QB Warner ends wild 12-year ride
TEMPE, Ariz. — Kurt Warner thanked God, hugged his children and wife and said goodbye to an NFL career that seems the stuff of sports fiction.
The 38-year-old quarterback announced his retirement yesterday after a dozen years in a league that at first rejected him, then revered him as he came from nowhere to lead the lowly St. Louis Rams to two Super Bowls.
Then, as if going from stocking groceries to winning NFL MVP awards wasn't improbable enough, Warner was written off as a has-been and rose again to lead the long-suffering Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl.
A man of deep faith who carried a Bible to each post-game news conference, Warner walked away with a year left on a two-year, $23 million contract, knowing he still had the skills to play at the highest level.
"It's been an amazing ride," Warner said. "I don't think I could have dreamt it would have played out like it has, but I've been humbled every day that I woke up the last 12 years and amazed that God would choose to use me to do what he's given me the opportunity to do."
Blessed with an uncanny throwing accuracy and a knack for reading defenses, Warner leaves the game with a legacy that could land him in the Hall of Fame even though he didn't get his first start until he was 28.
In 124 regular-season games, Warner completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 32,344 yards and 208 touchdowns. He and Fran Tarkenton are the only NFL quarterbacks to throw for 100 touchdowns and 14,000 yards for two teams.
FREENEY, POWERS STILL AILING
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney and starting cornerback Jerraud Powers are both listed as questionable for next week's Super Bowl after missing a third straight practice yesterday.
Freeney has a sprained right ankle. Powers missed Sunday's AFC championship game with an injured left foot.
But the Colts remain hopeful both will play against New Orleans.
The only other player who missed yesterday's practice was running back Donald Brown. He's listed as questionable with a foot injury.
Steelers hire assistant: Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jerry Olsavsky is rejoining the team as a defensive quality control coach.
Olsavsky succeeds Lou Spanos, who left the Steelers after 16 seasons to become the Washington Redskins' linebackers coach.
Palmer retires after 38 season: Veteran coach Chris Palmer has retired after 38 seasons, including 20 in the NFL, with the last three coming as the New York Giants quarterbacks coach.
The Giants announced the retirement of the former Cleveland Browns head coach yesterday.
Patriots hire ex-Irish coach: The New England Patriots have hired former Notre Dame assistant Corwin Brown as a defensive coach.
Brown spent the past three seasons as defensive coordinator for the Irish, who recently hired new head coach Brian Kelly.