Young Quarterbacks Galore

Most Chiefs' fans probably think Kansas City's quarterback of the future is already on the roster. Put me down as one of those fans, but there's still the question of who? Brodie Croyle or Casey Printers?

More than half would most likely say Croyle, but I believe that opinion is largely based on seeing Croyle at Alabama last year. There's a lack of game film to compare Croyle against Printers, who played in the CFL the past two years. I did not attend rookie camp or mini camp, but according to reports, this is a close race. Croyle has the edge in arm strength, but Printers' athletic ability is impressive. When you boil it down, this is a great problem to have, and will make training camp and preseason interesting to watch.

Croyle had a fine senior season at Alabama. After suffering through injuries and hearing a lot of hype, Croyle finally got an opportunity. Even with a below-average offensive line (36 sacks allowed) Croyle was able to avoid injury and play a full season. He threw for 2,499 yards and tossed 14 touchdowns against nine interceptions. Croyle has the combination of personality, smarts, confidence and gunslinger mentality that transforms good quarterbacks into great ones. His lack of bulk will keep him out of the starting lineup for a couple of seasons in the NFL.

Croyle also lacks mobility, something Printers has in abundance. Naturally, some see Printers as another "mobile black quarterback" and give him the Michael Vick label. But there's a big difference between Vick and Printers, who looks to pass before he runs. He is an accurate passer with a good arm. The big question with Printers is how his CFL skills will translate to the NFL. Can he do the things that made him the CFL MVP in 2004 (his rookie season), or is he a career backup in the NFL? That question will probably take a while to be answered.

The dark horse candidate to be Kansas City's quarterback of the future is James Kilian, the Chiefs' seventh round draft pick in 2005. His troubles in NFL Europe this season give him very little hope of making the team. He is currently buried on the depth chart behind Trent Green, Damon Huard, Croyle and Printers. There are still some Kilian fans out there, rooting for him to win a roster spot, but it's a long shot.

So who will be the Chiefs quarterback of the future? I have no idea. But that's my point. Nobody knows for sure. The only sure thing is that this preseason will be much more exciting as we watch Printers and Croyle instead of Todd Collins and Huard.

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