Arizona Cardinal great Kurt Warner inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame
Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday.
He was presented by his wife, Brenda.
Warner’s speech (you can watch the full speech here) ran through his entire life of playing football, giving him an opportunity to thank each key person in his journey to getting his gold jacket, such as family members, former teammates and coaches.
Warner began his speech going through his early years playing football, including in high school when he had hopes of playing wide receiver and when he was learning how to get hit in the pocket.
That included the tale of his time spent working in a grocery store, including crazy conversations with a cereal box that had Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino on it.
Warner credits his children as his “greatest motivators” as he continued to wait for the right opportunity.
“I hope this inspires you,” Warner said to his kids.
Warner said his time playing in the Arena Football League re-invigorated his passion for football.
“It made me fall in love with the sport all over again,” Warner said.
Warner’s journey then took him to NFL Europe, which eventually got him to the St. Louis Rams for a tryout.
He then ran through former coaches that played a significant role in his time playing in the NFL, including former Cardinals coaches Dennis Green, Ken Whisenhunt and Todd Haley. He asked former teammates in attendance to stand, which included Larry Fitzgerald, Calais Campbell and Aeneas Williams.
He began to end his speech urging those listening to take advantage of every moment like he tried to.
“Don’t miss your moments,” Warner said. “Your moments to be impacted and your moments to impact.”
Warner’s mark in the league can be seen in the record books. He’s one of only nine players in the history of the NFL to win two or more AP MVP awards, he was the fastest quarterback in league history to throw for 10,000 yards and is the only player to ever throw for over 14,000 yards with two different NFL franchises.
While Warner’s Super Bowl ring came with the St. Louis Rams, his postseason highs statistically over the course of his careers with both franchises came in Arizona. In six career playoff games with the Cardinals, Warner had a 71 percent completion percentage and threw for 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
When looking at the most memorable games in franchise history, Warner covers most of the terrain. His 2009 postseason performance against the Green Bay Packers saw Warner throw more touchdowns (five) than incompletions (four). The year before in the Super Bowl, he posted a 31-of-43 line for 377 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense that season.
He will always be remembered as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in the game’s history. Prior to Tom Brady’s 466 yards in this past Super Bowl, Warner’s 414 passing yards in Super Bowl XXXIV were the most ever in the Super Bowl and his 377 in Super Bowl XLIII and 365 in Super Bowl XXXVI were second and third on the list.
Warner has maintained those high yardage numbers with efficiency, finishing his career with a 65.5 percent completion percentage, the fourth-highest in league history.