Giants in no rush to play Manning

Kurt Warner's early success has allowed the Giants to take their time in grooming rookie Eli Manning.

Updated: October 5, 2004, 5:54 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Kurt Warner
Quarterback
New York Giants
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp PaTD RuTD Int Rat
114 77 2 1 1 93.8
Kurt Warner's hot start, completing 67.5 percent of his passes with a 93.8 quarterback rating, has given the Giants the luxury of making Eli Manning's rookie season a developmental year similar to Carson Palmer's rookie season. Warner has accomplished his goal of proving he's still an effective starter, and there aren't any injury issues with his right thumb. The Giants entered the relationship not promising Warner anything more than a chance to start, knowing they wanted to play Manning sooner than later. That Warner has put the Giants in the early playoff hunt gives Manning breathing room in making the transition later rather than sooner.

Proper training

Defensive end Patrick Kerney knows his seven sacks in four games in the Falcons' new 4-3 scheme will slide more blocking to his side, but that would be a breeze compared to the past two seasons. In fact, Kerney says playing two years as an end in the Falcons' old 3-4, taking on guards and tackles for 70 plays a game, has made him a better pass-rusher in the 4-3. At 272 pounds, Kerney feels he's better suited to take on tackles and tight ends, particularly with the inside moves he developed playing the 3-4.

Houston's 12th man

Dom Capers' blitzes and fake blitzes are working in sync with the loud Texans fans in driving opposing offenses crazy. In their first two homes games, the Texans have forced 12 false-start penalties, four timeouts and a fumbled snap. Twice on Sunday, Capers sent safeties rushing toward the line of scrimmage and, with the help of the noise, provoked two false starts by the Raiders, who had eight penalties on offense -- seven by offensive linemen.

Right-left combination

Kevin Mawae
Mawae
With his right hand broken, Jets center Kevin Mawae made his 158th consecutive start special by snapping with his left hand Sunday against the Dolphins. Coach Herm Edwards motivated Mawae by telling him Hall of Fame center Dwight Stephenson was able to snap with either hand when injuries hit. The only botched snap was when Chad Pennington said he stepped out early.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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