Quarterback Kurt Warner and team president Michael Bidwill share a moment near the end of the Cardinals' division-clinching victory Sunday against the Rams.
Everything was very matter of fact for Kurt Warner Wednesday, right up to being blasé about the banner hanging on the Cardinals' facility near the practice field proclaiming the Cards the 2008 NFC West champions.
It was "business as usual" for the quarterback, who downplayed the team's division title simply because he had loftier goals in mind.
"I don't know if it is confidence, I just don't know what else there is to play for," Warner said. "To play this game as long as I have and I have been to that point … I don't come back for a paycheck and I don't come back to win the division because at the end of the day, five years from now, no one remembers who won the division. What they are going to remember is who wins the Super Bowl.
"You play the game to be the best. I don't want to settle for anything but to be the best."
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Warner's confidence is one of his greatest attributes.
"He'll tell you what he wants to get done and how he'll compete, and then he'll show you on the field," Whisenhunt said. "I think it's great to have confidence, but in this business, in this league, it all comes down to backing it up. That's what you see Kurt do – back it up."
DEALING WITH THE WILLIAMS WALL
While star Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams remain in limbo finding out about the on-hold four-game suspension (the suspension has been stayed by the court and won't be heard before Friday), Whisenhunt said his team will simply prepare like both will play.
Vikings coach Brad Childress also expects the two to play.
"As far as I'm concerned, they're going to play until somebody tells me they're not," Childress said. "It's not like we've got a scout posted out in the driveway looking for someone to drive in with impending doom. It's an issue we can't control."
The Vikings have the second-ranked run defense in the NFL, in large part because of the Williams duo. The Cardinals likely would lean more toward the pass anyway, given their 32nd-ranked running game.
Wide receivers Steve Breaston (ribs) and Sean Morey (shoulder) were each limited in practice but are expected to be OK for Sunday's game against the Vikings. Safety Matt Ware also returned to the practice field for the first time on a limited basis after facial surgery.
Still no official word on linebacker Clark Haggans (foot), although Haggans was not at practice Wednesday. Earlier in the week Whisenhunt said he wasn't optimistic about Haggans' situation. Linebacker Pago Togafau (knee) didn't practice, and neither did defensive tackle Alan Branch, who has an infection in his cheek. Fullback Terrelle Smith was excused from practice for personal reasons.
For the Vikings, starting quarterback Gus Frerotte sat out with his bad back; Childress said Frerotte's game status won't be known until later in the week. (EDIT: The St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting Frerotte will miss the game). Defensive end Jared Allen (knee) also missed practice, but he isn't expected to miss the game.
Contact Darren Urban at email@example.com. Posted 12/10/08. Updated 12/10/08.