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Warner’s Hall of Fame chances may be hurt by career lull

The Cardinals' Darnell Dockett (front) runs around blocking dummies as teammates (from left) Antonio Smith, Gabe Watson and Alan Branch wait their turn during practice Wednesday at Tampa, Fla.

The Cardinals' Darnell Dockett (front) runs around blocking dummies as teammates (from left) Antonio Smith, Gabe Watson and Alan Branch wait their turn during practice Wednesday at Tampa, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla. – There continues to be a good deal of public debate about Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner’s chances of making the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Warner said he doesn’t think about it much unless someone brings up the subject. He said he wouldn’t change anything about his career, which started late and featured a lull between stints with the St. Louis Rams and Arizona.

“I wouldn’t change the two situations,” he said. “If that means there were lulls in the middle or I didn’t play enough that it affects me in the long haul, so be it. I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done on the football field.”

A different skill set: Football wasn’t always important to Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett. He tried playing after he moved to Maryland as a teenager and didn’t like it.

“I actually quit,” he said. “I was used to stealing cars and fighting. I remember talking to the coach and he asked me if I knew the three-point stance, and I was like, ‘no, but I can tell you how to steal a Buick Regal.’ ”

Keeping it real: Despite all the attention he’s been getting lately about emerging as the NFL’s star elite wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald has remained humble and still can’t quite figure out what all the fuss is about.

“I’m just a firm believer that what you did last week really doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’ve got the opportunity of a lifetime coming up this week and I have to keep studying, stay in my playbook, and keep listening to my coaches because without those guys and my teammates, I wouldn’t be able to have success. . . .

“The Steelers are a really good football team, the best team we’ve probably faced all year. I’m going to have to have my best game of the year to help this team win. That’s just kind of my mind-set.”

Injury report: Every Cardinal practiced on at least a limited basis Wednesday. Defensive end/outside linebacker Travis LaBoy (biceps tendon), running back J.J. Arrington (knee), punter Ben Graham (groin) and defensive end Antonio Smith (knee) were limited.

Everyone else, including receiver Anquan Boldin, participated fully. Boldin missed the divisional playoff game with a hamstring strain but played in the NFC Championship Game.

Super Bowl memories: Cardinals cornerback Rod Hood played in Super Bowl XXXIX for the Philadelphia Eagles when they lost to the New England Patriots and someone asked him about his most vivid memory from that game.

“The most vivid one,” he said, “was being the first person to touch the ball in the Super Bowl when it was kicked to me. There were so many cameras and things flashing, the ball was like a dot. I was like, ‘I hope this dot is the ball.’ ”

Remembering Pat: Arizona’s Adrian Wilson only played with the late Pat Tillman for one year, but the ex-Cardinals safety, who died in Afghanistan after retiring in 2002 to join the Army Rangers, made a lasting impression.

Tillman has been on Wilson’s mind as the NFC champions prepare for the Super Bowl.

“He turned down . . . a three- or four-year deal that he was going to get at the end of the year . . . to go into the Army,” Wilson said. “It speaks volumes to the type of person that he was.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

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