Sorry Arizona Cardinals fans, Kurt Warner is not walking through the proverbial door to save the team.
“I could not do anything for you; I’ve been sitting on the couch doing nothing for three years,” Warner told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Friday. “Although people remember me on the football field I know I couldn’t do any of that right now.”
Warner, who now works as an analyst for the NFL Network, threw for 8,336 yards and 56 touchdowns over his final two years with the Cardinals. He led the Cardinals to a pair of NFC West titles as well as Super Bowl XLIII in his final two seasons as a player.
He retired in January of 2010, though, and the team has struggled mightily to replace him ever since.
Matt Leinart, Derek Anderson, Max Hall, Rich Bartel, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb and Ryan Lindley have all gotten an opportunity to be “the guy”, but none have succeeded in the role.
Arizona’s failed quest to find a quarterback has led to struggles on the field. The Cardinals, who went 24-18 with Warner as a starter under head coach Ken Whisenhunt, boasted one of the NFL’s best offenses with him under center. Since he’s left the team, the Cardinals have gone just 17-26.
“That’s why it’s so difficult to replace top quarterbacks when you expect a certain type of play,” Warner said. “We’ve seen it around the league, when Hall of Fame quarterbacks leave it’s very difficult to find that next guy.
“I think one of the reasons is because the expectation is always so high.”
The team’s struggles to replace Warner underscore the challenge a team has in finding a quality passer. The Cardinals have added options through free agency, the draft and trade, but have yet to find an answer.
“It’s a very, very difficult position to gauge before you see somebody behind center in a football game,” he said. “You can take a guy in a practice or you can evaluate a guy going into the draft and think you’re getting something, and when you put him behind center and put him in some different situations they react completely different than what you expected.”