Warner wonders how good Mahomes can be once taps potential

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MIAMI (AP)Two-time NFL MVP and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner can’t wait to find out just how good reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes can be.

“We don’t even know Patrick’s untapped potential yet,” Warner said Thursday. “How good can he be? I remember when I was with (former coach) Mike Martz, we just continued to push that envelope and see how far we could go, and it was part of the fun of playing the game.”

The NFL Network analyst says he wonders if the league has ever seen a quarterback with all the skills Mahomes has. He led the Chiefs to the AFC championship game in his first season as a starter while winning the NFL MVP, and now he has them in theSuper Bow l for the first time since 1970.

His athleticism and arm strength is similar to Aaron Rodgers, and Warner said Mahomes also can play in the pocket like other great quarterbacks. But Warner said what separates Mahomes the most is his ability to creatively see the game, something only a few quarterbacks have had.

“A lot to be determined yet, but I do think there is the potential for him to be the most complete quarterback we may have ever seen in this game,” Warner said.

On the other side Sunday is Jimmy Garoppolo who could help San Francisco do what Warner managed in 1999 with the then-St. Louis Rams by winning a Super Bowl a season after going 4-12. Warner said Garoppolo sometimes misses defenders or focuses so much on making a throw that he misses receivers, noting a couple of opportunities Minnesota missed at interceptions in the divisional round.

Warner expects Garoppolo to play well in his first Super Bowl as a starter after winning two rings as Tom Brady’s backup in New England. His question is whether Garoppolo can make the throw the 49ers need to make the difference Sunday.

“Do the Chiefs make that play?” Warner asked. “Can Jimmy avoid that play? That to me is probably a bigger question than do I think he can make enough plays to win. Yeah, I definitely think that.”

TUA HEALING QUICKLY

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is healing well enough from hip surgery in November that he just might be able to do some things on the field before the NFL draft.

Agent Leigh Steinberg, CEO of Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, says Tagovailoa is no longer using crutches. Steinberg said Tagovailoa certainly has enough tape showing just how good he can be. How healthy Tagovailoa can be in 2020 could be the key in just how high the quarterback is drafted in April.

“He’s coming along, and I’m sure sometime prior to the draft he’ll be able to show his skills and be perceived the way he originally was perceived as a top pick in the draft,” Steinberg said.

MORE WOMEN WORKING SUPER BOWL

For the first time, three women athletic trainers will provide medical care in the Super Bowl.

The three athletic trainers are Laura A. McCabe of the San Francisco 49ers, Tiffany Morton and Julie Frymyer with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“The accomplishment of these three athletic trainers leading up to the NFL’s biggest game is a testament to their commitment to player health, safety and well-being,” said National Athletic Trainers’ Association President Tory Lindley.

“The athletic training profession is more than 50% female and I am hopeful that through the examples set by the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers and others, female athletic trainers in professional sport will be commonplace.”

Frymyer noted that even though the Chiefs had several injuries this season, they got to the big game. Certainly the training staff helped in that quest.

“I believe it’s time that females in these positions are no longer considered a rarity, but as the norm,” she said. “I commend the work the NFL has done with their intern scholarship programs for women and minorities to expand the network of athletic trainers in the league.”

San Francisco offensive assistant Katie Sowers also will be the first woman to coach in a Super Bowl with the 49ers.

DARNOLD VS. JONES IN MIAMI

The New York quarterback comparison is coming to South Florida.

Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold will go at it in cornhole.

Cornhole?

The Giants and Jets signal callers will compete alongside top American Cornhole League professionals. The event Friday night in Fort Lauderdale is part of a three-day event conducted by the ACL in which $40,000 in purses are available.

The Jones-Darnold matchup even gets network television attention; it will be broadcast by ESPN2 on Sunday.

“Being from Charlotte cornhole was always around. To watch it evolve from a backyard game to a full-fledged sport with American Cornhole League has been exciting,” Jones said. “Plus, the opportunity to take Sam on heads up was something I couldn’t pass on.”

Darnold is confident he can handle his opponent.

“While I wish I was going to be on the field this weekend, this is a nice consolation prize – and another opportunity to take home a win for ‘Gang Green’ against a crosstown rival,” said Darnold, whose Jets beat the Giants during the 2019 season. “Daniel’s a great competitor, but I’ve been practicing and feel good about my odds.”

NOVICE BROADCASTERS

NFL Player Engagement has arranged for four players who went through the Broadcast Boot Camp to commentate on Radio Row at the Super Bowl. Participating players are Jason Cabinda, Marlon Favorite, Brandon Flowers and Shane Vereen, and they also will be involved in the game broadcast to Great Britain.

Each player is participating in segments on various radio outlets, including SiriusXM and Westwood One Radio.

The program is open to current and former players who have previously participated in the NFL’s Broadcast Boot Camp and its advanced version; the Speakers Bureau; and the Sports Media/Sports Journalism & Radio Boot Camp. Players have the opportunity to practice what they learned at previous boot camps, and, who knows, maybe land a broadcasting gig.

Cabinda currently is a linebacker with the Lions. Defensive lineman Favorite played for several teams and was on the Saints when they won the 2009 championship. Cornerback Flowers was with the Chiefs and Chargers and made the 2013 Pro Bowl. Vereen was a running back who won a Super Bowl with Patriots.

SUPER BOWL ALBUM

Don’t worry if you miss any of the musical performances Sunday at the Super Bowl. Each will be available almost immediately after as part of a new visual album announced Thursday by the NFL.

Those scheduled to perform include Demi Lovato handling the national anthem, Yolanda Adams with The Children’s Voice Chorus singing “America the Beautiful” and the halftime show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. The performances will be available on Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube, though fans also can place their order now.

Proceeds from the anthem and “America The Beautiful” performances will go to the NFL’s Inspire Change grant programs for education, economic development, police and community relations and criminal justice reform.

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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