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  • Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

    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 a long way from his high-flying days with the Rams.

    "It's two different systems, two different philosophies. It's a unique challenge," Warner said. "It's different and it's been the biggest adjustment, to change the mindset of how I have to play the game. In essence, play the game more perfect than I've ever played it before. I don't have the luxury, like I did in St. Louis, of throwing it 50 times and make up for a bad throw here or there or a turnover here or there."

    Warner also doesn't have the luxury of job security. He can continue completing passes and winning games but he knows, deep in the back of his mind, that he's just job-sitting.

    "I've known since day one that Eli is the future of this organization and they'll do everything they can to get him ready for that future, as quickly and as fast as that can possibly transpire," said Warner, who refuses to recognize that reality anytime soon. "I don't look at it from that standpoint, at all. I'm hoping this year continues to progress like it has and I'm the starter for this season and we'll get in the playoffs and do the things we want to do. When the season's over, we'll see what direction the team wants to go."
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  • #2
    Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

    I think any person who knows football could tell Warner was never out of that Game! And that is why going with Bulger was what I thought Pre-mature. Bulger is coming around and I'm glad But I still feel Warner should tearing up the league in Blue and gold! Oh well just my OP! :upset:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

      Originally posted by Yodude
      "It's two different systems, two different philosophies. It's a unique challenge," Warner said. "It's different and it's been the biggest adjustment, to change the mindset of how I have to play the game. In essence, play the game more perfect than I've ever played it before. I don't have the luxury, like I did in St. Louis, of throwing it 50 times and make up for a bad throw here or there or a turnover here or there."
      Thank you, Kurt. You've said what some of us have spent days trying to convey: you're playing in a completely different kind of offense in NY than you would have been here in St. Louis.



      Originally posted by Yodude
      "When the season's over, we'll see what direction the team wants to go."
      I think Kurt's kidding himself if he thinks the Giants don't know what direction they're going after this season.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

        "I've known since day one that Eli is the future of this organization and they'll do everything they can to get him ready for that future, as quickly and as fast as that can possibly transpire," said Warner, who refuses to recognize that reality anytime soon. "I don't look at it from that standpoint, at all. I'm hoping this year continues to progress like it has and I'm the starter for this season and we'll get in the playoffs and do the things we want to do. When the season's over, we'll see what direction the team wants to go."
        I think Kurt's kidding himself if he thinks the Giants don't know what direction they're going after this season.
        I'm sure he knows he'll be elsewhere next year. His agent has already said as much. But he can't say what he knows here in the middle of the season. For now he's the quarterback of the Giants and they have a shot at the playoffs. He can't start predicting the future when the present still means something to his team mates.
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

          Originally posted by HUbison
          I'm sure he knows he'll be elsewhere next year. His agent has already said as much. But he can't say what he knows here in the middle of the season. For now he's the quarterback of the Giants and they have a shot at the playoffs. He can't start predicting the future when the present still means something to his team mates.
          Yet in other interviews he's talked about how he would like to retire a Giant and spend the next couple years there. Sometimes I wonder....

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

            Originally posted by NickSeiler

            I think Kurt's kidding himself if he thinks the Giants don't know what direction they're going after this season.
            I think you're kidding yourself if you don't think Warner realizes where he will stand at the end of the season. Give the guy a little credit for some intelligence. What would you expect him to say in the middle of the season. That he knows he's a lame duck and is just playing out the string so some other team gives him a contract next year?


            Originally posted by NickSeiler
            Thank you, Kurt. You've said what some of us have spent days trying to convey: you're playing in a completely different kind of offense in NY than you would have been here in St. Louis.
            I know that this is the last peg that some of you guys have to hang your hats on, so I won't try to snatch it away from you, but consider this for a moment.

            I'm not convinced that this statement backs up your argument any more than mine. Just because it's a different system does not guarantee that he would now be unable to run the Rams system. According to Warner, this a more difficult system to run for him because he has less room for error. They are not a quick-strike offense that can overcome turnovers the way the Rams sometimes can. He almost has to play perfect football for them to be successful. Also, other than at the tight end position (with the running backs being more or less equal), the Giants have less talent on offense than the Rams. My contention has always been that with the Rams offense being predicated on rhythm and timing, Warner never had the chance to work his way back from his injuries. Sure he had 8 or so appearances, but that was spread over a two year time period, and at least half of those games he played injured.

            Anyway, I don't want to re-open the debate, just pointing out that in my opinion, him showing that he can succeed on a different team, with a different system, with less talent tells me it's more than likely he could have stayed a Ram and been successful. In addition, the evidence suggests that he will continue to improve. I don't think he's 100% comfortable with the system or his teammates yet.

            One last point. How many elite level QB's have been forced to change teams and systems and were able to do it successfully. Not too many. That fact that Warner appears to be accomplishing it is all the more to his credit. The jury is still out...the season is still young after all. But if he keeps playing the way he is and continues to improve, that last peg will be gone, and all your hats will be on the floor.

            Go Bulger and Go Rams!
            Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

              Look how well the Qb of the future has done in Cincy taking over for the seasoned veteren who had a career year just the season before...STOOPID

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

                Originally posted by Yodude
                I think you're kidding yourself if you don't think Warner realizes where he will stand at the end of the season.
                See the comments I made responding to Bison. Warner said in earlier interviews that he would like to retire a Giant and play there a number of seasons in the future. Plus, his choice of words is questionable. "When the season's over, we'll see what direction the team wants to go." Um, Kurt. You know what direction the team wants to go. His statement implies the team hasn't made up its mind, which again, is what prompts me to say he's kidding himself if he thinks the Giants haven't already decided on 2005. Kurt Warner is in the same role Drew Brees is in - they're auditioning for teams for next season.



                Originally posted by Yodude
                Just because it's a different system does not guarantee that he would now be unable to run the Rams system.
                Wow, I guess I must have missed where my fingers typed this. Silly me for allowing my hands to break away from my mind and write something I had no idea about. Oh no wait, I never said that. :bored:

                What I said was that Warner's comments show that the two systems are in fact different, which is a point I was trying to previously make in another thread.

                Some people were trying to say that success in this NY system means Warner could have succeeded in the Rams system. We don't know one way or the other based on what he's doing in NY because it's a completely different system.

                Success or failure there does not really reflect one way or the other what could have happened had he stayed in St. Louis, and Kurt's comments confirming the difference in schemes supports that point.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

                  Originally posted by Shadesofgrey
                  Look how well the Qb of the future has done in Cincy taking over for the seasoned veteren who had a career year just the season before...STOOPID
                  Yeah, clearly that's all Carson Palmer's fault.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why Coughlin Ptouchdown passes -- is a long way from his high-flyicked Warner....

                    [QUOTE=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.







                    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 caree"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 quar"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."


                    This is exactly what i have been saying all along!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

                      See the comments I made responding to Bison. Warner said in earlier interviews that he would like to retire a Giant and play there a number of seasons in the future. Plus, his choice of words is questionable. "When the season's over, we'll see what direction the team wants to go." Um, Kurt. You know what direction the team wants to go. His statement implies the team hasn't made up its mind, which again, is what prompts me to say he's kidding himself if he thinks the Giants haven't already decided on 2005. Kurt Warner is in the same role Drew Brees is in - they're auditioning for teams for next season.
                      I say that this is the right thing to say in this situation. What would you have him say, that he knows he's auditioning? What would his team react if he came out and said that. He's a competitor and he wants to compete, anything less from him and he would lose all credibility with the team. You guys seem to criticise him no matter what he says. The truth his in some people's mind there is nothing Warner can say that would be taken the right way.


                      Originally posted by Yodude
                      Just because it's a different system does not guarantee that he would now be unable to run the Rams system.
                      Originally posted by NickSeiler
                      Wow, I guess I must have missed where my fingers typed this. Silly me for allowing my hands to break away from my mind and write something I had no idea about. Oh no wait, I never said that.

                      Wow, I guess similarly, I seem to miss where I attributed that direct quote to you. :bored:


                      Originally posted by NickSeiler
                      Some people were trying to say that success in this NY system means Warner could have succeeded in the Rams system.

                      How can you argue with a statement where the operative word is could? Could means exactly what it says....could. It's not a guarantee. Since the crux of most people's arguement was that Warner simply can't play anymore, and he has shown that he can, regardless of the system, it follows that he most certainly could run a system that he ran quite effectively for 3 years.
                      Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

                        Originally posted by NickSeiler
                        Yet in other interviews he's talked about how he would like to retire a Giant and spend the next couple years there. Sometimes I wonder....
                        Nick, I see what you're saying, but, like Yo said, I'm sure Kurt is just playing it safe with his language. No need to burn a bridge on his way out of NY. If he'd said, "I will retire a Giant, and I will spend the next couple of years here", then I'd say yea, he's dreaming. But he's keeping everybody happy with the whole "I'd like to retire a Giant". I'm sure next year he will make a statement similar to "I'd like to retire a _______" and we can fill in the blank with whatever team signs him.
                        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

                          Originally posted by Yodude
                          What would you have him say, that he knows he's auditioning?
                          I believe I listed a number of things he could have said that I think would have been fine. But again, to imply that the team is going to be making their decision after this season implies that Warner isn't entirely grounded in reality. Heck, all he had to say was, "I'm not thinking about next season. I'm concentrating on this season and what I can do to help this team."

                          Far from the "Warner can't do anything right" stigma you've painted on critics, Yo.



                          Originally posted by Yodude
                          Wow, I guess similarly, I seem to miss where I attributed that direct quote to you. :bored:
                          Yeah, I guess quoting me and referring earlier to "your argument" and "you guys" means you're not talking to me or attributing that point of view to me at all, huh?



                          Originally posted by Yodude
                          Since the crux of most people's arguement was that Warner simply can't play anymore, and he has shown that he can, regardless of the system, it follows that he most certainly could run a system that he ran quite effectively for 3 years.
                          First, I don't know many people who flat-out argued that it was a definite that Warner could not play anymore on any level. His completion percentage itself seems to nullify that point of view. Most of the people I talked to suspected he was having some kind of problem but very few Rams fans I discussed the topic with seemed to say he was completely done.

                          Secondly, no, Warner hasn't shown he can play regardless of the system. He's shown he can go into NY and run a very controlled system. Does that mean he could run the Rams offense? No. Success in New York doesn't equate to success in St. Louis. The possibility is there, but why does it matter? He's in NY, and when he was here, for whatever reason, he had problems. He wasn't just let go because he theorhetically couldn't play, ya know.
                          Last edited by Nick; -10-23-2004, 05:37 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

                            Originally posted by NickSeiler
                            Secondly, no, Warner hasn't shown he can play regardless of the system. He's shown he can go into NY and run a very controlled system. Does that mean he could run the Rams offense?
                            Touche...I guess I should have worded that differently. My intended point was that to me, Warner has shown he can still play, regardless of the system he's in now...not that he has shown he can play in any system whatsoever.
                            Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Why Coughlin Picked Warner....

                              Originally posted by Yodude
                              Touche...I guess I should have worded that differently. My intended point was that to me, Warner has shown he can still play, regardless of the system he's in now...not that he has shown he can play in any system whatsoever.
                              If I understand what you're saying, then I agree - Warner has shown he can still play and be effective and efficient.

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • 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, 10:01 AM
                              • 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, 04:07 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, 08:21 AM
                              • 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, 08:36 PM
                              • Nick
                                Won't Get Any Better for Kurt / Newsday.com
                                by Nick
                                Won't get any better for Kurt
                                Bob Glauber
                                Friday, June 4, 2004

                                Yes, even Kurt Warner can't figure out how it has come to this: How one minute, he was the most incredible story in pro sports, the stockboy-at-the-local-HyVee-turned-Super Bowl hero. And how the next minute, he was wearing a headset and a blank stare, wondering where in the world it all went wrong.

                                "Sometimes you just sit back and say, 'Wow, how did I get here?'" the former St. Louis Rams quarterback said yesterday. "You wonder where it's going."

                                Warner hopes it's going back in the other direction, that the pendulum will begin to swing in the direction of a Super Bowl now that he has left the wonder and heartbreak of the Rams behind and come to the Giants. He believes he again can be the dominant quarterback he was from 1999-2001, when he won a Super Bowl, went to another, collected two NFL MVP trophies and was named a Super Bowl MVP.

                                Sorry, Kurt, I have my doubts.

                                "I think that two or three years down the road, it's all going to make sense, and that a lot is going to be accomplished," he said. "Sometimes it's hard to make sense of it, but all I can do is take it day by day and see what tomorrow brings."

                                Warner's enthusiasm is understandable in light of his experience the last two seasons, in which he failed to win any of his eight starts, suffered three broken bones in his throwing hand and a concussion, and ultimately lost his job.

                                But Warner is kidding himself if he thinks he can get back to where he once was.

                                He certainly gives the Giants a chance to win more games than if No. 1 pick Eli Manning were thrown into the starting lineup right away. But to imagine Warner throwing darts the way he did with The Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis is simply unrealistic.

                                Once he steps onto the field against the blitz-happy Eagles in the regular-season opener Sept. 12, you will see the same problems that led to Warner's fall from grace. You will see him lock on to receivers the way he did during his difficult times in St. Louis. You will see him get jittery under a heavy rush. And with the shaky offensive line the Giants figure to have, Warner certainly can't expect the kind of protection that once gave him time in his seven-step drops to fuel the Rams' high-octane attack. It doesn't help that the Giants are without the collective speed and talent around Warner that he enjoyed with the Rams.

                                Warner can't possibly be as bad as he was in last year's opener against the Giants, when he fumbled six times and suffered six sacks. A mild concussion can explain some of those problems, but certainly not all.

                                One player who was with the Rams during their two Super Bowl seasons said Warner slowed down noticeably in recent years, that he was not making on-field decisions as quickly as...
                                -06-04-2004, 10:55 AM
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