Friday, August 27, 2004

How Much of an Effect Will the Injuries Have?

Heading into the annual summer clash between the Giants and the Jets, Big Blue is going to be a little shorthanded. The following Giants are not expected to play due to injury:

Defensive end Lorenzo Bromell (PUP/knee), kicker Bill Gramatica (back), quarterback Jesse Palmer (abdominal strain), guards Barry Stokes (gluteal strain), Scott Peters (leg), Travis Scott (knee) and Rich Seubert (PUP/leg), tight end Jeremy Shockey (hamstring/foot), defensive end Keith Washington (eye) and safety Gibril Wilson (sprained neck).

Running back Curtis Keaton is questionable with a knee injury.

As a result, these are the changes in the starting lineup: Wayne Lucier will start at left guard for Stokes. Visanthe Shiancoe will start at tight end for Shockey. Osi Umenyiora will start at right defensive end for Washington. Kevin Lewis will start at middle linebacker for Nick Griesen.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Battle Between Manning and Warner Continues

Kurt Warner will start at quarterback for the New York Giants this week, although his competition with rookie Eli Manning for the regular-season job continues. Coach Tom Coughlin announced on Wednesday that the two-time MVP will start Friday against the New York Jets, but that Manning, the No. 1 pick in the draft, will get about the same amount of snaps with the first-team offense.

``It's Kurt's turn,'' Coughlin said of the starting nod, adding that it was his plan all along to have the two quarterbacks alternate starting assignments in the first three preseason games.

Warner started against Kansas City in the preseason opener and Manning got a start last week against Carolina. Manning and Warner were informed of the decision on the final day of training camp at the University at Albany.

Coughlin said he will name a starter for the season opener at Philadelphia on Sept. 12 ``at the right time."

``It really didn't matter to me whether I started or didn't,'' said Manning, the brother of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, last year's co-NFL MVP. ``When I get my name called, I try to go in there and do my job.''

Warner was signed in June to give the Giants a caretaker quarterback until Manning was ready to take over. However, Manning has performed so well the Giants might well put their $45 million prodigy to work right away.

``The bottom line is we don't know,'' Warner said. ``We have no idea. We can't sit here and worry about every play or every mistake. I think our mindset, both Eli and myself, we want to continue to get better, so whatever call is made that person is ready to play and the other one is ready to help them in whatever way they can.''

Statistically, the quarterbacks are almost even in the preseason.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Eli Manning's Challenge

What a way to test a rookie quarterback: Give him his first NFL start against the defending NFC champions and their vaunted defense.

Eli Manning is ready for the challenge. Carolina Panthers are too.

It's a test by Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who is holding tryouts for his starting quarterback spot. Manning, the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, is battling two-time MVP Kurt Warner for the job.

Warner started last week's 34-24 win over Kansas City, giving way to Manning, who went 7-for-13 for 91 yards and no touchdowns.

Manning knows the Panthers will be a tougher opponent, with the foursome of Peppers, All-Pro Kris Jenkins, Mike Rucker and Brentson Buckner eager to jar him a bit. He'll also have to dodge speedy linebackers Dan Morgan and Mark Fields.

``It's a great defense with a lot of good players,'' Manning said. ``It's going to be a challenge. That's when you have to go out there and make smart decisions. When nothing is there, you have to see what you're going to do.''