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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Footballguys.com Analysis of Warner Situation

    Fantasy Notebook: Fool Me Once, Shame On You. ...
    By Bob Harris - Senior NFL Analyst - Footballguys.com

    Well, the latest reports filtering out of the Big Apple say Kurt Warner
    looked sharp during his initial mini-camp workouts this week. His passes
    were crisp and mostly on target. But as New York Daily News staffer Ralph
    Vacchiano noted, the surprise was that Eli Manning's passes looked even
    better.

    After struggling through his first mini-camp as a pro early last month,
    Manning put all that behind him Monday with a much-improved performance
    that caught the eyes of his coaches and teammates.

    According to Vacchiano, "his command in the huddle was better and he had a
    much greater knowledge of the offense. And as a result, he was able to
    show off the right arm that the Giants worked so hard to acquire in their
    blockbuster draft-day trade."

    Wow. Sounds pretty darned good. ...

    Unfortunately, Manning didn't fare as well Tuesday. Which should come as
    no surprise. Once again, we're talking about a rookie trying to get up to
    speed at the league's most difficult position to master.

    Which is why, I suspect, we'll see a growing media drumbeat surrounding
    the Warner/Manning competition with Warner putting increasing pressure on
    his younger teammate as he becomes familiar with the Giants' system and
    his NFL MVP experience begins to factor into the equation.

    But that doesn't mean I believe Warner is the best man for this job. Nor
    am I sure he's not. And I'm not alone in my confusion.

    In fact, after reviewing some of the opinions being floated by those "in
    the know," I've come to the conclusion that Warner is as mysterious to the
    rest of the world as he is to me.

    A sampling follows. ...

    In an article published Monday, Sports Illustrated insider Peter King
    advised readers: "I think Kurt Warner, whatever happens, will be a team
    player and will help Eli Manning as much as he can with the Giants. Warner
    is one of the few people I know in football who truly would help the guy
    behind him even if it meant it might hurt his situation."

    But former Giants quarterback Phil Simms disagreed.

    "The perfect guy (for the Giants) was Neil O'Donnell," Simms told the
    Newark Star-Ledger. "It's not a knock against Kurt, but the agendas are
    different. Kurt Warner still wants to be a franchise quarterback. He wants
    to be the guy. ... Kurt Warner will give information to Eli, but he's
    going to be more concerned about his performance, his knowledge and what
    he's doing."

    Another Sports Illustrated writer, NFL guru Paul Zimmerman, took things a
    step further, reminding readers: "I (advised) the Giants not to sign
    Warner, because 1) his hand wasn't right, which was why he couldn't grip
    the ball correctly and why he fumbled six times in last year's opener, and
    2) he had turned weird and resentful, and someone had to keep him away
    from Marc Bulger on the sidelines during games."

    Weird and resentful, eh? A harsh assessment, and one that New Orleans
    Times Picayune staffer Brian Allee-Walsh doesn't seem to buy into.

    "Granted, Warner turns 33 on June 22 and has not won a game as a starter
    since the NFC championship game of the 2001 season." Allee-Walsh suggested
    last weekend. "But the two-time league MVP has a serious chip on his
    shoulder after losing his job to Marc Bulger in St. Louis.

    "Warner's signing allows first-year coach Tom Coughlin a viable option
    under center if Manning should stumble early. Plus, Warner's presence
    should make Manning a better player. Warner led the Rams to two Super
    Bowls and was instrumental in their victory against Tennessee in Super
    Bowl XXXIV.

    "I like players who have something to prove."

    Newsday columnist Bob Glauber wasn't as optimistic.

    "Warner is kidding himself if he thinks he can get back to where he once
    was," Glauber wrote shortly after the news conference announcing the
    signing. "Once he steps onto the field against the blitz-happy Eagles in
    the regular-season opener Sept. 12, you will see the same problems that
    led to Warner's fall from grace.

    "You will see him lock on to receivers the way he did during his difficult
    times in St. Louis. You will see him get jittery under a heavy rush. And
    with the shaky offensive line the Giants figure to have, Warner certainly
    can't expect the kind of protection that once gave him time in his
    seven-step drops to fuel the Rams' high-octane attack. It doesn't help
    that the Giants are without the collective speed and talent around Warner
    that he enjoyed with the Rams."

    Points taken. ... But not by SportsLine.com senior writer Pete Prisco, who
    cited an unnamed NFL scout as saying: "If healthy, he still has a chance
    to be really good. I think if he gets protected he can still be very
    efficient. You can't count him out. He's overcome so much, there's no way
    you can just count him out."

    Prisco summed up by predicting Warner "will be the starter for at least
    this year, giving him a chance to prove wrong all that foolish talk he is
    finished. Fantasy owners take note: Warner will be a steal."

    Sounds like a bit of reach to me. Looking for a more moderate view? Look
    no further than Sporting News columnist Dan Pompei, who recently advised
    readers: "There still is hope for Warner, based on his performance in
    training camp last year and in the preseason. Shortly before the start of
    last season, Rams coach Mike Martz said Warner was as sharp as he ever had
    been, and he had no physical issues.

    "Certainly, signing Warner was a gamble worth taking. But there are no
    guarantees with this once-great player."

    And that's pretty much my stance here, too -- at least the no guarantees
    portion.

    As someone who, based on glowing preseason reports emanating from Rams
    headquarters, ranked Warner among my top 10 Fantasy quarterbacks last
    summer, I'm going to take a very simple stand on this one and say: Fool me
    once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

    In other words, there are 32 NFL teams. And as long as I'm in a league
    with 15 or fewer teams, I wouldn't touch either Warner or Manning with
    your ten-foot pole.

    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  2. #2
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Footballguys.com Analysis of Warner Situation

    If the rest of the nation can't put the Warner story to bed, I think it's easy to understand why many of us here who have a passion for the man, can't either.

    If things fall into place for Warner and the Giants, it will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest storyline in the NFL this year.

    Media outlets as well as NFL fans all over the country seem to be facinated by what happens with Kurt Warner. But that's what happens when your dealing with a legend.

    Time will tell if the story is a triumph or a tragedy.

  3. #3
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    Re: Footballguys.com Analysis of Warner Situation

    His story is already a triumph....to go from stocking grocery store items to winning the Super Bowl is already triumph enough.

  4. #4
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Footballguys.com Analysis of Warner Situation

    He is definitly a triumph already. I was refering to Warner's potential comeback being a triumph or tragedy.

  5. #5
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    Re: Footballguys.com Analysis of Warner Situation

    What I find funny is the race to be the first sportswriter to predict how this will play out. I can guarantee you that, however Warner ends up playing, you can't tell right now from a few practices.

  6. #6
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Footballguys.com Analysis of Warner Situation

    It will indeed take more than a few practices, but at least he has the opportunity and from what I have read, the confidence of his new coaches and teammates. The rest is up to Kurt.

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