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  • NickSeiler wows ClanRam by posting another Warner-related thread!

    Warner, Not Manning, to Make the First Start
    By BILL PENNINGTON
    Published: August 12, 2004

    LBANY, Aug. 11 - When Kurt Warner signed with the Giants in June, it was expected that he would lead the way, at least temporarily, for Eli Manning, the top pick in the draft. On Wednesday, Coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that there is a pecking order at quarterback and it begins with Warner. Manning will follow.

    Warner will start the Giants' opening preseason game Friday night at Giants Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs, the first official acknowledgement that it may be Warner's job to lose.

    But Warner is on a short leash. Coughlin would not so much as discuss whether Warner or Manning would start the second preseason game on Aug. 19. And Coughlin conceded that the competition between Warner and Manning was still more or less even.

    Both quarterbacks will play extensively Friday, with Warner beginning the game with the first offensive unit and playing into the second quarter. Manning will replace him, playing briefly with some of the starters and continuing with the reserves well into the third quarter.

    Coughlin, ever cautious with his answers to reporters' questions, explained his decision by saying: "It's just the way we wanted to go. It's the way we should go with this game."

    As for the next game, he said: "I'm not talking about the second preseason game. We'll look at one game and then we'll see where we are."

    Coughlin's choice was no doubt made easier when he considered the impact that starting the first preseason game at Giants Stadium would have on Warner compared with that impact on Manning. Warner is playing his seventh season in the N.F.L. and has played in two Super Bowls. Manning carries with him the burden of being savior to the franchise, and he has been a professional for only a few months.

    It is quite likely that Coughlin did not want to expose Manning, who will be making his first Giants Stadium appearance, to the added pressure of starting the game. There is also the pressure of playing behind a revamped offensive line that has performed erratically in practice. The Giants want to protect Manning, in whom they have invested $45 million and a host of draft picks.

    Warner, 33, who could be with the Giants no more than one season, is certainly more accustomed to the conditions of a deteriorating pass pocket.

    Warner and Manning seemed at ease with Coughlin's decision. Warner said it was what he expected.

    "It looked like it was leaning that way, at least for the first game," he said.

    Manning almost seemed relieved.

    "I've been a backup before," he said. "I'm here for a learning experience. It's my job to watch and learn from Kurt, who has played in a lot of games. I'm excited I'm going to get to play, but I don't feel like I have to go out and outcompete him."

    Running back Tiki Barber said the rest of the team saw the quarterback situation as a competition but not one that was fierce or contentious.

    "Whatever you want to call it, Friday is the first showcase for both of them in New York," Barber said. "And that is a whole other animal."

    Coughlin did not seem overly protective of his rookie quarterback.

    "Eli will handle the pressure well," Coughlin said. "He knows the pressure, he's been under it since he first arrived, from his initial training camp practice. So it's not like he hasn't seen it before."

    Coughlin also announced that the open audition for the team's punt return and kickoff return jobs will begin Friday night.

    On Wednesday, the Giants signed wide receiver/kick returner Avion Black, who has played for Buffalo and Houston. Coughlin said Black would most likely return kicks for the Giants on Friday along with Curtis Deloatch, a rookie free agent cornerback from North Carolina A&T.

    Deloatch returned kickoffs and punts in college. Black did not play in the N.F.L. last season but played in 11 games for Houston in 2002, when his kickoff return average of 22 yards led the Texans. Black also averaged 13.4 yards per punt return for the Texans. He returned one punt 76 yards for a touchdown.

    Coughlin said most of the players who have not been practicing this week would not play Friday. That list includes linebacker Carlos Emmons and wide receivers Tim Carter, Jamaar Taylor and James McKnight.

  • #2
    Re: NickSeiler wows ClanRam by posting another Warner-related thread!

    The posters who say.... Warner! ... demand, a sacrifice! They want... a shrubbery!

    Comment

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    • RamWraith
      Kurt Warner beat out NFL No. 1 draft pic
      by RamWraith
      Associated Press

      EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Two-time MVP Kurt Warner beat out NFL No. 1 draft pick Eli Manning to be the New York Giants' starting quarterback.

      Coach Tom Coughlin announced his decision Sunday, citing Warner's experience and recent play for keeping the $45 million rookie on the bench for the Sept. 12 opener against Philadelphia Eagles.


      Two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner, signed in June, has looked more comfortable running the Giants' offense in preseason.

      "I think this is the best choice," Coughlin said. "It's the choice which is in the best interest of the New York Giants."

      The competition was close since training camp opened in late July. Warner, who was signed in June after being released by the St. Louis Rams, and Manning, the brother of co-MVP Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, were on equal terms until Thursday's 17-7 loss to the Jets.

      Warner was 9-of-11 for 104 yards in the game, leading the Giants to their only touchdown. Manning was 4-of-14 for 20 yards, with two interceptions and a fumble that was returned for a Jets touchdown.

      After watching videotapes and mulling his choices, Coughlin informed Warner and Manning of his decision in separate meetings Sunday.

      "I wasn't upset by it," said Manning, who hasn't been a backup since his redshirt freshman year at Mississippi in 2000, when Romaro Miller started. "I figured it might come. It doesn't change anything. I still have a lot to learn."

      Coughlin has not announced who will start the preseason finale against Baltimore on Thursday at Giants Stadium.

      Warner started the season opener for the Rams last year. He lost that job to Marc Bulger after a concussion and fumbling six times in a loss to the Giants.

      "At times it was a little nerve-racking, wondering whether this or that played into it," Warner said, referring to the decision Sunday. "It was a distinct challenge for me, a new challenge for me and I think it helped to push and force me to learn this stuff at a little faster pace."

      Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan said he felt Warner's experience might have been the deciding factor.

      "Eli is still a young quarterback, still a rookie, and still has a lot to learn," Strahan said. "When we went into it, everybody assumed that Kurt was going to start with Eli getting the opportunity later on."

      Until Friday, Manning looked ready to start ahead of Warner.

      "That is the first time he has experienced one of those nights, and he has to put the blinders on and he has to get back to work and try to understand what happened," Coughlin said after Friday night's loss to the Jets.
      -08-29-2004, 12:21 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Interesting Takes From Warner & Coughlin
      by r8rh8rmike
      Wednesday, June 9, 2004


      By Sal Paolantonio
      Special to ESPN.com

      EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- You can see it in his eyes. Kurt Warner's eyes are wide open, revealing the happiness of a man who has emerged from the long slumber of lost opportunity.


      "I feel completely re-energized," said Warner, as he came off the field after his first mini-camp practice with his new team, the New York Giants.



      Warner lacked some zip on his passes during practices.
      Rewind to Giants Stadium, Week 1 last year. Under constant pressure from Michael Strahan and company, Warner was sacked six times and fumbled six times, and started his last game for the St. Louis Rams. Sitting on the trainer's table in the visitors' locker room at Giants Stadium that Sunday afternoon, Warner had just been diagnosed with a mild concussion and his eyes had the vacant look of a man who had just bought a one-way ticket down the rabbit hole.


      The contrast between Warner then and Warner now couldn't be more stark. And the situation couldn't be more ironic -- the team that ended his season has now handed Warner a chance at NFL redemption.


      It's no wonder that Warner has displayed the same wide-eyed eagerness of the former stock boy from Iowa who emerged from NFL Europe and replaced the injured Trent Green to re-write the history of Rams football in St. Louis.


      "Normally, the player will sit down and will have to talk to his agent on the phone," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. "He said, 'I don't want any of this. Let's get this done.' He signed right away. He was down the hall, looking for coaches, saying 'Let's go meet.' He wanted to get himself immersed in this offense right away."


      There is good reason for Warner to be anxious. Coming to New York means that Warner, who will be 33 on June 22, will be under-going several mid-life, mid-course adjustments.


      He must adjust to the demands of Coughlin's offense, which shall we say is a bit more conservative than the Greatest Show on Turf choreographed by Mike Martz. And Warner will be learning the new offense with a newly minted franchise quarterback, Eli Manning, looking over his shoulder.


      The Giants invested two first-round draft picks and expended a lot of public relations good will to acquire Manning in a trade with San Diego in this year's NFL draft. Some see Warner as the perfect mentor for Manning, or at least a temporary diversion so that Manning can incubate his talents without being over-exposed by the white, hot lights of the New York media.


      Warner will have none of that. You can tell by the tone and conviction in his voice that, for Warner, this is not about Peyton Manning's little brother.


      "Obviously, I'm coming in to...
      -06-10-2004, 05:07 PM
    • WisRamsFan
      Warner in the correct forum
      by WisRamsFan
      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.

      ADVERTISEMENT


      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...
      -06-03-2004, 03:58 PM
    • Nick
      On 2nd thought, Eli may start
      by Nick
      On 2nd thought, Eli may start
      BY JULIAN GARCIA
      DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

      Tom Coughlin got his first chance to see quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Eli Manning in game conditions when the Giants played the Kansas City Chiefs in the teams' preseason opener on Friday night. Then early yesterday morning, Coughlin got a second look - on tape - and it's clear he likes what he sees from the rookie.

      A few days after declaring the race for the starting job dead even, Coughlin still maintains that neither quarterback has taken the inside track at this point. But this much seems clear: Manning has a legitimate chance to start the season as the No.1 quarterback.

      "There is a ways to go in this thing," Coughlin said in a conference call with reporters yesterday.

      In the Giants' 34-24 win against the Chiefs, Warner played with the first-team offense and completed three of his seven passes for 49 yards. Manning entered to a standing ovation midway through the second quarter and completed seven of 13 attempts for 91 yards.

      Neither quarterback threw a touchdown pass or an interception.

      Though Coughlin seemed annoyed when a reporter asked him during a postgame press conference whether he would start Manning in Thursday's game at Carolina - the coach snapped: "I'll make that decision later in the week, thank you very much" - he appears to be considering flip-flopping the quarterbacks' roles this week.

      Coughlin said he will review the game tape again before making a decision, but he added that he was pleased with the way Manning moved the team, particularly in a two-minute drill at the end of the first half that culminated in Bill Gramatica's 42-yard field goal at the gun.

      What stood out most about Manning's performance was how composed he remained during the drill, Coughlin said. Not that he was surprised by that.

      "He's done that throughout training camp," the coach said.

      Coughlin also said he would like to see Warner get rid of the ball a little sooner.

      "I think Kurt, sometimes to a fault, will want to take advantage of every opportunity he has to allow the receiver to break free," Coughlin said.
      -08-17-2004, 07:52 AM
    • Nick
      SI: Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB
      by Nick
      Coughlin picked the wrong time to replace Warner with Manning at QB
      Posted: Tuesday November 16, 2004 11:17AM;
      Updated: Tuesday November 16, 2004 1:29PM

      New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin announced the news in his typically stern manner. Eli Manning is the future of his team, Coughlin said during his Monday afternoon press conference, and the future is starting now. He talked about Manning's preparation and attitude and made it seem as if the rookie quarterback was ready to lead a team that is in a mind-boggling free-fall. But Coughlin didn't sound confident. He sounded desperate. And if he thinks Eli Manning is going to change the Giants' fortunes, he's about to be seriously disappointed.

      It's one thing for the New York media to clamor for Manning to replace struggling starter Kurt Warner. But for Coughlin to move to Manning now -- with the Giants sitting at 5-4 in a conference in which nine victories might secure a playoff spot -- smacks of sheer lunacy.

      What exactly does Manning bring to the Giants offense that Warner didn't? He's just as immobile as Warner, which means he'll be sitting in the pocket and probably taking as many sacks as Warner did over the last four weeks. That's the reality of playing behind an offensive line that has started to perform as poorly as many people expected it would when the season began. Manning certainly won't take better care of the football than Warner did last Sunday, when he didn't not give the ball away in a 17-14 loss to Arizona. Warner atoned for a four-turnover performance a week earlier by not giving the ball away once in a loss to Arizona. And the last time I checked, Manning wasn't playing both ways, so he couldn't help a defense that has blown double-digit leads against offensively challenged teams in consecutive weeks.

      There are countless issues for the Giants to address but apparently Manning is the man who will have to overcome them. It's a difficult position to place him in. He's only played in two games, both when the outcomes were clearly decided, so he'll have little feel for the action. He also didn't look so hot in his season-opening debut in relief of Warner, when Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jerome McDougle hit him so hard that Manning briefly resembled a life-sized Bobblehead doll. Coughlin wisely stuck with Warner as his starter after that game, if for no other reason than that it made more sense for a 33-year-old quarterback to take that kind of abuse than the first pick in the draft. Now Manning is surely going to face worse treatment.

      His first opponent up will be Atlanta, a team that had seven sacks in a win over Tampa Bay last Sunday. He then gets an Eagles defense that will be blitzing him all afternoon. Then comes Washington, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, three teams that all rank among the NFL's top five defensive units. If people thought Warner was having problems moving the offense,...
      -11-16-2004, 01:31 PM
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