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It's Easy to Forget Warner Was a Packer

January 18, 2002

Brett Favre wants this known: He never made Kurt Warner carry his helmet.

"I think people try to go a little bit overboard with that one," Favre said this week.

Maybe so, but the fact remains, the St. Louis star was a nobody at Green Bay training camp in 1994, a fourth-string quarterback who'd signed a two-year deal as a free agent for a $5,000 bonus. He was there for only one camp, didn't take many snaps in practice and never played in an exhibition game, buried on the depth chart beneath Favre, Ty Detmer and Mark Brunell.

Warner, who won his second most-valuable-player award this season, will be reunited with three-time MVP Favre on Sunday when the Rams play host to the Packers in a divisional playoff game.

"We called him Pop Warner," Favre said. "I think Mooch [then-quarterback coach Steve Mariucci] kind of coined the phrase, and as we called Mooch 'Mooch,' we called Kurt 'Pop'--and I've been called things myself. It was all in fun.

"One thing I remember, Kurt was quiet, as I was when I went to Atlanta [as a rookie]."

Warner didn't speak much this week, either. He was silenced by bruised vocal cords but was able to call signals at practice Thursday.

And Warner isn't the only playoff quarterback who will be reunited with his former team this weekend.

Rich Gannon, whose Oakland Raiders will play Saturday at New England, was a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 1987.

Sam Farmer

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