Cardinals QB Kurt Warner had one of the most remarkable performances in NFL playoff history during a 51-45 overtime wild-card victory over the Packers last Sunday. The best way to stop Warner might be to get him out of the game. But are opponents already trying that?
“Well, I don’t know,” Warner told XTRA 910 in Phoenix on Wednesday (via Sports Radio Interviews). “I don’t want to say anybody is coming after me, but it seems like down the stretch here, I’ve had a lot of guys kind of go for my head — or hit me in the head. Whether or not they’re going for it, I don’t want to put that on anybody.”
Warner, who suffered a concussion that kept him out of one regular-season game, complained early about helmet contact, and the Packers were flagged for a personal foul on the QB’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald late in the third quarter. Was that the product of Warner planting a seed?
Of course, there was some controversy after an apparent face-mask penalty wasn’t called on a Cardinals hit of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on the final play of the game. A helmet-to-helmet hit seemed to be ignored on the previous play.
Apparently, that’s why you point out the issue to the referees early.
“One of the things I’m always trying to do is let the officials know,” Warner said. “I know they’ve got a tough job, and it’s not easy to see all that stuff, but just let them know, ‘Hey, watch this,’ because I don’t want people going for my head. I want them to be conscious of it. Sometimes, if you can get one of those calls early, it changes the way the other team plays. It’s more of a psychological thing. It’s not really something I’m worried about.
“But if you just kind of remind the refs every once in a while, they may look for it. You know, we got that one on that unbelievable catch by Larry, but it might have been a penalty had Larry not made that catch, gotten us a first down there inside the red zone. So you know, just trying to be conscious of those things, make sure I’m protecting myself, but also to make sure they’re paying attention to little things like that going on in the game.”