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Archive for Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chiefs leaning toward Huard

Edwards likely to bench Thigpen for Denver

September 24, 2008

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— Saddled with a 12-game losing streak, the rebuilding Kansas City Chiefs may decide they need a win more than a long look at a young quarterback.

Without coming right out and saying so, coach Herm Edwards strongly hinted Tuesday that veteran Damon Huard probably would get the nod on Sunday against Denver and that second-year man Tyler Thigpen would return to the bench after one start.

"I'll decide on that tomorrow. Sleep on it a little bit more," Edwards said. "I'm leaning that way. I've got to address the team, exactly what we're going to do."

Most of the players probably feel that Huard gives them the better chance of upsetting the unbeaten Broncos and snapping the longest losing skid in franchise history. After Brodie Croyle was injured in the season opener at New England, Huard came in and nearly pulled off an improbable victory before losing, 17-10.

In eight starts for an injured Trent Green in 2006, Huard was 5-3.

But making the switch also means the Chiefs (0-3) will not have had the same man start at quarterback two games in a row all year, a confusing lack of continuity for what is already the youngest team in the NFL.

"When you lose your starting quarterback, it's tough," Edwards said. "Then you have to move on, and that's what we've done. What's hurt us more than anything else, I think, when you look at us, we haven't made a lot of explosion plays in the passing game. I think we have exactly three plays over 20 yards in passing. We have eight runs over 10 yards."

In his first NFL start last week at Atlanta, Thigpen was 14-for-36 for 128 yards and a touchdown in a 38-14 loss. He played much better after a rough beginning. But he also threw three interceptions, including one that was returned 10 yards for the Falcons' final touchdown.

"You anticipated that the first time the guy starts, that he's going to be a little high-strung. And he was," Edwards said. "He threw a lot of high balls. He threw some balls that you wish you could take back. We've given up 30 points on turnovers so far this year, and that's hurting us. We gave up 17 in that game."

Huard hit 10 of 16 passes for 135 yards against Oakland on Sept. 14 before hurting his neck and leaving the game. Although much more experienced, he's also less mobile than Thigpen or Croyle, who is expected to be out until Oct. 19 against Tennessee.

In giving Thigpen the start last week, Edwards pointed to the top-to-bottom rebuilding process the Chiefs began this year and said he wanted to get a look at the former seventh-round pick from Coastal Carolina.

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