Here is what Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner had to say in a conference call today with reporters....
(On how he feels the Cardinals' season has gone so far)
"I feel like our season has been going great so far. Expectations coming in were fairly high and the idea was to try and win our division and get into the playoffs and see what we could do from that standpoint. We're still in great position to do that. Obviously, there is a still a long way to go and a lot of football to be played. We're excited about where we are at, at this point in time and the way we've competed this year in just about every game. We're excited and we're building. That's the thing. We know we're not there yet, but we're building, we're making progress and we've built on what we started last year and we're excited about that."
(On if it would be special to clinch the division title against his old team)
"Not really. It's kind of a new time in a new place. My time there was special and I'm hoping to do some special things here as well. Winning the division would be the start of it, but I have really have no feelings in that regard when it comes to winning the division here and having done it against St. Louis, if we win this weekend. That's not my motivation. My motivation is to help this team win and that's it."
(On he gets a sense of excitement from fans in the area about the playoffs)
"There's definitely a lot more excitement here this year than at any time since I've been around. I think we're putting a good product on the football field. We're fun to watch, we're competitive and like you said, there's a great chance for the playoffs this year. All of that being said, there's a lot more excitement around this place than ever before and it's fun to be a part of. It reminds me a little bit of St. Louis in those early years when there hadn't been a lot of success there and it wasn't much of a football town at the time. To be able to change that culture a little bit and have people excited about the games, filling up stadium, doing the tailgating and all that stuff, it's fun to be a part of. That's the same kind of transition that we're seeing here and it's been fun."
(On if he finds himself pinching himself on the career that he's had)
"I don't know about pinching myself, but I do recognize very often, I don't know if I'll say a daily basis, but very often how blessed I am and how lucky and fortunate that I've been with a number of different things. Starting with my time in St. Louis and my opportunity there and the great success we had there all the way up to this point where, although a lot of people wanted to write me off a number of different times, that I've got another chance and been able to play some good football and help another organization kind of turn the corner. I think that's been one of the things that I'm most proud of that with all three organizations that I've been with, I've helped to turn the corner with them. Whether it be St. Louis, or even the Giants in one year. In my first seven games, we won more games than they did the whole year before. Then here, to be on the verge of a playoff appearance which they haven't done here in a long time, a division title, which has been even longer. I'm very thankful for the opportunities that I've had and the blessings that have surrounded me and I do recognize that very often."
(On if it is gratifying to have his name mentioned in MVP talks seven years after he won his second MVP)
"There's obviously some gratification that comes just being recognized in the same sentence as the MVP. As you said, at this point in time, wondering if I ever would get the opportunity to be back in this position leading a football team and then to be in this position and to have a chance to play and really play football the way that I'm accustomed to playing football and having that success again. There's definitely gratification in it. It's fun to know that the hard work and the perseverance has paid off to whatever degree. That's not about winning an award and that's not why you play the game, just to have people recognize that you can still play and still play at a high level, is very gratifying, especially for me at this point in my career."
(On if he feels that he is playing as well now as he has at any point in his career)
"I do. I feel like I'm playing as well, I won't ever say better. There were some great times in St. Louis, there were some great years surrounded by some great guys. I don't know if I can ever say better, but I feel like I'm playing with as much confidence now as I ever have. I feel like I'm making good decisions. I'm seeing the field as well as I ever have. I feel like I'm playing as good as I've ever played in my career and it's fun, because it has been a while since I've been on the field and playing football this way. It's fun to have these last couple seasons and really be able to go out there feel good about what you're doing on the field."
(On what it would mean to him to win an MVP with the Arizona Cardinals)
"I think the biggest thing is that it would mean our team is getting recognized for what we did on the football field. The MVP and the voting and all of that, we all know it's a little bit skewed in regards to stats are a huge part of it and all of those things that go into it. Certain positions obviously seem to dominate that. What I do know is that very seldom does an individual win it if his team is not having success and if he doesn't have guys around him that are playing at a high level. I've always looked at the MVP award as not just an individual accomplishment, but a team's accomplishment and then one of their figure-heads being represented by that award. If that were to happen, it would mean to me that there's gratification in the fact that this team is finally getting recognized as whole for what we're doing."
(On what it's like to throw to the receivers he has in Arizona)
"The key is that we obviously have a great scheme and do some good things about putting them in the position, but I think the key is that we have a number of good wide receivers. We have Larry (Fitzgerald) and Anquan (Boldin) and then you add Steve (Breaston) to the mix and Jerheme (Urban). Similar to the situation in St. Louis is that when you have that many guys that are that good, it's hard to cover them all. It's hard to be able to put enough players on the field to feel comfortable covering each one of them. My job becomes deciphering where the best matchups are or where the best route combinations are versus a particular coverage. Knowing that, I know that I've got guys that are going to make plays if I get the ball to them. That's what's fun about it, they are talented enough that you have to worry about them on every snap. With the scheme, it affords the opportunity to get them in positions where they can win and make big plays on almost every down."
(On if he is surprised to see the Rams at 2-10)
"Always. Just knowing a number of the players there and the quality of players that are there and the number of coaches I know. It very much surprises me. I think the one thing that you realize in this game is that so much of this game is a game of inches. Teams that could be 10-2 or teams that could be 2-10, there might not be a great deal of separation between them. It just happens that one made a few more plays at the end of games than the other one, so it always surprises you, especially with the talent that we know is there that they are sitting at that position. What I do know is that they are going to battle and continue to fight and continue to try to turn it around because there's too many great players there and great individuals that they're going to continue to battle for the rest of the year."
(On if there have been some contract talks for next year)
"I haven't heard anything yet. I haven't really thought about it. I don't know if I anticipate anything, really. That's, I guess, for another day and another time. I don't really know what my future is and at this point in time I'm not extremely concerned about it. We'll figure it out in the offseason and obviously a big part of that is going to be what the Cardinals feel are their plans for the future and how I fit into that. We'll take it as it comes, but at this point in time, we're more worried about this season than anything else."
(On if his plan has changed regarding how many more years he would like to play)
"I don't know if it's really changed. I'm not really sure. Obviously, there are moments when you're playing and you're having success and you're competing for the playoffs and all of that where you just say to yourself, 'I can't give it up now. I feel like there's too much to offer and too much in front of us.' But there's also moments too where I look back, as we've already talked about, and I reflect on the amazing career that I've had and the great season that I've had this year and to, so to speak, get back on top. Along with a lot of the other things that I want to do along with some of the other pressures that come with the position, that there are moments when I could see myself walking away as well. I really don't know. I would probably lean towards that fact if I had to make a decision right now, probably coming back, just because we are having fun and accomplishing things and we're making progress. That's not to say that things can't change in the next four to five weeks. That's probably where I'm leaning right now, but I'm just going to weigh everything again when the season is over and a lot of it will be dictated by my situation here, because I don't really want to go anywhere else and play anywhere else if I could help it."