GLENDALE, Ariz. - Jim Rattay won two football state championships at Elyria Catholic and continued his success in Arizona. He didn`t need a title this season to add a "highlight of my coaching career."
Tim Rattay came to Phoenix Christian High School to work as an assistant for his dad and take repetitions with the quarterbacks.
"He`s a great coach," Jim said Thursday by phone. "He has a lot of enthusiasm."
But the business relationship was short-lived. Matt Leinart broke his collarbone, the Arizona Cardinals called and Tim signed a one-year, $720,000 deal to back up Kurt Warner. The Cardinals host the Browns today.
"Unfortunately, we just couldn`t match the offer," Jim joked.
When Warner injured his elbow, Rattay was immediately pressed into service and went 12-for-24 for 159 yards and three interceptions in
Week 6 vs. Carolina.
"Tim knew 10 of 400 plays," said Jim, who won titles with EC in 1976 and `83. "I thought he did a tremendous job."
Warner returned as the starter the next week, but the coaches found an important role for Rattay. He`s appeared in three games since in goal-line situations, connecting on all three of his passes, all for touchdowns.
He has 2- and 1-yarders to Leonard Pope and a 2-yarder to Ben Patrick. Rattay is the first NFL quarterback to complete three consecutive attempts for touchdowns since Daunte Culpepper did it in one game in 2000.
"That`s unique. He could be a trivia answer," Jim said. "Who does that? It`s a critical moment, but the coaches have confidence in him.
"He`s like a relief pitcher."
Rattay is in his eighth year in the league. He started and beat the Browns with Tampa Bay on Christmas Eve last year and was one of the final cuts by Tennessee this year. Jim called his landing in Arizona a blessing.
"God brought his family back to us," Jim said.
Jim said another son, John, recently moved to Arizona and they`re enjoying the family time. He also appreciates the 15-minute commute to watch Tim play.
"It`s real fun to root for him and be right there," Jim said. "It`s another opportunity to see him play."
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.