Kurt Warner doesn't even remember what the Cardinals' offense did last preseason, which makes sense – at the time, Warner and Matt Leinart were fighting to see who would start, and Warner didn't even play in the preseason opener.
Yet the Cardinals were plenty potent in the regular season.
So the lack of concern over the starting offense's scoring – three points in two games – in the 2009 preseason shouldn't be surprising. The Cardinals would rather be reaching the end zone, yes. But with practically the entire unit back intact and healthy, it's hard to muster any sort of panic.
"Coach doesn't want to show a lot," Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. "We're not going to show our no-huddle stuff in the preseason. If we did that, I
think we would give people some trouble. But coach wants to keep everything (hidden). You want to do well in the preseason but it is about the regular season.
"We haven't had any major overhauls (in personnel). I am confident we are better than where we were at this point last year."
Warner takes the thought even further, saying that despite the scoring results, the Cards have shown they can move the ball and at this point in the preseason, "I feel better than I have in a long time."
Then he says the magic words: "I feel I have been able to pick up where I left off."
For an offense that did what it did in the postseason – and don't forget, Warner's final game last season (with a bad hip that needed surgery) included 377 yards passing and three touchdowns against one of the best defenses in the league – picking up where it left off would be perfect.
Then again, it's also easier said than done.
"I know it is in the back of my mind we haven't scored a touchdown," said receiver Jerheme Urban, who should get the start against the Packers Friday night with Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston sitting out with injuries. "At some point we have to flip the switch whether it is (Green Bay) or Denver (in the preseason finale), because in my mind we can't go into the regular season thinking 'Oh well.' Because if we do that, there will be some carryover. We need to get on a roll now."
Some of it will come with gameplanning. That's the view taken from coach Ken Whisenhunt, who is loathe to give any early advantage to regular-season opening opponent San Francisco. There is a general feeling on the offense, for instance, that the interception Warner threw trying to get Fitzgerald near the goal line or the incompletion to Boldin in the end zone would have had different results in the regular season.
With Warner and the first unit in the game, the Cards only have one three-and-out in seven drives (one of the drives was split between Warner and Leinart), although one of the drives started inside the San Diego 10 last week after LaRod Stephens-Howling's 89-yard kickoff return.
"Preseason is so hard to gauge," Warner said. "To me, it's about fine-tuning details."
"I throw an interception, maybe it's my fault, maybe it's not, but people have no idea," Warner added. "People jump to conclusions. And it is easy to focus on that we haven't put the ball in the end zone. But we have done some good things and we are good enough in those spots and we have the playmakers, and we are going to be OK."