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Defense Must Get After Warner


When the New York Giants come to Wisconsin Sunday to meet the Packers, they will be led by a familiar face - familiar at least to Brett Favre, and anyone else that was in camp with the Pack back in 1994.

Quarterback Kurt Warner, whose tenure as a Packer pre-dates his now-famous story of traveling from the Arena Football League, to NFL Europe, to superstardom with the St. Louis Rams, will be under center for the Giants.

The two-time league MVP, who also picked up a Super Bowl ring with the Rams, first broke into the NFL as an undrafted free agent when he signed with the Packers out of the University of Northern Iowa in 1994.

Coming off of two difficult seasons in St. Louis, the signal-caller looks to have regained some of his old form as he's directed the Giants to a 2-1 record thus far in the young season.

Linebacker Nick Barnett is not buying into the reports that Warner isn't the same player he used once was, and is prepared to face the quarterback that lit up the league from 1999 to 2001.

"I never thought he was a bad quarterback," Barnett said. "He's a great quarterback. He's a former MVP. He won the Super Bowl. He's not making any mistakes right now. We're hoping to cause him to make some mistakes and take advantage of that, but we've just got to go out there and play."

Defensive end Aaron Kampman, who grew up and went to college in Iowa, is very familiar with the story of the man he will be trying to harass all afternoon Sunday.

"The guy is definitely a legend," said Kampman. "The way he's gone about things and had success in the NFL - he stubbed his toe a little bit in St. Louis - but it looks like he's coming back and having a good season."

The lineman did go on to say that the defense will try to exploit some of the knocks that have dogged Warner over the past few years, such his lack of mobility and the fact that he sometimes will stand in the pocket for a long time searching for open receivers.

"We'd like to take advantage of that," Kampman added. "He does seem, at times, to hold the ball a little bit and as defensive linemen, that gives us a bit of an opportunity to get there a bit more and try to knock him around a little bit."

Barnett expects that the pressure defense employed by coordinator Bob Slowik will be in full effect Sunday, and he knows that they must be more successful in reaching their target in the backfield than in their two recent losses.

"We're always confident that we're going to get home, but it doesn't always work like that," said the linebacker. "We want to get there - we want to bring some pressure - but then again, Kurt Warner's been getting the ball off pretty quick lately, dropping the ball off with little passes or stuff like that.

"We've just got to execute our game plan. Whatever our game plan is, if we're going to bring the heat or if we're not going to bring the heat, we've just got to execute and be players."

Injury Update

The Packers' initial injury report for the week reached double-digits Wednesday, with 11 players listed.

Defensive tackles Grady Jackson and James Lee remain out with their knee injuries. Ahmad Carroll (groin), Najeh Davenport (hamstring), Mike Flanagan (knee), and Mike McKenzie (hamstring) were all listed as questionable for Sunday's game, while Brett Favre (hamstring), Bubba Franks (knee), Marco Rivera (groin), Nick Rogers (ankle), and Javon Walker (knee) were designated as probable.

GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said Wednesday that he hoped to have Davenport back practicing in this week for the first time since he was injured in the season opener at Carolina. He also said that Carroll and McKenzie would run on the side and be re-evaluated.

Franks and Walker were held out of Wednesday's practice with soreness following Sunday's game.

The only players listed on the report who participated Wednesday were Favre and Rogers.

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