at the NFL Network right now. For him to try and trash the game, it seems to me that it’s just a little disingenuous to me.”

Warner has seven children, so he has as much of a right to speak candidly as a father as anyone else does — regardless of how he made his money or who employs him. If I made my money dealing drugs, that doesn’t mean I want my children following the same career path. Before you fly off the handle and accuse me of comparing the NFL to a drug dealing agency, I’m not. I’m simply pointing out that Toomer’s reasoning is flawed in terms of why he thinks Warner should keep his opinion to himself. Then again, flawed reasoning is something Toomer has found himself extremely familiar with over the past few months.

Photo credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Kurt Warner thought the Packers, not Saints, were hitting him high in 2009

One of the alarming details from the Saints bounty program that got Jonathan Vilma into trouble involves Kurt Warner. The NFL says their investigation revealed that Vilma, who has been suspended for the entire 2012 season, pledged $10,000 to any teammate who knocked Warner out during a 2009 playoff game between the Cardinals and the Saints. During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show Thursday, Warner said he felt as though he took some high hits during the 2009 playoffs, but not from the Saints.

“There was actually a game, it might have even been the week earlier, against the Packers where I really felt like I was getting a lot of hits to the head,” Warner said. “That’s just one game that I remember and it might have just been my thought process, but I felt like there were a lot of shots going toward my head in that game.

“I played in a lot of games where (teams) were really trying to take me out. When I went back and looked at that game (against the Saints) … I don’t ever remember thinking it was anything more than a tough playoff game. I don’t remember anything that was beyond the whistle. Even the big hit was legal.”

The “big hit” that Warner is referring to was one he took after throwing an interception against the Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs in 2009. He says the NFL did not ask him about that game and that he is “surprised” by the length of Vilma’s suspension.

Warner’s point was not to say the NFL should look into a possible Packers bounty program, but rather that quarterbacks are targeted all the time. From Warner’s perspective, the way he was being hit by the Saints is not much different from the way other NFL teams hit him throughout his career.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Kurt Warner not surprised about bounties

Kurt Warner was one of the quarterbacks the Saints had a bounty for. Though he says the news was disappointing, it wasn’t suprising.

“It’s definitely disappointing, but I won’t say that I’m completely surprised,” Warner told Burns & Gambo of KTAR in Phoenix. “And, again, not necessarily the Saints, but I’m not surprised that there were teams out there doing those kinds of things behind closed doors.”

“I hate the mindset and thought process that I’m going to go out and injure someone. That being said, it’s not rare for individuals to go out and target certain individuals, whether they have an injury and they’re targeting that injury, or whether they’re significant players and they’re trying to target them for a competitive advantage. It probably happened on teams that I was on.”

“I believe it’s something that’s gone on for a long period of time,” Warner said.

Warner is no fool, and his words corroborate what we’ve heard from other current or former players. Like Brett Favre, he recognizes that he’s a target, but he’s disappointed opposing players were attaching a monetary reward to his body.

Below is his full interview:

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