With a coach who believes in him, Kurt Warner is set to begin his personal renaissance with the Arizona Cardinals.
On the first day of two-a-days at training camp Monday, Warner was talking about a return to pro football’s pinnacle.
“I want to win some Super Bowls, and so that’s really my focus, to do whatever I have to do to lead this team to a championship,” Warner said.
For a while after Warner completed the long climb from work in a grocery store to leading St. Louis to a Super Bowl title in 2000 – a checkered history that included toiling in relative obscurity in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe – he seemed unshakable.
He was the NFL MVP in 1999 and 2001, MVP of the 2000 Super Bowl after directing the Rams’ win over Tennessee and was picked for the Pro Bowl three times.
But Warner-bashing became popular last year, when he lost his starting job with the New York Giants to rookie Eli Manning. Detractors questioned whether the 34-year-old quarterback was over the hill, citing injuries that limited him to nine games in his last two years with St. Louis.
The Cardinals rolled out the red carpet in March when Warner signed – but denied him a multiyear contract, basically turning this season into $4 million, make-good arrangement.
Warner likes the way the Cardinals have stocked up with young, talented players unjaded by the team’s history of futility – especially wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Bryant Johnson, none drafted lower than the second round, and a big, aggressive offensive line.
Green likes two things in particular about Warner – his ambition and his arm.
“Kurt Warner knows what it’s like to go to the top of the mountain,” Green said. “He thinks his stay was not nearly long enough. I agree with him, and I think he’s very ambitious. I think he wants to have a team that he can lead, because that’s what he did when he was at St. Louis, and I feel exactly the same way.”
Logjam in Broncos backfield
The Denver Broncos have a history of turning no-names into stars at the tailback position. This year, they won’t have to do that.
Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell, Ron Dayne, Quentin Griffin and Maurice Clarett have all been heard from before, and all have the credentials to win the starting job and become Denver’s next 1,000-yard rusher.
“We have five guys that have a legitimate chance at getting some playing time,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “Right now, it’s on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, a guy will have a good practice and the next time, he’ll have a decent practice. I’ve been impressed with all of them.”
Williams ends holdout
Mike Williams has a football team again.
More than 18 months after his last collegiate game, the first-round pick of the Detroit Lions signed a contract and ended a brief holdout.
“It’s a relief to be here,” said Williams, who sat out the 2004 season after unsuccessfully challenging NFL draft rules. “I’m ready to go.”
The Southern California wideout – the No. 10 overall pick – worked out briefly with rookie quarterback Dan Orlovsky in the afternoon.
Moss apologizes ahead of time
Randy Moss apologized for any absurd on-field antics before the fact – Oakland’s new star receiver is still going to celebrate in the same fashion he always has.
And the Raiders are completely embracing his do-it-my-way approach.
“There’s no telling what you’re going to see,” Moss said in his first interview of training camp. “I love what I do. I love having fun. When it comes to big games, you never know what you’re going to see out of me. As long as we win, I’m just having fun. If the antics come, then I’m here to apologize first before they even happen. I’m going to have fun, man, believe that.”
Around the league
A week after threatening to get no closer to Tokyo than a stop at the Benihana restaurant chain, Colts running back Edgerrin James said he will join his teammates on the roughly 14-hour flight that leaves Indianapolis today. The Colts play the Atlanta Falcons in the exhibition opener Saturday. … Terrell Owens reported to training camp, ending months of speculation about whether the disgruntled All-Pro receiver would hold out because of a contract dispute with the Philadelphia Eagles. … The Minnesota Vikings finalized their contract with first-round draft pick Troy Williamson, a wide receiver out of South Carolina. … Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman, the 12th pick in the NFL draft, agreed to a five-year deal with the San Diego Chargers after he missed the first week of training camp. … Former Seattle Seahawks receiver Koren Robinson has checked himself into a 28-day alcohol rehabilitation program in South Carolina.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.