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Warner still has the "wobble"

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  • Warner still has the "wobble"

    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.

  • #2
    Re: Warner still has the "wobble"

    I'm sure Eli is having the same problems, and he has yet to see a full speed NFL defense looking to take his head off.

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    • #3
      Re: Warner still has the "wobble"

      Warner never did throw perfect spirals, and many passes wobbled but still got there.

      However, they didn't bounce short of the receiver like this article is stating. There's definitely a lot of rust to dust off, but perhaps there is some permanent damage to that hand?
      Last edited by sbramfan; -06-15-2004, 10:36 AM.

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      • RamWraith
        Someone see's it as Kurt struggling
        by RamWraith
        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."
        -06-08-2004, 10:10 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
      • Nick
        Warner's the man, at least to Warner
        by Nick
        Warner's the man, at least to Warner

        First published: Thursday, August 19, 2004

        ALBANY -- He's still the quarterback who takes teams to Olympus. Still the quarterback whose passing statistics are a fantasy of flight. Still the quarterback whose grocery-bags-to-NFL-MVP story felt as good as a kiss.
        Kurt Warner is convinced of this.

        He's gone from superstar to waiver wire. Untouchable to unwanted. At the end in St. Louis, the Rams were as eager to show Warner the door as he was to pass through it. He was signed by the Giants to be a mentor and stopgap, until Eli Manning is ready. Everything in Warner's career has changed -- but him, he insists.

        In nearly every player's career there comes a time when his skills, as Bill Belichick once said of Bernie Kosar's, diminish. Age and injuries make mortals of all. The player knows when he enters the winter of his career, but he won't publicly admit it.

        Warner, now 33, says he's the same quarterback, and because he's friendly, and gracious with his time, you want to believe him.

        But you don't.

        Once, Warner led the Greatest Show on Turf. Now, he's trying to hold Manning at bay long enough to audition for a starting job with another team next season. That's not the same at all.

        There has never been an NFL player like Kurt Warner. From stock boy to wonder boy to oh boy, what happened. It would be as if Greg Maddux had gone from video store clerk to Cy Young control artist to a pitcher who stopped throwing strikes, though Warner doesn't see it that way. The Rams' 0-8 record in his last eight games as a starter didn't change Warner's opinion of himself.

        "You have to say, 'Did Kurt Warner lose those eight games because Kurt Warner didn't play well, or did the Rams lose those last eight games because the team didn't play well?' " Warner said. "I think that's where people sometimes get skewed in their opinion."

        Warner doesn't mention that the Rams were 18-4 the past two seasons when Marc Bulger started at quarterback. Granted, win-loss percentage isn't everything. But it's something. And playing on the same team, with the same players, Bulger enjoyed success while Warner flopped. But if Warner's fumbling 14 times and throwing 11 interceptions with only four touchdowns in those eight games have cracked his confidence, he conceals it behind his disarming smile.

        "I feel like I can play as well as anybody in this league," Warner said. "I can still play this game. I don't plan on being average."

        Thing is, average would be an improvement.

        One trait players like in their quarterback: accountability. They respect a guy who accepts criticism when warranted and shares praise when deserved. But in a recent conversation, this is as close as Warner came to acknowledging he performed...
        -08-22-2004, 12:40 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
        Don't bet against Warner.....
        by Yodude
        Don't bet against Warner reviving his career in Arizona


        BY JEFF GORDON
        Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
        03/07/2005

        Kurt Warner’s gambit paid off.

        The former Rams hero signed with the New York Giants as the interim starter for last season. He agreed to direct that offense on a temporary basis while prized prospect Eli Manning learned the ropes.

        All along, Warner’s role was to mentor the kid. At some point, he knew that Manning would take his job. The Giants traded the farm for the kid, then paid him all the money in the world. His ascension was not a matter of if, but when.

        Kurt also knew the Giants had offensive shortcomings that would make this assignment doubly hard. But this was arguably his only guaranteed shot to re-establish himself in 2004, so he took it.

        Warner accomplished just enough to earn a real opportunity -– to quarterback the Arizona Cardinals in 2005, with no strings attached.

        Warner insists he is ready. He believes he can play for another five or six years. He promises the world that he still has game.

        “I still feel like I have a lot left,” Warner told ESPN Radio. “I wanted to be on the field. I wanted to be in a situation where, for the most part, I controlled my own destiny.”


        He flashed some of his old magic with the Giants last season, particularly earlier in his nine-game stint. The team was far more successful with him at the helm than Manning.

        “Obviously, I hated to be taken out,” Warner said. “Two weeks before I got pulled, we were sitting at 5-2. We were the second-best team in the NFC. Obviously, the next two weeks we didn’t play as well as we would have liked to.”

        But, he added, “In every single game we were competitive, we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

        Warner completed 174 of 277 passes for 2,054 yards last season. He threw six touchdown passes and four interceptions. His passer rating was 86.5. He finished with a 5-4 record as a starter.

        By contrast, Manning won just one game as a starter. He completed 95 of 197 passes for 1,043 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions. His passer rating was, ahem, 55.4.

        The benching, Warner said, “was unfortunate at the time. In the long-run, it was beneficial to me.”

        Manning’s dismal play and the Giants’ offensive demise put Warner’s so-so play in context. “People could see how well I was playing, or playing within that role,” he said. “I think my stock actually rose after that time.”

        What if Warner had finished out the season as starter?

        “My stats wouldn’t have been that good,” he said. “We would have finished 8-8, 9-7.”


        Many experts, though, argue that No. 13 is done. They point to his later work with the Giants, when he became tentative in the pocket and absorbed...
        -03-09-2005, 03:56 PM
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