TRANSITION NOT EASY FOR KURT By PAUL SCHWARTZ New York Post June 8, 2004 -- (edited)

The first grumbles came a few days ago, when Kurt Warner shook his head and began beating himself up over a bad throw here, a poor read there. Last Thursday, Warner was on the field for the first time with the Giants and he came away unimpressed with his showing.

"I went home this weekend and a couple of incomplete passes last week in practice and my wife heard about it all weekend," Warner said. "You build that mentality where you want to be perfect, you want to complete every pass.

"When it doesn't happen, it is frustrating. I expect myself to make the passes I should make and make the decisions I should make, whether it's my second day or I'm here for four years."

Yesterday marked another baby step for Warner and ... it was rookie Eli Manning during minicamp who appeared far more self-assured. Warner was more tentative, mixing in some well-thrown balls with some wobblers that made it clear he was thinking more than reacting.

"I need to get better," Warner said. "Little by little, I'm feeling more comfortable. I'm seeing the field a little bit but it's early on, with things like the cadence, it's hard, it's a transition. I'm thinking about the cadence actually rather than thinking about what's going on downfield."

... The terminology Warner knew as second-nature in his six years with the Rams is now totally new, as are the reads and keys in Tom Coughlin's offense compared with the Greatest Show on Turf attack schemed by Mike Martz.

"Something I would have read a certain way in St. Louis we may read exactly the opposite here; you just have to get a feel and understanding of why the coaches want to do it that way," Warner said. "That's an adjustment, too."

Coughlin described Warner as "tireless in his efforts to learn the system."

As Warner looks to claim the starting job, Manning has settled in, offering glimpses of why the Giants were obsessed with making him their franchise quarterback of the future.

"Every day I feel more comfortable calling the plays and visualizing everything and just knowing what everybody's doing, not thinking about everything," Manning said.

"Every day (Eli's) gotten better," added running back Tiki Barber. "The first day he looked like he couldn't play high school, the second day he started to figure it out, he was more comfortable calling the plays and as the weeks have gone on you can see he's confident, and when he's confident he throws a great ball, he knows exactly what he's doing."