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Cardinals QB Kurt Warner Conference Call

(on how he's feeling after his concussion)

I already practiced today. No limitation. I'm feeling pretty good, a little tightness in my neck. Continue to monitor everything moving forward and making sure that everything is good. No setbacks, no continual symptoms or anything like that. But as of right now I was full go as of today, been cleared by the neurologist, no limitations there. Going to be honest with myself moving forward making sure that I feel comfortable and feel good to play.

(on if he will play on Sunday)

I would say right now I am. But again, so hard to say and I don't want to jump to any conclusions. I don't want to say something that doesn't hold true later in the week. Like I said, I was full go today, took all my normal reps. Worked out the last three days, haven't really had any issues other than the tightness in the neck. But then again, you've got to see how you respond after a more full day like today and I want to see how I respond throughout the week. But feeling good at this point.

(on how long it took for the symptoms to mitigate)

I really didn't have a lot of symptoms overall, just had little soreness, maybe a small headache, the back of my head, top of my neck where I have some of the stiffness right now. Maybe just a little fogginess right after the hit which went away very quickly. The symptoms weren't major, but they were there for an initial period of time. It was one of those situations where I felt like in the second half I was clear, I was functional, that I could have gone back in and played. As I told our media here, I don't know five years ago, six years ago I may have gone back in and played. But being a little more mature and understanding some of the issues that have come up, also understanding as you get later in your career, looking beyond the game of football, I just thought it was in my best interest not to play. That's what I'm going to do moving forward. I'm going to take a bigger picture than one game or this game in particular. I'm going to do the smart thing from me and I know that's what the coaches and the organization want me to do here. That they have a bigger picture than one game or just this game in general and it's a good position to be in to know that everybody takes that same approach. We want to be cautions and we want to make sure that I'm right or anybody in this situation is right before they get back on the field. That's a good thing and that's what we're going to do.

(on playing his former team, St. Louis, last week and playing the Titans for the first time since the Super Bowl)

I think the more you get removed from certain situations, the less meaningful things like that become. Even going back to St. Louis, as great as it is, I'm so entrenched here with the Cardinals and what we're trying to accomplish that there's not that huge football connection like there used to be. The same with Tennessee, I don't even know the last time I played against them. Obviously, we had a couple great games, memorable games early in my career with the Super Bowl and the game down there. I remember the stadium, I remember the atmosphere, I remember how awesome it was and how loud it was. I've just had some great games against some great players there. I look on those fondly. But now in this point in my career, to me this is, hey, just another game against a good football team that's playing really well right now that we want to go out and win.

(on if the Titans fans remember him more than he remembers them)


Don't get me wrong, I remember those games. I remember those times. I hope the fans appreciated a couple of those matchups, particularly the Super Bowl matchup. It was a great football game. That's what you want to be a part of. I've been a part three great Super Bowls. That's what you want the game to be is down to the wire, great players competing on the greatest stage. That's what that game was. It's one of those things that unfortunately somebody had to lose. I've lost a couple of those that were like that. They were great games and we could have won, we ended up losing. That was just one we were fortunate to make a couple plays down the stretch to win. I don't think anybody should be ashamed of that football game and that time period when we played against them because we had a couple great matchups.

(on how close Jevon Kearse was to sacking him on the long touchdown to Isaac Bruce in the Super Bowl)

He was right there as he has been so many times around me. Those are the things that make you great, great player on their side making a play. We just happened to be a little more timely. A half second longer he probably makes the sack, game may be different, outcome may be different. That's what those moments and those games are all about. We were fortunate that we made the play in that situation.

(on if Jevon Kearse hit his arm or deflected that ball on that play)

Not really deflect it. He hit me right as I was throwing it. It may have knocked the ball back a little bit or stopped it from going quite as far. I was pretty much in to my throw before I hit him. I know I couldn't follow through. How that or if that affected the ball I can't be certain. If it did, I appreciate it because it worked out in our favor. I don't know one way or another.

(on his continuing success)

Well, I think the first thing is that everybody wants to think that when you don't have a good season or you get cut, whatever happened in my case and in a number of cases, everybody's first inclination is he can't play anymore. Well the first thing is, I don't believe I ever forgot how to play this game. I felt that I have always been able to think very well and react and been very accurate with the football and all those things. I don't think I lost those things, but sometimes you lose opportunities or people decide to make a decision that's not necessarily based on your skill but it's based on the circumstance you're in. I felt like that's what happened with me is that I never lost or couldn't play or didn't play at a very high level and everybody just thought I was done. I just think you get caught up in St. Louis, there was a couple of injuries, they had a young quarterback that was doing well and they had to make a choice. You go to New York and they draft a guy number one and at some point in time they want him to play and unfortunately it's at your expense after nine games. Coming here we obviously weren't a great football team when I came here, and you guys know that when you're not a good football team the first position they always look at is the quarterback. So, I was kind of in and out of the lineup here as they were trying to shake things out and figure out what kind of team they had and what they wanted to do moving forward. Then got a break with this coaching staff to say hey, we think you're the best guy for the job. I was surrounded by a bunch of players that were on the same page and were playing at a high level. I got back in there and got a chance to play football the way I always do. I think that's all it is. It's not a secret. I try to keep myself in great shape. I try to stay on top of it. I don't ever let what somebody says on the outside affect my confidence level. Whenever I've been placed back in and somebody's given me an opportunity, I feel like I've seized it. I think that's what happened. There were times, there were opportunities taken away from me where I didn't necessarily feel like it was just me not playing good. I just felt like it was different circumstances and every time I've been placed in I feel like I'm playing at a high level. I'm just fortunate to have gotten back into that spot a couple years ago here and trying to parlay that for the rest of my career.

(on why he kept playing)

There was moments where I wondered if I should. There were days, like you said, when I got benched here and I thought the same way. I thought, am I ever going to get another chance? Kind of thought in that term, ok now do I just have to accept being a backup, and can I do that. Can I accept every day, every game, all season long coming out, can I be satisfied just being a back up? So there was moments after that time period where I wondered that. I wanted to play out that commitment and fulfill that part of it. Fortunately, within that part of the commitment, the coaching staff here gave me an opportunity to play a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, one of those times came at an injury to Matt (Leinart), but then they opened up an opportunity to compete again. I think that's what you live for in this position and a guy that's played and had success. I just want to compete. I've never asked anybody to give me a job. I've never said, "Hey, I did this last year so I need to be the starter next year." All I've said is let me compete, make it even and may the best man win. If I'm not the best guy, I can handle that as a man. But I've always felt that I was going to prove that I was the best guy. That's all I wanted. I felt like there was times in my career where that wasn't the case. Where decisions were made not based on who was the best guy, but it was based on other circumstances. That got frustrating and there was moments when I wondered, should I walk away, is that good enough? Like I said, I'm fortunate and thankful for this organization and this coaching staff to give me another shot to compete. I'm doing everything I can for as long as I can to let them know that they made the right decision.


(on what got him through the tough times)


My faith always gets me through. It's that trying to step outside the game. I think sometimes it's easy when things aren't going your direction or you're in certain circumstances and you get into a little corner and you start pouting and whining and it's like, well this isn't working out for me and this isn't the best thing for me. I think my faith has always allowed me to look beyond that and say that it's not all about me. There's opportunities to make a difference in a locker room with other players even when you're not starting, sometimes even more so. There's opportunities to impact people outside this game, fans of yours when you're not starting. There's things you can teach your kids and there's things you learn as an individual when everything's not going in your favor. That's what my faith has always taught me. You can't let circumstances dictate my identity and who I am. That's what's always gotten me through. I've always turned to God and believed that somehow, someway, in whatever I was going through, that he was teaching me something. That I was growing, that I was becoming a better person and a better representative of his through that. Those are the things that continually sustain me and got me through.

(on if it's tough for Matt Leinart to see Vince Young step in and succeed)

I think any competitor and any guy that believes they can play at a high level and doesn't get the opportunity, any time they see somebody like Matt and Vince who competed and were in that same era and class and same expectations coming in. One guy's getting the opportunity and doing so well and the other guy has to sit and wait his turn. That's always hard, that's always frustrating because you feel as a competitor like you can do the same things. You just want the opportunity to show everybody. I know that's something that's frustrating for Matt. It's something that was frustrating for me at times in my career. One of the things that you love about Vince is that he's had some up moments and some moments that haven't been so good. He continues to stick it out, he continues to battle, he continues to compete. Now he's playing the best football of his career. I think that's what Matt is going to do. He's going to keep competing and keep battling and eventually he's going to get that opportunity to show what he can do. Just like Vince has this time. It's those moments where you take advantage of it, you seize it and you don't look back.

(on what has worked so well on the road)

Hard to say. It is such a funny thing because last year that's all everybody talked about. We couldn't win on the road. We were a horrible road team. This team's got to go on the road, you might as well chalk it up it's over. Then we come back this year and we struggle more at home than we do on the road. I have no idea what it is. I can't say that I've ever looked at home and away games ever entered any differently, but for whatever reason we didn't prepare, we didn't show up and play nearly as well on the road as home. It's just kind of flipped this year. I don't know if it was a couple big games, playoff games, Super Bowl and traveling and learning how to handle it a little bit better. I don't know if it's guys growing up, committing more to making it a job when they go on the road. I don't really know what it is. So far it's been good to us and it's something that you know you never play all your games at home. You want to try to bottle it up and play well on the road. We've been fortunate to do that up to this point this season.

(on if play callers call more runs on second and 10 if an incomplete pass is thrown on first down)

I don't know. I couldn't tell you. I've been around certain guys that will do both things where you don't complete one on first down and you kind of panic a little bit. We didn't get anything on first down so you throw on second down and if we don't get it we will throw on third down. I think the good coordinators are the ones that can mix it up, that feel like if we don't get anything on first down we don't have to throw the ball. We can still get into a manageable situation running the ball and feel comfortable enough to hand it off on second down and comfortable enough with their team that they can make a third down conversion if need be. I think that is what the great ones are able to do. They are able to keep teams off-balanced and they have enough confidence in all areas of their team that on any given down and every given situation, they feel comfortable making that call. I would have no idea what that percentage is because I have been around guys that I know without a doubt if we didn't complete one on first down, we would throw on second down. Then I have been around other coordinators where I know they feel confident enough where they will run it on second down and whatever happens they feel like they can make it on third.

(on if they are equipped to throw it mostly in those situations)


I don't think we do it in all of those situations. Although sometimes I feel like down the stretch when you're trying to run out a game where you just want to get a first down and you throw an incompletion on first down, you get in that dilemma sometimes. Do we run to run the clock or do we complete the ball because we need to get the first down? I think sometimes I find the team's I've been on have had the tendency to throw it again on second down and throw it again on third down because you're so worried about getting that first down instead of running it in late game situations.

(on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie)

I think he's improved with technique. I think he's starting to understand the game a little bit more. I think as he's done that it's really allowed his physical gifts to play out a little bit better. We see his physical gifts all the time and we see what he's capable of doing at any given moment. But I think the thing you realize in this business is that you can be physically talented but if you're technique's off or you get behind the eight ball a little bit, it's really hard to catch up. I think with his development that's what you're seeing is that he's not putting himself behind the eight ball quite as much as maybe he did in some early stages last year, maybe even some early stages this year. He's given himself a chance to utilize all his skill. I think that's part of the maturing process is understanding where your help comes from, understanding when you need to be disciplined and how to play your technique. Then your skills just become accentuated. I think that's what you see with the great ones and I think those are some of the strides that he's making at the early stage in his career.

(on himself now compared to the player that faced the Titans in the Super Bowl)

I think I'm a similar quarterback. I was always a pocket quarterback, drop back guy based a lot on my accuracy and my decision making. The one thing I would say is I just think I'm a smarter quarterback now. I think there were times having more of a gunslinger mentality early in my career where I made some worse decisions. Right now, I feel like I make pretty good decisions most of the time. I go back through this year and I was talking to somebody about my interceptions just a few days ago. I go back and look at those decisions and I feel like just about every one of those decisions, even though they were interceptions, were the right decision. They maybe weren't always the best throw, maybe some things happened. That's what I think I do better now is that I go through games and I feel like I make less and less bad decisions, throwing it in to coverage, giving up on a play to early or just throwing it into a situation because pressure's on me. I don't feel like I do that as much as I did early in my career. I think it's made me a better quarterback and allowed me to help my team win more now than I did earlier in my career.

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