Warner not seeking to avenge Super Bowl loss against Brady

Saturday, February 9th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HONOLULU (AP) _ For the second straight week, St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner will be on the opposite sideline from New England counterpart Tom Brady.

But there's no way that Warner, the NFL's regular-season MVP, will be able to make up for last week's Super Bowl loss during Saturday's Pro Bowl.

``He's got what I want and I'm not going to get it through this game,'' Warner said of Brady, who won the Super Bowl and the MVP award. ``This game is more to have fun and to try to enjoy it.''

Brady led the Patriots' final Super Bowl drive that set up Adam Vinatieri's game-winning 48-yard field goal as time expired. Brady, 24, became the youngest quarterback to win the game.

Warner and Brady had to wait until Wednesday in Hawaii to finally have the chance to speak to each other.

``I didn't get to talk to him afterward because they were too busy celebrating,'' said Warner, who won the 2000 Super Bowl after his first MVP season.

``I congratulated him and asked him how he was doing with the whirlwind, since I went through it a couple years ago,'' Warner said. ``He seemed to be doing pretty good, he looked a little tired. He looked like he wanted some rest.''

Brady, who has managed to calm down this week, has admired Warner for a long time.

``He's a heck of a player,'' Brady said. ``He's a guy that's consistent and is one of the best quarterbacks in the league.''

Warner will start for the NFC on Saturday, while Brady will back up AFC starter Rich Gannon.

Brady is impressed with Warner, who threw for 4,830 yards and 36 touchdowns in the regular season.

``That's tough to do,'' Brady said. ``He's elusive and he makes good decisions.''

Warner and Brady took parallel paths from obscurity to stardom. They were both backup quarterbacks who went on to become Super Bowl MVPs in their first season as starters.

Brady was the Patriots' sixth round draft pick in 2000, and was a fourth-stringer well behind starter Drew Bledsoe last season.

Warner was undrafted and spent time in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe before joining the Rams in 1998.

``There's some similarity there with the way we got into it and the things we were able to accomplish in the first year,'' Warner said. ``Obviously, our backgrounds are a little different but the stories and the way it played out throughout the first year is very similar.''

Although Warner can't take Brady's Super Bowl ring from him, he does want his helmet following the Pro Bowl to add to his collection. After St. Louis' Super Bowl win against Tennessee, Warner traded helmets with running back Eddie George.

Warner said he doesn't know Brady well, but he is impressed with him.

``Just what I see in the way he carries himself, I think he's a good character guy,'' Warner said. ``He's going to be a positive thing for the league for a long time to come.''