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.

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