Archive for Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Chiefs sticking with Huard

September 18, 2007

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— There'll be no drastic changes in the second-lowest scoring team in the NFL this week, Kansas City head coach Herm Edwards said Monday.

Damon Huard, knocked woozy in the final minutes of Kansas City's 20-10 loss on Sunday to Chicago, will be under center when the 0-2 Chiefs play Minnesota on Sunday in their home opener.

"Damon will be the starting quarterback," Edwards said. "He hasn't done anything to lose his job. The offense is not just one guy. Sometimes we look at the quarterback position and say it's the quarterback. I don't put it all on his play, it's on everybody."

The Chiefs, with Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson apparently still rusty from his training camp contract holdout, scored only three points in an opening season loss to Houston. They did get their first touchdown of the year on Sunday at Chicago - but that was on a broken route by rookie wide receiver Dwayne Bowe who cut in front of tight end Tony Gonzalez in the end zone and effectively stole the pass from him.

Among all NFL teams, only troubled Atlanta has scored fewer points than the Chiefs, who also ranked just 28th in total yards. Huard, who won the job virtually by default when second-year man Brodie Croyle played poorly in the preseason, was 19-for-28 for 175 yards and one touchdown and one interception. In the final minutes, Croyle came into the game and played just long enough to look promising, hitting 4-of-4 for 55 yards and igniting in the minds of some an instant quarterback controversy.

Also, new kicker Dave Rayner had a field goal blocked and the Chiefs lost one of two fumbles.

Most depressing to fans and players alike were the five trips inside the 25-yard line that produced no points.

"In comparison to what we did from Week 1 to Week 2, I think this team is going in the right way," said left guard Brian Waters. "Do I expect any changes? No. We feel good. I think we feel like we made some strides. We feel like we've still got some areas we need to get better at. We gave ourselves a shot. We just need to take advantage of our opportunities. We did some things well."

The offensive line has been spotty as well. But Edwards said he contemplates no changes.

"Not at this point, no. We're going with the same guys," he said. "We've played two games thus far. Both have been on the road and now we're coming home. I think our crowd will give a boost to this team and bring a lot of energy. We've got to help, though, and do some good things on offense."

Johnson was limping around at the end of the game, but Edwards said he and Huard would be ready by Wednesday.

The lackluster performance on Sunday was "a rough outing," agreed running back Michael Bennett.

"Hopefully, we can learn from all our mistakes and get better this week. Collectively, we're doing some great things," he said.

"It's the little things - a tipped ball here, a dropped ball there. A fumble. A penalty. It's the little things that are correctable. We're working hard. we're going to have to get more out of ourselves collectively."

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