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  1. #1
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    Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

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    Warner says he will not stay with the Giants to be Eli Manning's backup

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Two-time MVP quarterback Kurt Warner plans to leave the New York Giants after this season rather than remain a backup to Eli Manning.

    "I am not going to be content being a backup, that's just the bottom line," Warner said Wednesday. "I loved my year here, but I am not content being a backup. I think I showed people and did things here and won games and that I have proven I can play and start in this league."

    Warner, 33, said the Giants (5-10) know how he feels.

    "I think that everybody's thought process right now is I want to be somewhere starting next year, and they know it's not here with the New York Giants," said Warner, the one-time Arena League player who led the St. Louis Rams to two Super Bowl appearances, including a championship after the 1999 season.

    While Warner signed a two-year contract with the team in June, he has met the criteria necessary to void the final year of the deal.

    Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi refused to comment on Warner's contract status.

    Warner, who beat out Manning for the starting job in training camp, led the Giants to remarkable 5-2 start. He was replaced by the No. 1 pick overall in the NFL Draft after losing starts against Chicago and Arizona dropped New York to a 5-4 record.

    The Giants have failed to win a game with Manning at quarterback.

    Warner came to New York as somewhat of a question mark. He suffered a concussion in a season-opening loss to the Giants in 2003 and lost his starting job to Marc Bulger.

    The Rams gave Bulger a long-term contract and released Warner on June 1. The Giants signed him the following day to be a caretaker quarterback until Manning was ready.

    Warner, who had been bothered by injuries in recent years, completed 174-of-277 passes for 2,054 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. He had a respectable 86.5 quarterback rating.

    "My whole goal was to show people I could throw the football, I could lead and I could win," Warner said. "I think I showed people I could do that. Coming in, nobody had any expectations for this football team and to be a leader of a team that was 5-2 and had the second best record in the NFC, I'm happy with that."

    Warner also showed he could be a team player. After Manning was given the starting job, Warner never once complained. He constantly offered Manning advice and was the biggest cheerleader on the sidelines.

    Since being replaced as a started, Warner has appeared only once: a mop-up role against Baltimore in which he immediately led the Giants on a touchdown drive.

    Warner said he hasn't concentrated on which teams need a starting quarterback next season, but he mentioned Dallas, Chicago and Miami as possibilities.

    Warner said he feels for Manning, who is now winless in six starts heading into the season finale at Giants Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys (6-9) on Sunday night.

    "You see his play continually improving week-in, week-out, and you know he is at the point where he just wants to get a victory," Warner said. "He just wants something to go in our favor, for us to make that one play that will make the difference in a game and get win and build off that."


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    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    hmmm, I haven't really thought about which teams need a QB, but

    Dallas, Chicago and Miami are possibilities.


    sound like he's thought about it plenty!

    LOL.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    "My whole goal was to show people I could throw the football, I could lead and I could win," Warner said. "I think I showed people I could do that."
    I couldn't agree more. Warner showed in New York that he still has the skills to play ball at a reasonably efficient level, although he didn't help himself in the fumbling department that much.


    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    Warner also showed he could be a team player. After Manning was given the starting job, Warner never once complained. He constantly offered Manning advice and was the biggest cheerleader on the sidelines.
    Okay, this is all commendable, but Warner's comments both in this article and in another past one about retirement have some questions in my mind, questions that I'm sure I'll take some heat for raising.

    How much of a "team player" can a guy be if he'll only sign with a team where he can start and won't serve as a back-up, and in fact, will be leaving his second team in two years because he doesn't want to serve in a back-up role? Both the Rams and the Giants would have benefitted from his skill at the back-up quarterback position, but it appears that he'll only consider becoming a member of an organization (or staying with an organization) if he's going to see the field on Sunday.

    While some might praise that as him being a competitor for his longing to be a starter, I personally question whether or not the "team player" title is appropriate. To me, a team player does whatever his team needs of him. If his team needs him to start every week, that's no problem. If his team needs him to sit on the bench and be ready in case they need him, okay. But a team player, in my opinion, doesn't care what his role is - he'll do whatever is required of him.

    While Kurt has handled his demotion with grace during the season, the Giants need a veteran back-up quaterback to help bring Eli along and replace him if needed, and Warner seemingly wants nothing to do with that. Now, New York is going to have to go find another veteran back-up on the market next season, so while Kurt didn't create any problems after being benched, he's going to be creating one by voiding the second year of his contract and leaving the Giants with another need to fill.

    The Rams are still looking for an adequate back-up to Marc Bulger despite reports that they were interested in keeping Kurt as a back-up at a lower price tag and Bulger himself saying he'd like Kurt to stay. While it's debatable how much of a locker room problem Warner actually was during his final days with the Rams, he certainly didn't help the situation by not paying back any money to decrease his cap number and by declining to remain with the team as a back-up.

    So you'll have to forgive me, but I'm not quite as ready to put the title "team player" on Warner because of his recent behavior. It's commendable that he's handled the in-season demotion well, but he's voiding his contract with the Giants after the season, and I honestly don't think that's what a true team player would do.

    Let the flames begin, I suppose.


    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    Warner said he hasn't concentrated on which teams need a starting quarterback next season, but he mentioned Dallas, Chicago and Miami as possibilities.
    I'd say Chicago and Miami are out. Chicago isn't looking for a starter but a reliable back-up whom they might have found, and I hear Miami thinks Feeley can be decent with a good supporting cast. They spent a second round choice getting him - if they don't take a franchise QB in the draft, they'll stick with AJ for at least one season more, I believe. Dallas is an interesting proposition, but I personally don't think Kurt and Bill Parcells have attitudes that would mesh well together.
    Last edited by Nick; -12-29-2004 at 05:29 PM.
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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    How much of a "team player" can a guy be if he'll only sign with a team where he can start and won't serve as a back-up,
    This is the part of your argument that needs a little refinement. Warner wants to go to a team where he has the opportunity to compete for the starting job. Martz refused to give him that in 2004 so he left and the Giants can't afford to do that in 2005 so he plans on leaving. I don't know if that's the premise you're working under but it seems like you're saying that Warner wants to be given the starting job or "named" the starter without earning it. I don't know if that's how you feel, but it's how your post reads to me.

    As far as where Warner will end up, I'm still going with the longshot pick of Denver. Especially if Denver doesn't make it to the playoffs. Jake has been so up and down this year, and makes so many bone-headed decisions, I just think Shanahan's about to flip out sometimes. We'll see, but that's my pick. Another team that might be a somewhat unseen possibility is New Orleans. I've heard that Brooks is on somewhat thin ice and is in a contract year, so the qb spot might be up for grabs there. It's been a while since I've heard anything on it or followed the Saints in general so don't grill me if Brooks signed an extension and I didn't hear about it.

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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    On a side-note, if we're talking massive shifts in the space/time continuim, wouldn't that be cool for us SoCal Rams fans to have New Orleans get Warner and then be the team to relocate to Los Angeles? I know, it might as well be science fiction with the chance of it actually happening, but damn that would be cool.

    I'm just saying that based on which teams are still being considered possibilities for the L.A. market. I've heard Minnesota, Indy and New Orleans are the front runners right now but Indy has fallen out due to a new stadium agreement. So, between the Vikings and Saints, I'd take the Saints. I don't like Culpepper or Moss and I do like Deuce McCallister and Joe Horn's not bad either.

    Alright, shoot me, it's not the offseason yet but I'm getting geared up for all the speculation and hot stove conversations anyway. LOL

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    I don't know if that's how you feel, but it's how your post reads to me.
    No, that's not how I feel. I'm not criticizing Warner under the premise of him wanting to be given the starting job or "named" the starter without earning it. It just seems to me that he won't remain or sign with a team that isn't going to consider him in the hunt for the starting job, and to me, that's not a team player.

    A team player, IMO, fills whatever need his team requires of him - he doesn't void out the last year of his contract or refuse to restructure his contract when he's told that he's not going to be given a chance to start. He doesn't imply that he'd rather retire than serve as a back-up quarterback. The Rams and the Giants wanted/want a back-up quarterback for their young guns, and Warner did/will not oblige.

    Obviously he thinks he can still play, and he's shown the league that he can. He feels he's a quarterback of starting caliber in this league, and there's nothing wrong with that - I certainly don't disagree with him because I think he can still be a starter in this league under the right circumstances.

    But the way he went about it with the Rams and is now going about it with the Giants, that's not a team player, in my opinion.

    Regarding your suggestions of Warner either going to the Broncos or the Saints (and that's an interesting idea given the Saints potential move back to LA), both of those teams are currently utilizing mobile quarterbacks. I'm curious how much their offensive playbook would need to be adjusted if a non-mobile quarterback was to come in and take the reigns. I know New Orleans isn't exactly pleased with Aaron Brooks, and Jake Plummer in Denver is on shaky ground. Both are reasonable destinations, if their playbooks can be altered to account for a QB with less mobility.
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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    So you'll have to forgive me, but I'm not quite as ready to put the title "team player" on Warner because of his recent behavior. It's commendable that he's handled the in-season demotion well, but he's voiding his contract with the Giants after the season, and I honestly don't think that's what a true team player would do.
    Warner is a consumate team player, but he is also a fierce competitor. Like any competitor, he want's to contribute on the field, not on the sidelines. No one expected Warner to stay in New York, and his contract terms made that pretty clear. Team player does not mean humble servant, not in the sports world.

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    I have no problem with what Warner said, but doesn't this demonstrate that (as nice as it would have been to have had Warner instead of Chandler/Martin during Bulger's absence) Warner would not have quietly sat on the bench all year if he had stayed with the Rams?

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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    I have no problem with what Warner said, but doesn't this demonstrate that (as nice as it would have been to have had Warner instead of Chandler/Martin during Bulger's absence) Warner would not have quietly sat on the bench all year if he had stayed with the Rams?
    Absolutely, but what choice did he have with no opportunity to compete for the job? If he had been at least assured a chance, I think he might have stayed. Alas, that was not an option from the teams standpoint.

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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    Both are reasonable destinations, if their playbooks can be altered to account for a QB with less mobility.
    I agree both are mobile but I think an accurate qb is always more valuable than a scrambling qb. It's nice to have that mobility but unless it's a compliment to the qb's passing, it's almost worthless. Jake does a decent job of combining the two skills but even there, his pocket passing is subpar in general, and definitely takes a back seat to his ability to throw on the run. Brooks has always been too erattic for me to pay much attention to. I think the Saints made a poor decision in getting rid of Blake a few years ago, and Brooks has never been pushed since then. When he wanted to win the starting job he was really good but since Blake was demoted, Brooks hasn't seemed to produce very much.

    Guys like Young, Elway and Montana all were very good passers and used the scramble as a dagger in the heart to anyone who overloaded the defensive backfield. A guy like Vick, who's not accurate at all in the passing game and rely's on running as part of his offense, struggles overall.

    So, with all of his faults I still think with his quick release and accuracy, Warner is a viable option in most offenses and Denver and New Orleans would benefit from those skills as well as they haven't really benefitted from the mobile qb scheme they've been running.

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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    Team player does not mean humble servant, not in the sports world.
    I'm not suggesting it does, nor do I believe an NFL player making millions of dollars would ever be considered a humble servant for changing his role per team requests. But Warner is putting his own wants and desires to start over what his team needs. That doesn't equate to being a team player, in my opinion. If your opinion differs, so be it. But as I've said before, when I think of a team player, and maybe this is just my own personal definition, I think of someone willing to do whatever his current team needs of him. The Rams and Giants needed him to be a back-up, and Warner is unwilling to do that to the point of leaving them (or preparing to in the Giants' case).
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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    I think the Saints made a poor decision in getting rid of Blake a few years ago
    And more recently with Delhomme, I believe.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    So, with all of his faults I still think with his quick release and accuracy, Warner is a viable option in most offenses and Denver and New Orleans would benefit from those skills as well as they haven't really benefitted from the mobile qb scheme they've been running.
    Very good point, Mok.
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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    I have no problem with what Warner said, but doesn't this demonstrate that (as nice as it would have been to have had Warner instead of Chandler/Martin during Bulger's absence) Warner would not have quietly sat on the bench all year if he had stayed with the Rams?
    That's very true and I agree. I don't think he would have kept his mouth shut and I don't think he should have. And that's really where the argument from my side of the fence begins on the whole Warner issue.

    That's my question for you, AV. Do you think it was right, in 2003, for Martz to proclaim Bulger the starter(by actions, not words) and not give Warner a shot at earning his job back?

    Answer that question and you'll see where most Warnerite's ire stems from.

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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    I'm not suggesting it does, nor do I believe an NFL player making millions of dollars would ever be considered a humble servant for changing his role per team requests. But Warner is putting his own wants and desires to start over what his team needs. That doesn't equate to being a team player, in my opinion. If your opinion differs, so be it. But as I've said before, when I think of a team player, and maybe this is just my own personal definition, I think of someone willing to do whatever his current team needs of him. The Rams and Giants needed him to be a back-up, and Warner is unwilling to do that to the point of leaving them (or preparing to in the Giants' case).
    Expecting any player to live up to your definition of "team player" is going too far. I agree with your premis during any given season, but when a season is over and a player has the means and legitamate opportunity to better their position, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing just that.

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    Re: Warner Will Not Stay As Eli's Backup (CNNSI)

    The Rams and Giants needed him to be a back-up, and Warner is unwilling to do that to the point of leaving them (or preparing to in the Giants' case).
    I think that might be the big difference of opinion right there. You think the Rams/Giants "needed" him to be a backup. I (and apparently Kurt) think they "wanted" him to be a backup. In both cases, I think Warner never signed on to be a backup. His Giants' contract was specifically structured to allow him to leave once Eli was ready and everyone knew going into it that he wasn't going to stay a backup. During the one year that he knew he was going to be there Warner played the role to it's fullest and now he wants to move on. Same thing in St. Louis as far as I'm concerned. He signed a contract to be a starter and when that wasn't a possibility, he wanted to move on.

    I'll agree that the term "team player" is probably being overused in describing Warner but in relative terms, I also think that he has been a very good member of the Giants team this year and the ad campaign for his services next year is what's going on now. During the year, there has been nothing but praise for Warner's attitude and professionalism from Giants coaches and players so I don't think the campaign is in any way "fluff" material.

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