Originally Posted by TruBlueCowboy
For those hoping the Cowboys sign Kurt Warner, this might give you an idea how much he's worth when an ex-Rams coach doesn't even want to bring him in.
Smith: Bears not interested in QB Warner
By Bob LeGere Daily Herald Sports Writer
Posted Friday, April 23, 2004
Head coach Lovie Smith refuted widespread rumors that the Bears would be a serious suitor for quarterback Kurt Warner if the Rams release him on June 1.
"We have our quarterback," Smith said. "Rex Grossman is our quarterback."
[View Full Quote]Although he has been replaced by Marc Bulger as the starter in St. Louis, Warner is a two-time NFL MVP (1999 and 2001) and three-time Pro Bowl pick who will be looking to be guaranteed a starting job or at least the opportunity to compete for one if he leaves.
And, there is still a possibility the Rams will keep him at a reduced salary.
"I know he hasn't been waived from St. Louis or anything like that," Smith said. "I assume if Kurt does leave, he wants to be the starting quarterback somewhere, which he should.
"He's a friend of mind, so we have a personal relationship. But we have our quarterback here. We're very happy with him. I hope for Kurt if he does leave, he can go somewhere where he can be the (starting) quarterback."
Thumb injuries have limited Warner's effectiveness the last two seasons, and he threw just 65 passes in 2003. Although he'll turn 33 on June 22, he could be a major upgrade for a team such as the Oakland Raiders, who are hoping 38-year-old Rich Gannon can recover from last season's shoulder injury.
"I think he can still play," Smith said of Warner. "He played at a high level not long ago. I don't think he'd lose it. I don't think he's lost it that quick."
Feeling left out: The Bears probably wouldn't have had a chance to draft Southern Cal wide receiver Mike Williams at No. 14 in the first round because he'd have already been snapped up, and they weren't very interested in Maurice Clarett, but coach Lovie Smith still feels for both players.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denied Clarett's Supreme Court appeal Thursday. She said she saw no reason to overturn a lower court's stay preventing the 20-year-old former Ohio State tailback from entering the draft. The NFL rule says a player must be three years removed from his high school graduation to be eligible. Williams was granted permission to apply for the draft after Clarett won his original court case.
"It's just a big thing to those guys; two players with really no place to go," Smith said. "I hope they can get into the draft."
Clarett has already filed a new emergency appeal with another justice. For now, both players are in limbo.
"I've got a chance to meet Mike," Smith said. "I think he's a great guy. Do I feel bad for him? Yes. I think everybody deserves a chance. We're all working. I think everybody deserves a chance to do that."
Clarett played just one season at Ohio State, helping the Buckeyes to the national championship, and probably would have been a second- or third-round draft pick.
"I did see the physical ability he has on tape," Smith said, "(and) when you get a chance to know him, you can really see what people like about him."
Award winners: Center Olin Kreutz and cornerback Charles Tillman were named the veteran and rookie winners of the Brian Piccolo Award on Thursday at Halas Hall.
The award has been given to a Bears rookie since 1970 and was expanded in 1992 to include a veteran winner. Teammates vote based on which players best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of former running back Brian Piccolo, who died of embryonal cell carcinoma on June 16, 1970, at the age of 26.
"This is an honor for me," said Kreutz, who claimed he was wearing a tie for the first time in four years for the ceremony. "Just to be part of the Chicago Bears tradition has always been an honor for me, and to win this award, it's kind of overwhelming. Courage, loyalty, teamwork - that's what the offensive line is all about."
Tillman watched the movie Brian's Song on Wednesday night to familiarize himself with Piccolo's career and his fight with cancer.
"The coolest thing about this award is that it's not voted on by the media or the fans, it's voted on by your teammates," Tillman said. "That means a lot to me because it means they think something special of me. I want to thank all my teammates for thinking I deserve this award."
Piccolo played for the Bears from 1965-69 after joining the team as an undrafted free agent from Wake Forest.
I kind of feel bad for warner...he was a SB MVP, and a lot of other things...so promising and now he just doesn't have it...so sad...