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Coughlin sticks with alternate QB plan

ALBANY, N.Y. -- 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."

Manning didn't seem upset, adding Coughlin has a plan and he
will make a decision when ready.

"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.

Warner has completed 12 of 18 passes for 120 yards and one
interception, which was returned for a touchdown. Manning is 16 of 28 for 208 yards.

It is possible the numbers might not decide the starter, Warner
said.

With the big investment in Manning, the Giants might want to
accelerate his learning by starting him right away, Warner said.

"There are also intangibles where I have been to two Super
Bowls and won two MVPs," Warner said. "I have been there and done
it. There are intangibles on both sides. Leadership plays into
it."

Most teams tend to name their starting quarterback for the
season before the third game so the starter gets the majority of
snaps in practice and most of the work in the first three quarters
of the third game.

The first unit usually only plays a couple of series in the
preseason finale, trying to avoid injuries.

"This is interesting," receiver Amani Toomer said. "I have
never been in a quarterback-type situation like this, where at the
end of the preseason you don't know who the starter is going to
be."

Center Shaun O'Hara said the Giants, who are coming off a 4-12
season, are in good shape at quarterback.

"They are both great quarterbacks capable of leading a team to
the Super Bowl," O'Hara said. "This is a great situation. We have
two starting quarterbacks and they are both going to be on our
team."