Trying to Avoid Pitfalls
Tampa, FL - Kurt Warner is certain he won't be overwhelmed by everything that is the Super Bowl. Whether his young teammates will be is an open question.
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``I think that's one of the things we all hope,'' Warner said, ``but I think only time will tell.''
Warner brought his Arizona Cardinals to Florida on Monday for the final frantic week before Sunday's game against Pittsburgh, a 37-year-old quarterback leading a squad that no one could have imagined would be here.
He knows his teammates might be tempted to celebrate a little. He also knows how foolish it would be to let something get in the way of an Arizona victory over the Steelers.
``The parties will come and go,'' Warner said, ``but being a part of history is something that's special. I hope that guys embrace that.''
Bertrand Berry said the temptations are definitely there.
``I've been to a few of these, but only as a visitor,'' Berry said, adding: ``I know that there are a lot of opportunities to get into trouble.''
Warner, unlike nearly all his teammates, knows what it's like to win a Super Bowl, and to lose one. He was the game's MVP when the St. Louis Rams beat Tennessee in the 1999 season. He was back two years later, when the Rams lost to New England on Adam Vinatieri's last-second field goal.
Since then, Warner has lost starting jobs in St. Louis, New York and Arizona. He downplayed the triumphant nature of his return.
``Unlike probably the other two, and I think definitely the first one, this one up to this point was really like business as usual,'' he said. ``I really felt like it was just another road trip. The whole Super Bowl thing hasn't hit me yet.''
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt has been here before, too, as offensive coordinator of Pittsburgh's Super Bowl champions of three seasons ago.
``It's a little muggy out here,'' Whisenhunt said, ``But fortunately we've got a week to get used to that.''
They have much less time to get used to the media frenzy - it starts Tuesday - and they will lean on Warner's experience to get through it.
ad the season that Kurt's had throughout this year, it commands respect,'' Whisenhunt said.
Though he wants his team to enjoy the experience, Whisenhunt said, ``We can't lose sight of the fact that we're here to play a game.''
He also knows that trouble is easy to find.
``I don't think you can talk to them about it enough,'' he said. ``I've talked to them about it and will talk to them about this again. That's something that's very important. ... The only thing is give them as much information as you can about it. It really goes back to the type of players that we have. They've done a really good job of handling this so far.''
He might have been talking about wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
``We are trying to go about it as a team preparing for another game,'' Boldin said. ``We are trying to leave all of the hype and hoopla around it out of it, and try to prepare for it as much as possible.''
The Cardinals have rolled up 95 points in playoff victories over Atlanta, Carolina and Philadelphia, heady stuff for a franchise that had two playoff victories its entire history before this year.
This isn't the first time the Cardinals have spent a week in the East. They stayed in suburban Washington after losing to the Redskins to prepare for the following Sunday's game against the New York Jets.
n out so well. The Cardinals lost 56-35.
``This is a different type of week,'' Larry Fitzgerald said. ``It's the Super Bowl and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think guys are really focused and ready to do what it takes, no matter if it's curfews, whatever it takes. Guys are ready and we'll be prepared.''
Posted: 1/28/09 12:00AM ET