TEMPE, Ariz. (Oct. 19, 2005) -- Cardinals coach Dennis Green has decided who will start at quarterback Oct. 23 against Tennessee, but won't make his choice public until shortly before kickoff.
"We basically take the position this week the more we know, the better for us it is, and the less that Tennessee knows, the better it is for us," Green said after practice.
Green said he told the team who the quarterback will be, but those sampled weren't about to break the code of secrecy.
The two candidates, Kurt Warner and Josh McCown, stood side by side on the podium where the starting quarterback talks to reporters on Wednesdays. Neither would divulge what they knew.
"I have an older brother, and every time his friends would get together and talk about stuff, and they wouldn't tell me," McCown said. "Now I'm in the know and you guys don't know, so that kind of feels good to me to be on the other side of it."
Such was the lighthearted tone of the subject throughout the locker room.
Asked if Anquan Boldin, who by circumstance wound up starting at quarterback for Florida State in the Sugar Bowl, might be a candidate, Warner replied, "He can wing it, now; he can."
"I don't know if he can read anything," Warner added. "The first receiver better be open, but he can fling it."
Tongue firmly in cheek, Boldin said that indeed he would be the starting quarterback.
"I think as the week goes on, I start to progress from the second and third reads to my flat check. I mean, if I'm in doubt, I just hit the running back on an angle route or flat route. It's not that hard. Playing quarterback is a lot easier than playing receiver," Boldin said.
Even 6-foot-6, 370-pound offensive tackle Leonard Davis got into the act, saying he wanted to play quarterback.
"I'll run the East Coast offense," he said.
Whether Green can keep the lid on all week remains to be seen, but Warner and McCown wouldn't even say whose decision it was for the two of them to stand on the podium together.
Warner, at 34 eight years older than McCown, started the first three games before going down with a groin strain in Arizona's loss at Seattle on Sept. 25. McCown, who started 13 games last season, came on to throw for career highs of 385 yards in the team's lone victory this season -- against San Francisco in Mexico City -- and 398 in the Oct. 9 home loss to Carolina.
No quarterback in the Cardinals' long history had thrown for so many yards in back-to-back games.
Yet Green talked about the failure of the team to move the ball late against Carolina, and the inability to score more points to go with all those yards.
Warner has the experience and MVP savvy. McCown has mobility.
Warner said he is feeling healthier each day.
"I was a little leery after Monday," he said. "There was a little bit of pain out there. I was just hoping it was the first day back and doing some of the reps and some of the things I haven't done. Today it felt a whole lot better."
Both said their friendly relationship makes it easier to root for the other guy.
"I think you see so often around this league that the guys don't get along, they don't like each other, they make it one guy against the other guy," said Warner, who lost starting jobs in St. Louis and, last year, with the New York Giants. "You don't have that same type of atmosphere (in Arizona). That's what makes it easier."
The Associated Press News Service
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