Green, Warner Have Similar Styles

Thursday, October 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams can only hope their new backup quarterback turns out as well as the last one.

Just last season, Trent Green was supposed to be The Man in St. Louis. Then, a knee injury in preseason knocked Green out for the year, and allowed former Arena League quarterback and grocery store stock boy Kurt Warner to emerge and lead the Rams to a Super Bowl title.

Now it's Green stepping in for Warner, who was on his way to a second record-setting season when he broke the little finger on his throwing hand last week in a loss to Kansas City.

It's a reversal of last season's story, but Green doesn't expect much to change. He said the offense, in particular, will be the same. It's the same system that was in place when he was injured last year.

``I don't think the offense changed any when I got hurt,'' Green said. ``That was the offense that was in place, and we were running effectively then. And when Kurt stepped in, they just kind of kept things going, and now that it is the other way around, I don't think we are going to change anything.''

After an awkwardly snapped ball sent Warner to the sidelines in Kansas City, Green demonstrated he could still handle the system he was once supposed to direct. He completed 15 of 21 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns.

It wasn't enough, however, to overcome the Rams' poor defensive showing, and the Chiefs won 54-34.

Warner said the system won't need to change, because he and Green are quarterbacks with similar styles.

``We're not going to miss a beat,'' Warner said. ``The thing that's kind of nice about it is Trent and I are very similar type quarterbacks. We're accurate. We're guys that sit in the pocket. We do a lot of the same things.''

The offense under Warner averaged more than 500 yards a game. But San Francisco 49ers coach Steve Mariucci isn't sure his defense can contain Warner's stand-in.

Green ``has a different jersey number,'' Mariucci said. ``Other than that, he's very similar.''

Rams coach Mike Martz said Green is like Warner in that he is most impressive in adverse, high-pressure situations. But he said it would take a while before Green learns to direct an offensive drive as well as Warner does.

``Kurt's speed of play has continued to pick up dramatically,'' Martz said. ``That won't quite be there, obviously.''

After last Sunday's game, Warner said he hoped to return in one week. When doctors said he would not throw for three weeks, Warner said he would play in ``three weeks and a day.''

Wednesday, Warner said he's ``just fortunate that it's only going to be four weeks, and I'll be back out there.''

``I didn't really know how important it was until I broke it,'' Warner said of his right pinky finger. ``The pinky really stabilizes the ball.''