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  • Someone see's it as Kurt struggling

    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."

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  • RamWraith
    Warner still has the "wobble"
    by RamWraith
    WARNER WAITING TO 'CLICK' By PAUL SCHWARTZ of the New York Post
    June 15, 2004 -- Ever since he signed with the Giants, the sight of Kurt Warner shaking his head in disgust is a common one, a sight that again could be seen at yesterday's mini-camp.

    Like a pitcher without command of his pitches, Warner is not happy with the way the ball is coming out of his hand. Many of his throws wobble in the air and fall short of the receiver. Warner attributes his sluggish start to nothing more than a lack of familiarity with the offense, his new teammates and just about everything involved in the quarterback position with the Giants as opposed to the Rams.

    "It's just not natural yet," he said. "Learning the offense and thinking about so much, it just hasn't got to that point where it's just clicked, where everything just slows down and you can just play. That part's frustrating for me, because after doing it for a certain way for so long and then having to kind of start over, it's frustrating.

    "You just don't have that comfort feel. You're just not quite sure where everybody's going to be, sometimes you're turning and throwing quick. Even the cadence isn't natural yet, all the timing things, the feel, the footwork, it's all new. I can't stop thinking about it at night, thinking, 'You would never do that, why did you do that?' It's frustrating for me.
    -06-15-2004, 07:32 AM
  • Nick
    Warner wows his receivers
    by Nick
    Warner wows his receivers
    Accurate with passes

    BY RALPH VACCHIANO
    DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

    ALBANY - When the ball comes out of Kurt Warner's hand, more often than not it wobbles. It's not a bad throw by any measure of an NFL quarterback, and it's obviously worked for him in the past.

    It just seems to pale in comparison to the perfect spiral rookie Eli Manning throws time after time.

    But the beauty of Warner's arm and his wobbly passes are in the eyes of his receivers. And so far Warner's new teammates on the Giants love what they see.

    "It doesn't matter what his passes look like because the stat sheet doesn't show the aesthetics of a pass," said running back Tiki Barber. "He's smart. He knows how to throw the ball where it needs to be."

    That's what Warner always did best in St. Louis, where he threw for 14,447 yards and 102 touchdowns in a mostly remarkable six seasons. And by all accounts that's what he's done in his first week of training camp with the Giants as well. Warner has an uncanny knack for being accurate in both his decisions and where he places the football. And even though he's still in the early stages of learning the Giants' new offense, there's been no evidence that he's lost his touch.

    "Kurt is a great anticipator," receiver Ike Hilliard said. "He's seeing the offenses and defenses and routes and schemes to where he can see it open up. It's almost like second nature. Regardless of how the ball looks, as long as it gets to us it's OK. He doesn't have to throw a dart all the time because he's anticipating a second or two ahead. That's all that matters."

    Warner has always been good at anticipating where a play is going. He may have had great receivers in St. Louis in Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, but the Rams' offense wouldn't have been The Greatest Show on Turf if Warner hadn't been able to constantly hit them on the run.

    In fact, no one has ever done that better. Warner's career completion rate of 66.1% is the highest of anyone who's ever thrown 1,500 NFL passes. For four straight years in St. Louis - 1999-2002 - his percentage never dipped below 65.1. And even last year, when the Giants beat him up in the season opener and forced him to play through a concussion, he still completed 62.9% of his throws for 365 yards.

    And yet, Warner believes this year he could be even better.

    "I'm smarter," Warner said. "I see the field better. I make better decisions than I did before. Through the years, I just feel every year I've gotten better from a mental standpoint. I've been able to slow the game down and I'm able to react to things better than I ever did before."

    That, of course, is what the Giants are counting on, and it's exactly why they signed Warner in June. The strong-armed, 23-year-old...
    -08-09-2004, 11:01 AM
  • Yodude
    Why Coughlin Picked Warner....
    by Yodude
    Horrible game with Rams opened door for Warner to sign with Giants
    Friday, October 22, 2004
    By Tom Kowalski

    ALLEN PARK -- Kurt Warner has won a Super Bowl, a couple of NFL Most Valuable Player awards and has set all kinds of passing records, but he's currently the New York Giants quarterback because head coach Tom Coughlin was impressed with one of Warner's worst-ever games.

    In last year's season opener, when he was quarterbacking the St. Louis Rams, Warner had a horrific game against the Giants. He was sacked six times, fumbled six times (losing three) and was intercepted once in New York's 23-13 win against the Rams.

    Coughlin, who became the Giants head coach this year, remembered that performance (after watching game films) when he was deciding whether to sign Warner as a free agent in the off-season.

    "I looked hard at the game," said Coughlin, whose 4-1 Giants host the 3-2 Detroit Lions Sunday at Giants Stadium. "He had the turnovers, no question, but he also performed with outstanding toughness even well into the fourth quarter, despite the statistics, the turnovers and all of those things. He was battling and competing and had a high percentage completion rate even deep into the fourth quarter."

    Coughlin, who is a hard-nosed throwback coach, wanted a competitor and that's what he got in Warner, who only wanted an opportunity to play. After his glory years in St. Louis, Warner stumbled hard with the Rams and it appeared his career might be over.

    "I never had the doubt, from a personal standpoint, about my skills and that I could play at that level," Warner said. "I had some doubt about whether I'd get a legitimate chance to do it. That's where the doubts were. I always felt that if I ever got that opportunity, I could play this game as well as I've ever played it."

    That's why Warner didn't want to sign with the Lions as a backup to Joey Harrington.

    "It was kicked around and talked about a little bit but, obviously, they have a young quarterback who they've put some stock in and given him the opportunities to continue to progress," Warner said. "It wasn't the most conducive situation to what I was looking for, but I definitely considered it.

    "(Lions) Coach (Steve) Mariucci is an old friend of mine and I really love the guy. That would've been a great fit, other than the standpoint that they have Joey there and he has so much talent and he's proven that's the right direction to go."

    After a close training camp battle between Warner and first-round draft pick Eli Manning, the Giants decided they wanted to go with the veteran. Warner has responded with solid performances, completing 65 percent of his passes and throwing just one interception in five games. However, Warner -- and his three touchdown passes -- is...
    -10-22-2004, 05:57 PM
  • Nick
    Footballguys.com Analysis of Warner Situation
    by Nick
    Fantasy Notebook: Fool Me Once, Shame On You. ...
    By Bob Harris - Senior NFL Analyst - Footballguys.com

    Well, the latest reports filtering out of the Big Apple say Kurt Warner
    looked sharp during his initial mini-camp workouts this week. His passes
    were crisp and mostly on target. But as New York Daily News staffer Ralph
    Vacchiano noted, the surprise was that Eli Manning's passes looked even
    better.

    After struggling through his first mini-camp as a pro early last month,
    Manning put all that behind him Monday with a much-improved performance
    that caught the eyes of his coaches and teammates.

    According to Vacchiano, "his command in the huddle was better and he had a
    much greater knowledge of the offense. And as a result, he was able to
    show off the right arm that the Giants worked so hard to acquire in their
    blockbuster draft-day trade."

    Wow. Sounds pretty darned good. ...

    Unfortunately, Manning didn't fare as well Tuesday. Which should come as
    no surprise. Once again, we're talking about a rookie trying to get up to
    speed at the league's most difficult position to master.

    Which is why, I suspect, we'll see a growing media drumbeat surrounding
    the Warner/Manning competition with Warner putting increasing pressure on
    his younger teammate as he becomes familiar with the Giants' system and
    his NFL MVP experience begins to factor into the equation.

    But that doesn't mean I believe Warner is the best man for this job. Nor
    am I sure he's not. And I'm not alone in my confusion.

    In fact, after reviewing some of the opinions being floated by those "in
    the know," I've come to the conclusion that Warner is as mysterious to the
    rest of the world as he is to me.

    A sampling follows. ...

    In an article published Monday, Sports Illustrated insider Peter King
    advised readers: "I think Kurt Warner, whatever happens, will be a team
    player and will help Eli Manning as much as he can with the Giants. Warner
    is one of the few people I know in football who truly would help the guy
    behind him even if it meant it might hurt his situation."

    But former Giants quarterback Phil Simms disagreed.

    "The perfect guy (for the Giants) was Neil O'Donnell," Simms told the
    Newark Star-Ledger. "It's not a knock against Kurt, but the agendas are
    different. Kurt Warner still wants to be a franchise quarterback. He wants
    to be the guy. ... Kurt Warner will give information to Eli, but he's
    going to be more concerned about his performance, his knowledge and what
    he's doing."

    Another Sports Illustrated writer, NFL guru Paul Zimmerman, took things a
    step further,...
    -06-13-2004, 09:36 PM
  • Yodude
    Insider: Warner earns vindication, another turn on top
    by Yodude
    Oct. 13, 2004
    By Pete Prisco
    SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Pete your opinion!



    Insider | Notebook | Mailbag
    New York Giants quarterback Kurt Warner is on a cell phone, driving somewhere in New Jersey, talking about his new team and his new situation. As he speaks, he sounds more upbeat than he has in years, which is saying something because this is one happy dude.

    "I'm loving it here," Warner said.


    Showing vintage form so far, Kurt Warner is proving just how little his critics know.
    Why wouldn't he? This was a man who was written off the past year, many speculating that his time at the top had come and gone. They said his 15 minutes of fame were over.

    That feel-good story of grocery stock boy to league MVP was nice at the time, but as quick as he rose to the top, it was sure to be followed by talk that he would fall just as fast.

    Washed up. Over. Done. Finished.

    Warner heard it all the past couple of seasons, the talk growing from murmurs into a full-blown amplified beat by late last season in St. Louis. Forget his two MVP awards he won with the Rams. Forget his Super Bowl victory after the 1999 season. Forget all the passing numbers.

    The doubters, including the St. Louis Rams coaches, insisted his time was up.

    "I guess it's unprecedented what happened to me," Warner said. "To go from where I was to the last two years, it's hard to make sense of it. People formed an opinion on what was wrong with me and they all seemed to jump on the bandwagon. It was easy to come to the conclusion that I wasn't the same player based on the past couple of years. But I never put a lot of stock in what people were saying. I knew what I was capable of doing. The bottom line for me has not been what people think about me, but what the people in my locker room and in the organization think about me. I knew I could still play and still win."

    He's doing both, too.

    The Giants are the surprise team of the first five weeks, winning four consecutive games after losing their opener to the Eagles. At 4-1, heading into their bye week Sunday, they are a half game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East.

    Warner is big reason for the success.


    So much for his just keeping the seat warm until rookie first-round pick Eli Manning takes over. Warner isn't going anywhere. Not the way he's playing. There had been some talk that Warner would keep the spot until the bye week, and then hand the keys to the car over to the younger kid. That's laughable now.


    Warner may not be putting up the huge numbers he did with the Rams from 1999-2001, but he is running the offense with precision, he's taking care of the ball and he's getting it out on time.

    Through...
    -10-17-2004, 09:21 AM
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