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Patriots Replay Fri Jun 05 | 12:00 AM - 11:58 PM

Warner back as Cards' starting quarterback

TEMPE, Ariz. (Nov. 2, 2005) -- Kurt Warner is a starter again.

Warner will replace Josh McCown as starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals for the game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Coach Dennis Green declined to say why he was making the switch.

"That's coach talk," he said. "We've got a bunch of guys that were involved in that decision. We talk about it every single week and this week this is what we decided."

Warner started the first three games, but was knocked out of the 37-12 loss in Seattle on Sept. 25 with a right groin strain. McCown started the last four games, including the team's only two victories.

McCown threw for 385 and 394 yards in his first two starts, but has struggled the last two. He acknowledged he has sore ribs from the many blows he took in Sunday's 34-13 loss at Dallas, where he was 16 for 33 for 161 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.

"There were some big hits and with that comes some big soreness, I guess," he said. "But I'm working with the training staff to get my injuries better so I'll be ready to go if needed."

Warner said his injury is healed and his timing is fine.

"I'm just happy to be back out there," he said, "ready to compete again and play and do whatever I can to help the team. That's what it's all about. That's what I've been preparing for."

One reason Green has stuck with McCown the last two weeks is the younger quarterback's mobility. McCown has been on the run repeatedly in the last two games behind a porous offensive line. Warner acknowledged that McCown has the edge in moving around, but said that shouldn't be a requirement for any quarterback in a productive offense.

"If you're basing your offense on that, you're not in good shape," Warner said. "You're not doing what you expect to do and it's going to be tough to win anyway. Yeah, maybe I'm limited in that regard, but I think we have to do what we do. We have to throw the football, we have to protect, we have to move the ball down the field.

"That's how this team is going to win. That's how we were built."

McCown has completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,233 yards and six touchdowns, but has been intercepted eight times. In his three starts, Warner completed 63 percent for 696 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions.

McCown has been the starting quarterback in all eight of Arizona's victories since Green took over as coach last year. This mark's the third time Green has benched him, though.

"It's part of the business," McCown said. "You understand that's the nature of it and you just work hard and support your teammates and be ready to go as the No. 2 quarterback to help our team."

Arizona's offensive line should be helped by the return of Oliver Ross at right tackle. Ross has been sidelined for five weeks with a broken hand. However, starting right guard Elton Brown is doubtful with a knee injury.

Warner won't have wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Boldin is out two to four weeks with a bruised bone in his right knee. Bryant Johnson moves into Boldin's starting spot, with either Reggie Newhouse or LeRon McCoy the third receiver.

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