QB slayer of the 49ers

Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner, who never has lost a game as a starter against San Francisco, talks Cardinals and 49ers and discusses several topics regarding the two teams.

Q: Your new team has suffered many injuries and lost in a lot of close games, what do you see as the main factor in these mishaps?

Warner:
I think that our biggest thing is to build continuity. As you said there have been a lot of injuries and a lot of new guys are stepping in at the offensive line and the defensive line. We're just trying to build a unit that can mesh together. Some of those areas are so important because you must have a feel for what the other guy does and how to stick together. Injuries have been a frustrating part of it. It's not to say that everybody doesn't have injuries, but we've had our share. It's been difficult, but as a unit we're young, we're growing together and I think that we've seen a lot of great strides this year. I think we've done a lot of things well this year but unfortunately they haven't turned into wins.

Q: Have you seen any progress through this adversity?

Warner:
I think we're building in the right direction and the right foundation for the future. We're hoping that that future starts in these last five games of the year. I hope that we can get this thing rolling in the right direction and put together some consistent efforts on offense, defense and special teams. The result of that will be some good and solid games like the one we played in St. Louis. We just haven't had enough consistent 60-minute efforts in all areas. I think we're going to be there in the near future, we're just trying to speed up that process as fast as we can.

Q: Would you say that being consistent is your main concern for the remainder of the season?

Warner:
Definitely, that's the thing that we've been working on all year. Everybody has to take it upon themselves to play consistent, be ready and perform on every snap. Then we have to do that as a unit. We have to show that consistency week in and week out.

Q: There were a lot of expectations placed on running back J.J. Arrington and as of now he hasn't been able to reach them, why do you think that is?

Warner:
I'm not looking at what hasn't happened up to this point, but just the way that he continues to improve every week. I don't think you can put a finger on it that fast. A young guy is going to develop. When you throw him into a new offense and a new situation, he's trying top get comfortable with everything around him. That takes time and I don't think that you can ever put a time table on it. Over the last four or five weeks, he's continued to get better. It seems like he's getting to the point where he can really slow the game down and play his type of game. That's all that we can hope for. You can't speed the process up too much. Players come as they come and he's coming. That's the thing that's exciting to all of us. Some of the plays that he's made over the past couple of weeks have been really impressive and it's just a sign of things to come. That's exciting for our football team.

Q: Hypothetically speaking, would you have been ready physically and mentally if you had to come in as a rookie quarterback and deliver for your team?

Warner:
I think it would be tough especially in this day and age. People don't realize how much the game has changed and how much more difficult it's gotten for the quarterback position. People just think that you ought to be able to jump in if you're the number one pick and play great football, but it doesn't work that way. It's hard and usually when you're the number one draft pick your team isn't as strong as some other teams out there. You don't have the same type of players or continuity around you. I think that's one of the reasons why young guys struggle, because so much is thrown on them to make something happen. They just can't jump in a situation that will allow everybody around them to play as they get better.

Q: What about some of the rookie QBs who have succeeded?

Warner:
When you look at a guy like Ben Roethlisberger, he had great defense and a great running game. Did he have a great year? No question. Did he play good football? Yes. But so much of the pressure was taken off of him not to have to win games for them. Eli Manning came in last year and he heard all the scrutiny. This year they put playmakers around him and he's playing good football. That's what I think the biggest thing is. It's so hard to tell in the first five or six weeks. If you threw some of these guys in with a team that was already put together, I think it would be a different story. That's the unfortunate thing that comes with being the number one draft pick, because the season before you didn't have a real great season. You're not just building at that position, you're building all around him. It takes time.

Q: So in most situations it takes time and teams must be patient?

Warner:
I just hope for these young guys that the organization that gets them is willing to put in the time it takes to allow these guys to develop. Too often I think they're thrown by the wayside, because they haven't won in the first two or three years. They haven't been placed in a situation to be extremely successful. I think it's unfortunate, because it takes time to develop. You can't put a time frame on how quickly you can get the game to slow down. It comes with comfort, knowing the offense and knowing the guys around you.

Q: Is there any comparisons between the receiving duo of Torry Holt/Isaac Bruce that you had during your two MVP seasons in St. Louis and the Anquan Boldin/Larry Fitzgerald tandem that you have now in Arizona?

Warner:
They compare just because I think all four are great receivers. All four of them do some different things and all four of them have some different strengths. You can pick each one of them out and talk about their different strengths. The thing that I've seen in all those guys is that they make plays for you consistently. You know that they're going to put themselves in a position where if you get the ball to them they will make plays. When you put the ball in their hands they will make plays for you and that's all you can ask, especially for the young guys that we have here. They have so far to go and so much room to grow, but still they're both at the top of the NFL in what they do.

Q: When you look at the 49ers on film, what are some things that you'll be watching for on Sunday?

Warner:
The biggest thing that I see is on defense. They are multi-dimensional. They do a lot of different things and they've had a lot of injuries. The thing that they do to combat this is change things up. They try to keep you off-balance offensively. They do a nice job of that and they've done a nice job of that in all the years that I've played them. They don't allow you to get a gear on what there going to do. You have to be ready for the multi-faceted defense that you're going to see. You have to be able to react and make plays against it.


Niners Digest Top Stories