Green wins battle of old Rams
Chiefs QB sharp as Warner gets booed in N.Y. debut
By IVAN CARTER
The Kansas City Star

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J — Kurt Warner took the field with the sounds of cheers ringing in his ears at the start of Friday night's preseason game between the Chiefs and New York Giants.

But New York being New York, those cheers quickly changed to boos when Warner appeared to fumble without anyone touching him while he was trying to execute a screen pass late in the first quarter.

The call was overruled thanks to the infamous “tuck rule,” but Warner was soon standing on the sidelines. The cheers were revived for rookie first round pick/franchise savior Eli Manning, who jogged onto the field to take his first NFL snaps with just under 8 minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Warner, who signed with the Giants after six seasons with the Rams, might want to get used to that feeling.

Despite the fact that he has two NFL MVP awards and a Super Bowl trophy on his resume, Warner is living on borrowed time. Sooner or later, Manning will be under center for the Giants, and Warner will be on the sidelines wearing a baseball cap.

That makes Trent Green's Friday evening all the more interesting.

Green, the man who was supposed to be the man in St. Louis until his 1999 preseason knee injury opened the door for Warner, was the best quarterback on the field Friday night.

Despite the fact he was working without wide receivers Johnnie Morton, Eddie Kennison or Marc Boerigter, Green completed seven of 11 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. The first team gave every indication that the Chiefs will once again have the NFL's most potent offense.

After going three-and-out on the their first drive when rookie wide receiver Samie Parker failed to come up with a Green bullet on third and 9, the Chiefs got things rolling with a six-play, 66-yard drive which Green capped by zipping a pass up the seam to rookie tight end Kris Wilson for a 23-yard touchdown.

Green then led a crisp, 10-play, 91-yard drive that Larry Johnson capped with a 3-yard touchdown run.

“I thought it went well,” Green said of the first team offense's three drives. “Obviously after that first series things got going a little bit. We were a little frustrated with the way that first series went, but the next two series where we had scoring drives was a little bit more indicative of what this offense can do.”

Green's best throw of the night came on third and 11 from the Kansas City 21. Working from the shotgun, Green waited for undrafted rookie Richard Smith to clear Giants cornerback Will Allen deep downfield before hitting Smith square in the numbers for a 32-yard gain.

Smith and Wilson have been the highlights of camp, and Green was excited to see both of them excel in their first game. Smith finished with three receptions for 74 yards while Wilson overcame two drops to snag two balls for 37 yards and one touchdown.

Green was also effusive in his praise of the offensive line, which included a new starter in right tackle John Welbourn, who is replacing John Tait.

“Incredible,” Green said of the line's play. “They picked up right where they left off. I think we had over 150 total yards and 40 yards rushing in the first quarter. You can't ask for more of an offensive line than that. Plus, no sacks.”