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Green says Warner, not Leinart, is QB
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published September 27, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - Kurt Warner will remain the starting quarterback for the Cardinals, coach Dennis Green said Tuesday.
Green responded to Monday's ESPN report that said he decided that rookie Matt Leinart would replace Warner for Sunday's game at Atlanta.
"Generally, talking about the starting lineup is not something we do," Green said in a statement. "However, given the speculation that was out there, we want to make it clear. We're disappointed after last week, but we still expect to be a playoff football team and we fully expect Kurt Warner to be the quarterback that leads us. That has not changed."
Warner threw three interceptions and fumbled a snap in the Cardinals' 16-14 home loss to the Rams.
At his regular Monday news conference, Green declined to confirm Warner would keep the No. 1 job, fueling speculation that Leinart would get his first NFL start just four weeks into the season.
Meanwhile, the University of Phoenix, the nation's largest private university, will pay the team $154.5-million over the next 20 years to put "University of Phoenix Stadium" on the Cardinals' new home.
Bears: Defensive back Ricky Manning Jr. pleaded no contest to a felony assault charge stemming from an attack on a man in a Los Angeles-area restaurant. Manning was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to attend a year of anger management counseling and complete 100 hours of community service.
Cowboys: Coach Bill Parcells said he expects receiver Terrell Owens, who broke the bone leading to his right ring finger a week ago and had surgery, to practice today. If Owens proves he can play without worrying about his hand, he'll start Sunday in Tennessee.
Giants: Defensive coordinator Tim Lewis took the blame for the team's position as one of the worst defenses in the NFL. "I can't screw it up, and right now I am screwing it up," Lewis said in one of the rare times coach Tom Coughlin has allowed his assistants to talk to the media. "I am trying to do something that they are not doing well." The Giants are next to last in scoring defense (30.7 points) and third-down efficiency (58.7 percent), 30th in first downs allowed (71) and average passing yards allowed (281) and 27th in overall defense, allowing 370.3 yards.
Saints, ESPN win: The Saints' return home to the Superdome on Monday night drew the highest rating ever for ESPN and was the highest-rated program of the night on any network, broadcast or cable. The Saints' 23-3 win over Atlanta in the first game in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina 13 months ago drew a rating of 11.8 and an audience of 10,850,000 homes. It was the third straight week the network's Monday night game set a record for ESPN.
A day after the big win that put the Saints in first place by themselves, smiling - if somewhat weary - revelers strolled through the narrow streets of the French Quarter. Life in New Orleans had an air of normalcy Tuesday, but difficult questions remain.
The population is still less than half what it was before Hurricane Katrina. Who knows if enough deep-pocketed companies will return to buy up those pricey club seats and luxury boxes.
"There's no doubt the public will support the team. But there's always that issue of the economic base, the corporate base," said Doug Thornton, who runs the Superdome and oversees its $185-million renovation.