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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Jan 24, 2012 - 8:45 am

Warner: Cardinals would have to adjust to Peyton Manning

FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2007, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates running back Joseph Addai's 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of an AFC Championship NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis. Although the Patriots led 21-3, Manning led the Colts to 32 points in the second half for the largest comeback in a conference title game. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

A healthy Peyton Manning is better than any quarterback currently on the Arizona Cardinals' roster.

Manning, who continues to be linked to Arizona should the Colts release him, would bring 54,828 yards passing, 399 touchdowns, a Super Bowl ring and a laser, rocket arm with him to the desert.

According to former Cards QB and current NFL Network Analyst Kurt Warner, though, that's not all he'd come with.

"One of the hardest things to do, for a quarterback, is to leave a system that you've been ingrained in your whole career and go to a different place," Warner told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Monday. "I think we all like to say, ‘well, we'll just bring Peyton in and then we'll change everything and let him run his offense.'

"Well, it doesn't normally work that way, especially when you're talking about a whole coaching staff that they're not familiar with what Peyton likes to do."

Warner said it's important for a quarterback to find a system that he can work in, so just because a guy like Manning could be available doesn't mean he's a good fit for the Cardinals.

Arizona may have gotten a first-hand look at this kind of issue with Kevin Kolb last season, as he struggled to transition from Philadelphia's West-Coast scheme to Arizona's.

Does that mean Manning, for all his greatness, may actually be a bad fit with the Cardinals?

"I think that's going to be the key if Peyton does go somewhere," Warner said, "does he get into a system similar to what he was in or can he have enough input in that system and be able to change it to fit his skills because that's really what I tried to do when I came [to Arizona]."

One of the reasons Manning has been linked to Arizona is because of the success Warner had in the desert. His career thought to be all but over, Warner passed for 11,753 yards and 83 touchdowns in three years under Ken Whisenhunt, leading the Cardinals to a pair of division titles and one Super Bowl.

Like Warner, Manning, for all his greatness, would need time to get comfortable with the offense in Arizona - or anywhere that is not Indianapolis.

"It took me some time to be able to change everybody's focus and say, "OK, if we're going to play and be successful with my skills, we need to cater to this because this is what I'm good at, this is how I see the game,'" Warner said. "To the credit of these coaches here, they were willing to make those adjustments and allow me to have that input."

Of course, after having so much success with Warner it would make sense that the Cardinals would be intrigued by the possibility of acquiring Manning, even if the offense has to be adjusted in order to adapt to the future Hall of Famer's skill-set.


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