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Warner wants five Super Bowl rings before his playing days are through

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2002

NEW ORLEANS -- Usually, Kurt Warner talks a lot without saying much at all. Blah, blah, blah.

On Tuesday, he served up a headline by revealing that he wants to be remembered as the only quarterback to win five Super Bowls. That would be one more than Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, and four more than he has now.

''Success in my mind is based on winning championships,'' Warner said during media day at the Superdome, where he drew the largest crowd of any of the St. Louis Rams. ''The other accomplishments are great and something you always reflect on, but the bottom line is winning.

''I know there's never been a quarterback that won five Super Bowls, so if I have one goal and one thing I would love to be remembered for, it would be to win five.''

He insisted it's not just a pipedream.

''Anything's possible,'' he said. ''Is it realistic? I think it is. I believe every time I step on the field I can win and we can go to the Super Bowl, that's just kind of my mentality.''

That's just one example of how loose Warner was while facing what could have been an hour-long siege by reporters and broadcasters. Having been in the same spot two years ago helped considerably, along with not having to answer questions about his days as a grocery store clerk.

"1999 was a completely different deal,'' Warner said. ''I was new on the scene and everything was new to me, and coming to the Super Bowl I had to answer the same questions I had been answering for 16 weeks.

''Now, I feel a lot more relaxed. I felt more pressure trying to get to this point.''

He was even looser than Monday night, when the Rams arrived in New Orleans, and he said he didn't think about winning lots of championships.

''We take advantage of what's at hand and we'll worry about next year, next year.''

It's clear, a day later, he was already thinking about next year.

There's good reason for his confidence.

Since his startling emergence two years ago from an unimpressive background of small college, Arena League and NFL Europe competition, he's never looked back.

In 1999, he threw 41 touchdown passes on a 13-3 team that ended a run of nine straight losing seasons, then threw for 424 yards in the Rams' Super Bowl victory over the Titans. This year he threw for 4,830 yards, second-most in NFL history, and won his second MVP award.

He tied an NFL record with nine consecutive 300-yard passing games, including a season-high 401 yards in a 24-17 victory at New England Nov. 18. He completed 68.7 percent of his passes and led the NFL in passing yards, touchdown passes and passer rating.

Patriots wide receiver David Patten remembers watching Warner throw eight touchdown passes for the Iowa Barnstormers during an Arena League playoff game in 1996.

''When I was on the sideline, I was thinking about how accurate the quarterback was,'' Patten said. ''He was hitting everybody, putting it right on the chest.''

Warner is the rock of the Rams' offense, producing a franchise-record 14-2 season and playoff victories over the Packers and Eagles. Unlike the New England Patriots, who could go with either Tom Brady or Drew Bledsoe, the Rams have no quarterback controversy.

Backup Jamie Martin threw three passes, total. Martin was briefly a hot interview subject last week after Warner's bruised ribs caused him to miss most of one practice.

Not anymore. The Rams' offensive line kept a dangerous Eagles defense out of Warner's face in the NFC championship game. Warner was sacked once, and unofficially, he was hit only three times.

''I don't think we could have expected anything that great,'' offensive guard Adam Timmerman said. ''We knew we had to keep them off of him.''

Warner repaid the line, taking them out to dinner Monday night.

''We got full,'' Timmerman said. ''I'd hate to see the bill.''



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