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  • Agent: Kurt Is Team Guy

    AGENT: KURT IS TEAM GUY
    By PAUL SCHWARTZ
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    November 17, 2004 -- When he received the call from Kurt Warner's agent in the spring, Giant GM Ernie Accorsi said he had one immediate question.
    "Why would he want to come here?" Accorsi recalls asking Mark Bartelstein.

    With the blockbuster trade for Eli Manning already completed and, thus, the franchise quarterback already in the fold, the Giants at first seemed to be an odd destination for Warner, desperately looking for a starting job to resuscitate his career. The Giants promised the opportunity to compete with Manning, and that was good enough for Warner, who was confident his best would be enough to stave off the rookie.

    Warner lasted nine games and always knew the specter of Manning was lurking. At 5-4 after losing three of the last four games, coach Tom Coughlin finally made the change and Manning gets his first NFL start on Sunday against the Falcons.

    "He's obviously very disappointed," Bartelstein said yesterday. "It kind of rips your heart out. I think it's very gut-wrenching for him. He'll handle it with class like he does everything. He'll stay ready, and I know he'll support Eli as much as he can.

    "It's extremely difficult circumstances. Here are the Giants, who everybody picked to be in last place, they lose last week to Chicago and 99 percent of the headlines in New York are 'It's time to go with Eli.' He [Warner] is only human, he hears all that stuff. You're playing under more of a microscope, but we knew that coming in, that was the way it was going to be."

    Both sides entered into this agreement with no illusions. Warner signed a one-year contract for $1.5 million plus a bonus of $1.5 million, with the never-to-be seen second year already voided. He was the bridge to Manning, a one-and-done member of the team. He'll become an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

    Still, he is a healthy, two-time MVP who at 33 years old doesn't believe he's washed up.

    "He feels when everyone's doing well he can play at a real high level right now. I think he's shown that," Bartelstein said.

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  • 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, 02:58 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, 04:07 PM
  • 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, 12:31 PM
  • Guest's Avatar
    QB Kurt Warner is set to leave the Giants and become a starter for another NFL team.
    by Guest
    December 29, 2004

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Kurt Warner believes he can and will be a starting quarterback in the NFL.



    QB Kurt Warner is set to leave the Giants and become a starter for another NFL team.
    Eli Manning is the Giants’ starter. Therefore, the Giants’ Sunday night season finale against the Dallas Cowboys could well be Warner’s final game in a Giants uniform.

    “Very possibly,” Warner said today. “I think everybody would foresee that being the case. Who knows what’s going to happen? You never know what the future has in store and what could transpire. But I think that’s everybody’s thought process right now.

    “I want to be somewhere starting next year. They know it’s not here with the New York Giants. And they understand my point of view 100 percent.”

    Warner, who was signed as a free agent on June 2 after a record-breaking six-year run with the St. Louis Rams, started the first nine games of the season. The Giants were 5-4 in those games and Warner completed 62.8 percent of his passes (174 of 277) for 2,054 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. Warner’s quarterback rating of 86.5 still ranks seventh in the NFC.

    After a 17-14 loss in Arizona on November 14, coach Tom Coughlin named Manning the new starting quarterback. The first pick in this year’s NFL Draft – and a player the Giants obtained in a trade of draft choices, including this year’s first round pick -- Manning was the quarterback of the future. The only question was when that future would arrive.

    Since it did, Warner has played just once in relief, an appearance in a hopelessly lost cause in the fourth quarter of a 23-point defeat in Baltimore, where he led the Giants to their only offensive touchdown.

    Throughout what could have been a difficult or uncomfortable position, Warner has carried himself with dignity and grace. He has helped Manning whenever possible. Warner has publicly advocated that Coughlin stick with Manning, even when the youngster struggled, and it seemed he might have a shot to play again. And Warner has never hidden from the media. Today he entered the locker room and said, “Does anybody need me?”

    While Warner is an exceptional gentleman, he is also an intense competitor. It is that fire that helped him win two NFL Most Valuable Player awards and twice lead the Rams to the Super Bowl, including a victory five years ago. At 33, Warner insists he has plenty of good football left in him, a notion that was cemented in his own mind by his play early this season.

    “I’m not going to be content, right now in my career, where I am and what I believe I can do, being a backup next year,” he said. “It’s just the bottom line. It’s nothing against the New York Giants, it’s nothing against the situation, the coaches, the organization. I love my year here. But I’m not content being a backup. I think...
    -12-29-2004, 06:57 PM
  • 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, 11:21 AM
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