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  1. #1
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    Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice
    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    11/15/2004
    Bryan Burwell
    Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bryan Burwell
    (P-D)

    Back here in Kurt Warner's adopted home town, the varying opinions on
    the cause and effects of the meteoric rise and fall of his storybook
    football life always will be blurred under so many dreamy - and
    divergent - emotional clouds. With all we know about him here, how
    exactly do we reconcile the dramatic beginning that took him from
    stocking supermarket shelves to NFL MVP to the unceremonious end that
    has dropped him from heralded Super Bowl hero to declining
    arm-for-hire?

    There always will be an unresolved emotional debate here, where the
    polarizing after-effects of his departure from the Rams still conjure
    a divisive chasm between the unadulterated Warner worshipers who
    believe he left town too early and the unapologetic Warner bashers who
    are convinced he left far too late.

    But nine games into his comeback season in New York, far removed from
    the agonizing two-year-long Rams soap opera, Warner has been benched
    again in favor of another rising young passer. And now it's time to
    face three unemotional facts:

    Warner still can play.

    Warner no longer can play at his two-time MVP level.

    The Rams kept the right quarterback.

    The evidence is there if you're objective enough to digest it. The
    more you watched Warner play, the more you knew the star of the Rams'
    glory years looks better suited for a more limited role as an aging
    backup QB.

    Giants head coach Tom Coughlin had no other choice but to bench him.
    If the Giants' offense was going to struggle, it might as well
    struggle with $46 million rookie passer Eli Manning getting some
    valuable experience.

    "(Manning) is the future of the New York Giants, it just starts now,"
    Coughlin told reporters Monday. "I really felt the last four games we
    haven't been playing well offensively. We just need to make a change."

    This is why he could make the change with a clear heart.

    In all the important categories that measure a quarterback's worth,
    Warner has settled into a mediocre existence (15th in passer
    efficiency rating, 13th in completions, 16th in pass attempts, 13th in
    completion percentage, 14th in yardage, 27th in touchdown passes, 17th
    in yards per attempt and last in times sacked). The only category in
    which he is among the NFL leaders is in fewest interceptions (fourth).

    Meanwhile, in those same categories, younger, more mobile Rams QB Marc
    Bulger is decidedly better in every category but interceptions (Bulger
    ranks anywhere from second through 10th in the same statistics). He
    isn't a top 5 quarterback yet, but there's no doubt he's among the top
    10 in the league and that Rams coach Mike Martz was smart to keep him
    and let Warner go.

    Warner had a wonderful five-game start where he looked like the NFL
    comeback player of the year. But defenses made adjustments and Warner
    and the Giants' offense began a rapid decline. In his last four games,
    he was sacked 24 times. For the season he has been sacked a staggering
    39 times. And as his play declined and the Giants' offense struggled,
    some familiar complaints started to pop up in New York. He was not
    picking up wide-open receivers, he fumbled too much and he couldn't
    get the offense moving.

    Now tell me if this doesn't sound familiar: Warner seemed to suggest
    after his benching that Coughlin was forced to make the change by an
    organization eager to see if its $46 million investment in the rookie
    was worth it.

    Maybe he's right. But can you blame them? Maybe Giants management is
    looking at the successful season the 8-1 Pittsburgh Steelers are
    having with rookie Ben Roethlisberger as a starter (the kid's 7-0),
    and certainly must be intrigued with the possibilities of their kid
    doing the same thing.

    But you just can't ignore the fact that the Giants' offense has
    stopped cold over the past four weeks. Teams keep stuffing the run,
    forcing the pass, then putting on relentless blitzes that the
    offensive line can't handle. Five years ago, Warner used to feast on
    those same blitzes. Now he just seems paralyzed by them.

    E-mail: bburwell@post-dispatch.com
    Phone: 314-340-8185

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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    I would have to agree that the Rams made the right decision. I'm not sure I ever thought I would say that.

    I still think Warner is one of the best when he's given time to throw. Unfortunately, having time to throw is at a premium in this league, and if your O'line can't buy time, Warner is one of the last guys you want back there. Manning may find the same struggles with getting sacked alot.

    Maybe Kurt will come over the Rams in a couple years and hold the clipboard for Bulger and Smoker?

  3. #3
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    Does this guy actually get paid to write this stuff? What's the point of even writing the article? Bulger's better than Warner, look at their comparitive numbers this year. Is this supposed to be in any way objective?

    What happened to the "Warner's not a Ram, down with Warnerites" attitude? This guy's just stirring the pot and talking in circles. "Warner can still play" but "the Rams made the right choice" ?

    Ugh. I can't believe I'm even responding to this when I know he's just writing this article to either a) hear himself talk(so to speak) or b) stir the pot.

    Bad me. Bad me.

  4. #4
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    I think the Rams made the right decision.


    I don't think the fact that Warner has been benched provides any validation of this, though. That was bound to happen as soon as they acquired Manning.

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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    So if Warner wasn't benched, did the Rams make the wrong choice?

  6. #6
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    Quote Originally Posted by sbramfan
    Manning may find the same struggles with getting sacked alot.
    I'm sure he will, but he's probably going to be better at moving around to successfully avoid it.


    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Does this guy actually get paid to write this stuff?
    Yes, and probably pretty well.


    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    I think the Rams made the right decision.

    I don't think the fact that Warner has been benched provides any validation of this, though. That was bound to happen as soon as they acquired Manning.
    Agreed, I disagree with benching Warner now, and I don't think his being benched should be used as an indication that the Rams made the right choice. However, I firmly believe they did.


    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    So if Warner wasn't benched, did the Rams make the wrong choice?
    Quite an enigma, isn't it?
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  7. #7
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    Even w/o the benching you got to look at the fact that Bulger has been sacked 24 times and that number would be higher if he did not use his legs from time to time. Warner would have the same problems with our o-line that he has in New York and the Rams would have even more turnovers something that they cannot afford. I hate to say it but if I am anything its honest, Kurt Warner will not find success in this league again, he really has seen his time. It is a shame that it took so long for him to get his chance other wise instead of rise and fall it would just be another QB getting on in years and there would be no controversy and he would be in the HOF.
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    Quote Originally Posted by LaRamsFanLongTime
    Even w/o the benching you got to look at the fact that Bulger has been sacked 24 times and that number would be higher if he did not use his legs from time to time. Warner would have the same problems with our o-line that he has in New York and the Rams would have even more turnovers something that they cannot afford. I hate to say it but if I am anything its honest, Kurt Warner will not find success in this league again, he really has seen his time. It is a shame that it took so long for him to get his chance other wise instead of rise and fall it would just be another QB getting on in years and there would be no controversy and he would be in the HOF.
    Nice perspective, LaRamsFanLongTime.

    Great post.
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  9. #9
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    Quote Originally Posted by LaRamsFanLongTime
    Even w/o the benching you got to look at the fact that Bulger has been sacked 24 times and that number would be higher if he did not use his legs from time to time. Warner would have the same problems with our o-line that he has in New York and the Rams would have even more turnovers something that they cannot afford. I hate to say it but if I am anything its honest, Kurt Warner will not find success in this league again, he really has seen his time. It is a shame that it took so long for him to get his chance other wise instead of rise and fall it would just be another QB getting on in years and there would be no controversy and he would be in the HOF.
    Good post!
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  10. #10
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    I tell you what, I'd almost sell my body to science right now if I would be guaranteed a three year run in the NFL similar to Warner's.

  11. #11
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    While we're posting articles, here's an excerpt from the latest Dr. Z article on CNNSI.com.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...ner/index.html

    Normally if the ball isn't out in a little over three seconds, the protection will start crumbling. I put a watch on each of the 30 passes Warner threw against Arizona, plus the six sacks. Most of his passes were under three seconds, a few under two, especially when the Giants were running their scripted plays on the first two series and driving for a TD each time. A few were in the low-threes. The longest was 3.52, when he had to scramble to his left and re-adjust.

    I timed the sacks by cutting off my watch when he gave up on the play and bailed ... scrambled for what he could get ... and all but two were in the low-to-mid-three second range. The others were in the two's. That's right, that's how quickly the blockers were whipped. No quarterback could function under that kind of pressure.


    Even I'm not obsessed enough to sit down and time all the passing plays but I appreciate the effort he put into it. In this particular game it appears to me that Warner may not have been holding the ball as much as people have been claiming. Did he miss some open receivers? Apparently. Did he play perfectly? No. Is there hope for me that he might not be as finished as people think? I think so.

    I happen to think he's playing behind the worst offensive line in football right now and there are a lot of other factors that lead me to consider the possibility of him having a couple more good years if he's on a team that isn't in shambles. Of course, if Eli comes in and tears it up, especially against defenses a lot tougher than what Kurt faced with the Giants, I might have to actually start making preperations to give up on him myself.

    I am curious, and will probably never know, how vehement Coughlin was about not throwing any interceptions. I've been saying all year that Warner looks like he's playing like he's afraid to make a mistake. If that's the case then I definately have hope for him. If he's just lost his nerve and/or confidence in his "fastball" then there's not much to look forward to.

  12. #12
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    Mok, I think Warner's gotten a raw deal and is indeed being made the scapegoat for the Giant offensive line as well as the overall play of the offense. Like you, if Eli Manning is able to produce with the same tools Warner had to work with, I may have to admit Warner's best days are far behind him. I'm almost positive I won't have to do that though. My guess is we will see Warner soon, but then again, Coughlin is the type that may choose to keep him off the field at all costs to save face.

  13. #13
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    I find it hilarious you are one of the first to post and pat Warner on the back though moklerman...especially after a post like this for Bulger...

    Talking about whining!? Maybe you should step back and look how some people may feel about Bulger and why they feel the way the do about Warner. Talk about not getting a fair shot, or able to sing praise without getting jumped.

    moklerman wrote:
    "And this type of thread is partly why I was so down on the whole Bulger situation last year. Bulger's doing great. We all think so. We've all said so. We've all agreed with each other about thinking so.

    But we have to have a thread whining about how he isn't praised "enough"? Wah, wah, wah, people aren't praising Bulger enough. I've heard many people complain about the continuing conversations about Warner but they never seem to stop bringing him up as a weapon against those of us who are fans of his.

    Some people make it hard to root for the guy. "Hey, Bulger's doing great. Nothing to complain about. He's got nothing to do with the problems the Rams have had on offense. He's improved his deep ball. He's improved his decision making. He's making improvements to all facets of his game."

    Pagan! Heathen! Warnerite! You've shall bow down and toss Bulger's salad. And you still won't be worthy!"

  14. #14
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    Well, that' the difference isn't it? I'm questioning whether or not Warner is actually having the trouble that led him to be benched. Bulgerites are *****ing because Bulger doesn't get enough praise. I find the timing interesting in you little post too. Very interesting that the week Warner get's benched you start a thread whining about people not giving enough love to Bulger.

    You might say: "Well, it's because Bulger had a good week" against Seattle. You're right, 250+ yards, 1 td, no int., no fumbles is a good week. Bulger played well and the Rams won. Here's the thing though, Warner put up the same numbers and because he's on a crapola team, he get's benched. Warner fan or Bulger fan, the two qb's put up the same stats, with different teams and they are treated by fans and the press in very contrary ways.

    Bulgerites feel persecuted because people aren't as big of fans of Bulger as they were of Warner. I understand your pain but I also have to tell you to either be patient or shut up about it. Bulger hasn't qb'd and won the big one yet. Not even a playoff game yet. His time hasn't come when it comes to fandom. When or if he leads the team to some postseason wins he will get his due praise. But, as a Warner fan, I can honestly and objectively say: "don't start comparing yet, Bulger isn't on equal ground with Warner(in terms of accomplishments and deserved fandom/accolades)".

  15. #15
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Warner's benching shows that Rams made right choice - PD

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    You might say: "Well, it's because Bulger had a good week" against Seattle. You're right, 250+ yards, 1 td, no int., no fumbles is a good week. Bulger played well and the Rams won. Here's the thing though, Warner put up the same numbers and because he's on a crapola team, he get's benched. Warner fan or Bulger fan, the two qb's put up the same stats, with different teams and they are treated by fans and the press in very contrary ways.
    A minor point - they didn't put up the same stats. Warner threw for under 200 yards and completed a lower percentage of passes with fewer yards per attempt.
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