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  1. #1
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    Warner in the correct forum

    Warner becomes caretaker QB until Manning ready

    By TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer
    June 3, 2004
    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Giants are taking some of the pressure off Eli Manning , signing Kurt Warner to be their caretaker quarterback until the top pick in the draft is ready to take over.

    While the two-time MVP got a two-year contract late Wednesday that will pay him a minimum of $3.5 million this year, there is no guarantee the two-time NFL MVP will play for the Giants for more than a year.

    When Manning is ready to go, he will be the Giants' quarterback.

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    Until then, the job seemingly belongs to Warner, the soon-to-be 33-year-old who led the St. Louis Rams to Super Bowl appearances after the 1999 and 2001 seasons. Injuries and the emergence of Marc Bulger earned him a pink slip on Tuesday.

    ``I am looking to come in and to play and to re-establish myself,'' Warner said at Thursday, hours after his first practice. ``I would love this to be where I finish my career.''

    Warner has incentives that can push his salary to $8 million this season. However, the second year of his contract is voidable and his tenure may well be determined by Manning's progress in his rookie season.

    ``I don't want to keep moving and picking up my family,'' Warner added. ``I want to continue to have success. I would love it to be here in New York and I will do whatever in my time here to be successful. We'll just see what happens.''

    ``Obviously Manning is there, but this is New York and if Kurt wins, they are not going to want him to leave,'' said Mark Bartelstein, Warner's agent.

    The signing takes a ton of pressure off Manning.

    The son of Archie Manning and the brother of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning became the Giants' starting quarterback when Kerry Collins refused to take a pay cut and was released less than a week after New York got the No. 1 pick in a draft-day trade with San Diego.

    Manning, who has known for weeks the Giants planned to sign a veteran, still plans on competing for the starting job.

    ``I don't know if this takes the pressure off,'' Manning said. ``I don't know if anything has changed in my view. I am still going to practice just as hard as ever. I want to be ready.''

    Manning and Warner spoke for a few minutes on Thursday. Warner plans to tutor Manning, just as he did with Bulger in St. Louis.

    ``To teach a guy the little things and have him become a better quarterback was fun for me, as frustrating as it was not playing,'' Warner said. ``But I look forward to helping any way I can.''

    Warner also is looking forward to playing again. He suffered a concussion in a season-opening loss to the Giants last season and did not start for the rest of the year. He missed half the previous season with injuries and has lost his last eight starts, starting with the 2002 Super Bowl.

    Warner said the release was a disappointing end to a career that saw the Rams win one Super Bowl and lose another on the final play of the game.

    ``We had so much success, and things were so great that you would like to ride off into the sunset and finish up that way,'' Warner said. ``That unfortunately didn't work out that way, but more importantly I am excited about this new opportunity because I have a lot more to play.''

    The Giants are something of a question mark coming into the season.

    They posted a 4-12 record last season, a year that started with Super Bowl aspirations and ended with Jim Fassel being fired and Tom Coughlin hired to replace him.

    Warner thinks the Giants have a shot at winning a title this season, noting the offensive weapons are in place with Ike Hilliard and Amani Toomer at the wide receiver, Jeremy Shockey at tight end and Tiki Barber at running back.

    While the offensive line is a big question mark, Warner said his ability to read defenses should allow him to get rid of the ball quickly.

    ``We'll never be a team that settles for the doldrums and is not going to try to win,'' Barber said. ``Kurt is a Super Bowl veteran and a two-time league MVP, adding him is a big boost for our team, especially our offense.''

    Coughlin said that Warner, who was given the No. 13 jersey he wore in St. Louis, , showed no signs of being bothered by thumb and pinkie injuries that have plagued him in recent years.

    ``He looked like Kurt Warner to me,'' Coughlin said.


  2. #2
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Re: Warner in the correct forum

    cute...

    and your rebuttal Tx? *LOL*

  3. #3
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    A couple of notes...

    ``I would love this to be where I finish my career.''
    I hope, Kurt, in order to do that, you realize that you'd be spending a couple years as a back-up. Somehow I don't see the Giants under a new head coach giving up two first round picks among other choices to let their golden boy ride the bench for a second season if the veteran finds some level of success. Anything short of a division win and a deep playoff run probably means the job is open in 2005, if not already Eli's assuming he progresses.


    While the offensive line is a big question mark, Warner said his ability to read defenses should allow him to get rid of the ball quickly.
    That would have been nice in Week One, but I digress since he did have a "concussion"... or did he... :confused:

    Warner has always boasted the ability to process defenses at a very fast pace, but have we really seen that skill used effectively recently?


    Coughlin said that Warner, who was given the No. 13 jersey he wore in St. Louis, , showed no signs of being bothered by thumb and pinkie injuries that have plagued him in recent years.

    ``He looked like Kurt Warner to me,'' Coughlin said.
    Welcome to Rams preseason 2003, Mr. Coughlin.

    I don't know, until I see Warner play, I'm going to be a bit skeptical about him suddenly performing better because of a "change in scenery," especially when the Giants O-line is just as questionable if not more so than the Rams line was in 2003, and overall, the Giants offense doesn't seem to be as talented as the Rams'. I'm a big fan of Kurt, but you'll have to pardon me if I -- like many other NFL fans, I'm sure -- will hold off opinions until this fall.
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  4. #4
    MartialRAM Guest

    Re: Not everyone is hyped on Warner

    I don't really care for his analysis, but figured I would share another viewpoint.

    Warner must prove he can still produce
    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com

    On the New York Giants' Web site Thursday morning, a hastily photographed digital image of the franchise's newest starting quarterback appeared -- Kurt Warner in a red practice jersey bearing his familiar No. 13.

    Given the recent performance of the all-time league leader in passing efficiency -- remember, this is a player who hasn't won a game as a starter since 2001 -- both the color of the practice shirt and the numerals emblazoned on the front and back of it might, alas, prove pretty appropriate.

    The Giants wear blue uniforms, of course, and the red practice jersey is a universal "don't touch" cautionary measure designed to keep pass rushers from jostling the quarterback. As for the No. 13, well, surely the most non-superstitious among us understands its ominous implications. Even the great Dan Marino, who also thumbed his nose at fate by donning No. 13 for all 17 of his mostly brilliant seasons, eventually could not elude the misfortune attached to those dire digits.

    And so, while we hope we're wrong about this, given that Warner is a good guy and one who couldn't depart St. Louis before first passing through the Rams' complex to visit with the people who served as his support group for six seasons, that red practice shirt and the No. 13 represent an ominous beginning to the next chapter of his career.

    During an afternoon news conference, a smiling Warner noted Giants officials were kind enough to allow him to retain his favorite uniform number. Maybe a change of scenery, though, begged for a change from the recently cursed 13. Warner also noted that, after starting just one game in 2003, it is time to get his feet wet again. But should he spend much of '04 submerged beneath the opposition pass rush, desperately trying to tread water behind New York's remodeled offensive line, Warner might someday look back on the irony of his words.

    Make no mistake, signing Warner to a two-year contract worth $9.5 million -- which, in reality, is a one-year deal at $3 million, since the second year is voidable -- was a solid enough gamble by New York. But there is no mistaking as well that Warner, who will turn 33 in a couple weeks and who was sacked six times while throwing but one touchdown pass in 2003, isn't the same guy who claimed two league MVP awards and led the Rams to a Super Bowl XXXIV championship.

    Once the ego of Kerry Collins kept him from collecting a $7 million paycheck this year for introducing the Tutor Dynasty at Giants Stadium, serving as a grizzled starter/mentor to Eli Manning, the team sought Neil O'Donnell for that position. When he declined, and it became clear Warner was persona non grata in St. Louis, the rags-to-riches guy became the next target. Give the savvy Warner credit for this much: Unlike Collins (who will require two seasons in Oakland to earn the $7 million he would have banked staying with the Giants), and O'Donnell, Warner knew a good opportunity when he saw one.

    What he doesn't see as clearly anymore, usually because you can't read a secondary when you're at the bottom of a pile, is open wide receivers. And therein lies a likely problem for the Giants, who wouldn't mind it if Manning only carries a clipboard this season, and isn't prematurely forced to carry a high-profile franchise coming off a disastrous 2003.

    General manager Ernie Accorsi is a guy who knows quarterbacks. He grew up in the NFL watching the great Johnny Unitas, arguably the premier practitioner of all-time at the position. He was against trading away John Elway, who threatened to sit out instead of playing for the Baltimore Colts in 1983. Six weeks ago, Accorsi beat the odds by pulling off a blockbuster trade to land the coveted Manning, a gambit that ought to ensure the Giants superb quarterback play for the next decade.

    That said, while we agree that Warner represented the most viable option to simply throwing Manning to the wolves, the results could be dicey.

    My good friend Gary Myers, the veteran and sage NFL columnist for the New York Daily News, suggested by phone the other day that Warner is essentially the stunt double for Manning this year. A great analogy and one I wished I'd conjured up first. Rather than steal the term from Myers, we'll substitute "crash test dummy" in its place. The Giants are going to strap Warner into the starter's throne, put him behind the rebuilt offensive line, and monitor the results.

    Here's hoping that Warner, who has been about as fragile as a Faberge egg over the last couple of seasons, can survive. Let's hope, too, that his biggest cheerleader, wife Brenda, isn't so quick to pick up the phone and call one of New York's sports-talk stations when hubby is jeered following his first interception. That schtick may have played well in the Midwest but in New York, where the radio hosts can contort the most benign syllable and turn every molehill into a tabloid headline, it won't sell at all.

    How well Warner sells remains to be seen. A super person, he is also a player in denial. He bristles when it is suggested he is damaged goods but, while Giants doctors insist that he is over his various injuries, Rams coaches who watched him throw every day during practice suggest otherwise. Those same coaches, by the way, adamantly deny Warner did not get along well with Marc Bulger, the Rams quarterback who replaced him.

    But even if Warner is physically whole, the suspicion in many league quarters is that he is at least psychologically wounded, that he isn't the same fearless player in the pocket. He plays, scouts say, with a lower eye level now. Translation: The man who was once totally oblivious to the pass rush, who hung in and took a ton of shots just so he could deliver the ball to an uncovering wideout, now sees every opponent situational pass rusher from the second the guy leaves the bench.

    The most pertinent image of Warner, especially in New York, is from his last start. Ironically, it was at Giants Stadium in the 2003 season opener, and Warner was sacked six times, fumbled on a half-dozen occasions and suffered a concussion. That image, of course, is not indelible. The supposedly difficult fans of New York are notorious for their selective amnesia, and the allegedly harsh media is mostly comprised of unabashed homers, so one game-winning touchdown pass can erase a lot of negative memories.
    For that to happen, though, Warner has to throw a winning touchdown pass and it seems forever since that has occurred.

    Don't ignore, either, that the Giants' first two regular-season games are against the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. In the 2001 opener, when Warner was with the Rams and facing the Eagles, we can recall Philly defensive coordinator Jim Johnson starting the contest with a blitz. And not just any blitz. He brought, on the opening snap, both corners, Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor off the edge. Watching through the binoculars, we can recall thinking it was the first time we had ever seen such an exotic maneuver.

    It's still three months until the opener but you can bet that Johnson, who is one of the best pressure coordinators in the game, already has conjured up a blitz package as thick as the Manhattan telephone directory. And the new Redskins coordinator, Gregg Williams, is another aggressive coordinator, a Buddy Ryan devotee who favors the "46" defense. The upshot is that, right out of the chute, Warner is going to be tested.

    Too bad that, once the season begins, they can't dress him in one of those red "hands off" jerseys he wore in practice Thursday morning.

  5. #5
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Warner in the correct forum

    I don't have a rebuttal anymore. Except Warner is 29-31 outside in his career. I hope that improves somewhat for him this year.

    Manning though is going to be a very good QB in this league. Not going to compare him to his brother yet on the pro level, but he had less weapons in college and had better stats than Peyton.
    Last edited by txramsfan; -06-04-2004 at 10:52 AM. Reason: want to add something

  6. #6
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    Re: Warner in the correct forum

    29-31 may be inaccurate. I heard it from Sean Salisbury on ESPN last night while I was on the phone.

    I do know he has lost two more than he has won outdoors.

  7. #7
    Bob L. Head Guest

    Re: Warner in the correct forum

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Except Warner is 29-31 outside in his career.
    Not trying tio be flippant here: what does this mean? Outside as in: not in a dome? If so, is that in his NFL career only, or does it include NFLE and college?

  8. #8
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    Re: Warner in the correct forum

    Can't remember Deacon, but if someone else saw it last night it would be appreciated. I had a screaming girlfriend in my ear at the time.....LOL

  9. #9
    Bob L. Head Guest

    Re: Warner in the correct forum

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    29-31 may be inaccurate.
    I counted 12-10. But that is a bit skewed, as it includes five in the past two seasons where he was 0-7 overall. From '99 through '01 he was 12-5 outdoors, about 71%.

  10. #10
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    Re: Warner in the correct forum

    Thanks deacon, that could have also included NFLE...not sure.

    I went to the ESPN site but they didn't have a thing on it.

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