Kurt Warner talks NFL rule changes, Cards QB situation

Arizona Sports News online

Although Kurt Warner hung up his cleats and shoulder pads three years ago the former Cardinals quarterback still keeps a close eye on the game with his job as a studio analyst for NFL Network.

It’s become a necessity the way Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL have stretched their brand into an almost year round news making wheel.

Wednesday was no different when Goodell announced a number of rule changes and tweaks to the game at the annual owner’s meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

One that passed is players will now be penalized 15 yards if they hit another player more than three yards downfield or outside the tackle box with the crown of their helmet. This is just another example of the NFL trying to make the game safer. Many believe this rule will affect running backs the most.

“I watch a guy like Marshawn Lynch,” Warner explained to Brad Cesmat Wednesday afternoon on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “He runs with power. He delivers blows, but he does a great job of running with his helmet up and seeing everything he hits. When I’m watching TV with my boys I’m always telling them that’s the way I want you to run the football.”

Warner believes saying you’re going to play smarter/safer football and actually doing it is easier said than done. Many of the current players on both sides of the ball have been taught since a young age to play aggressive and physical. He does feel eventually it will make the game safer and better moving forward even with NFL players getting bigger, faster, and stronger each season.

One rule he would like to see changed is defenders being penalized for hitting defenseless receivers over the middle of the field. Warner said quarterbacks should be flagged, not the secondary because they are the ones exposing their receivers. He explained some QB’s now throw high and late over the middle knowing worse case scenario they’ll get a 15-yard penalty because somebody’s not going to be able to hit them.

His former team the Cardinals also made news today when head coach Bruce Arians said he doesn’t believe the Red Birds need to draft a quarterback next month after signing free agent Drew Stanton last week.

“What I make out of that is that he knows a lot more about Drew Stanton than I do,” Warner told Cesmat. “I’m really surprised that coming in that they feel he’s a starting quarterback and a guy who can lead that football team, but…Bruce Arians was around him, he was in that system. It lets me know maybe there’s more there than I originally thought when they signed him or hearing the name out there.”

Arians said he hasn’t been overwhelmed by any of the quarterbacks in this draft which could be posturing which many coaches do leading up to the draft. Warner said he’s not sure any of the quarterbacks are ‘franchise quarterbacks’ from the film he’s watched.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.