QB battle getting interesting

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 14, 2004

One’s won a Super Bowl ring.

The other just received his college class ring.

But Kurt Warner and Eli Manning do have one thing in common: they both deserve the starting quarterback job for the New York Giants.

The question still remains, who will receive the job?

First-year head coach Tom Coughlin has some important debating to do.

Both quarterbacks have found multitudes of success as starting trigger pullers at different levels.

Warner passed for a record 414 yards and won Most Valuable Player honors in 2000 by leading the St. Louis Rams to a 23-16 win over the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. Warner erased Joe Montana’s old Super Bowl record of 357 yards in Super Bowl XXXIII.

Manning finished his college career with a total of 9,984 yards and 86 touchdowns, breaking the previous Ole Miss career records of 6,413 yards by Romaro Miller and 56 scores by his father, Archie (1968-70).

Manning’s passing yards and total offensive yardage rank fifth in Southeastern Conference records, while his pass attempts and completions rank fourth. His 81 touchdown tosses rank third and his 86 total scores (81 passing, six rushing) rank fourth in SEC history.

Earlier this week, Warner and Manning put on impressive shows during a seven-on-seven drill at Giants practice. Both showed off their skills and much promise.

Many critics believe Warner will be the starter opening day at Philadelphia on Sept. 12. I beg to differ.

Manning displayed great composure and leadership while with Ole Miss. Some may say the NFL is much different, but I believe things of the same nature are only as different as you make them.

Manning has jumped into the NFL like Michael Jordan used to jump to the hoop, arms up, feet spread and nothing getting in his way. Only one of Manning’s arms is cocked and ready to fire.

Warner may be the veteran, but I don’t know if he’s back to his old self and can take the beatings he used to. Muhammad Ali could only take so many hits.

Warner used to be a dominating force on grass, turf and even smothered by three defensive men. But I believe not getting much playing time the past couple years may get him hurt.

Either way, I believe the Giants may have the best quarterback duo in the NFL and will do well.

They have the old dog that can teach the tricks and the pup that could use a good mentor.

Adam Prestridge is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. He can be reached at 382-3111, ext. 122 or by e-mail: adam.prestridge@greenvilleadvocate.com