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Warner More Cardinal Than Ram

Notebook: Dockett addresses Hasselbeck controversy

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 Quarterback Kurt Warner delivers a pass for the Cardinals during last season's game in St. Louis against the Rams.
 
 
The reality is stark, given how Kurt Warner rose to prominence as a St. Louis Ram, earned two MVPs as a Ram and won his lone Super Bowl as a Ram.

Warner has played more as a Cardinal.

Warner was in St. Louis six seasons – he'll equal that stint when he returns to the Cardinals in 2010 to fulfill his current contract – and played 53 regular-season games. Just about halfway through his fifth season in Arizona, Warner will play in his 56th game as a Cardinal Sunday when his team visits St. Louis.

Warner remains beloved in St. Louis – the Edward Jones Dome workers often stop along the hall when Warner first gets to the stadium as a visitor and give him a standing ovation as he walks by – and he remains fond of the area and his time there.

"The meaning on the football field isn't as big as the first couple times going back there," Warner said Wednesday. "I love playing in that place. The fans there have been tremendous to me. There is always a special feeling going back to that.

"But I have been entrenched here with the Cardinals for so long I definitely consider myself a Cardinal as opposed to maybe what it was like the first couple of times going back there, when I still saw myself, to a large degree, as a Ram."

Playing in St. Louis has been good for Warner since coming to the Cards. He's won three straight there (including the game when Matt Leinart was injured early and Warner engineered the offense most of the game).  His statistics in the last three trips to his former home: 63-for-100, 818 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception for a passing rating of 104.5.

The trip also coincides with Warner's best stretch of the season. In the two games since throwing five interceptions against Carolina, Warner has seven touchdown passes, no interceptions and a stunning passing rating of 133.8.

"It's been a little bit like his career," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Just when everybody wants to count him out, he shows you what a competitor he is and what he can do."

DOCKETT SPEAKS ABOUT HASSELBECK, MORA

Defensive end Darnell Dockett spoke for the first time – aside from his Twitter account – on the forearm he placed on the neck of Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Seahawks coach Jim Mora was incensed when he saw a replay Monday, and Mora's impassioned talk about it in a press conference made it national news.

Dockett said he talked to Hasselbeck right after the game and said Hasselbeck understood it was a mistake.

"I don't understand why everyone is making such a big deal out of it," Dockett said.

"I would never hurt Matt Hasselbeck," Dockett added. "Like I said, I have a lot of respect for a guy who comes in playing week in, week out with broke ribs, playing with the type of (win-loss) record they have and giving everything he's got."

Dockett said he couldn't be mad at Mora for having Hasselbeck's best interests at heart, since Whisenhunt would likely do the same for Warner. But he said Mora's reponse was "disappointing."

"Playing in the Rose Bowl he was a defensive back so I hope he understands things happen in a game," Dockett said of Mora, who played at the University of Washington. "I don't want to be labeled as a dirty player. I play aggressive, I play hard no matter what and I will continue to play like that throughout my career."

It's not a subject Dockett is stressing about, however.

"Personally, I worry more about why (Cardinals assistant head coach) Russ Grimm isn't in the Hall of Fame with the Hogs," Dockett said. "I'm not worried about Mora. I wish him well."

HAYES RETURNS

Linebacker Gerald Hayes (back) returned to practice in a limited capacity, but the banged-up Cards had a long injury list to start their week of work. Linebacker Chike Okeafor (back), cornerback Michael Adams (hamstring) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (back) all sat out. Guard Deuce Lutui also missed practice with a non-injury related issue.

Seven players aside from Hayes were limited, including starters T Mike Gandy (pelvis), LB Karlos Dansby (shoulder), S Adrian Wilson (groin) and TE Ben Patrick (knee).

Special teamer Sean Morey (concussion) was able to practice on a limited basis since he has yet to be cleared for contact.

STAT CHANGE

There has been a stat change from Sunday's game. A sack originally halved between Dockett and linebacker Clark Haggans has been given fully to Dockett. That gives Dockett three sacks this season, and leaves Haggans with four – which remains high on the team.

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