Damon Huard Is A Class Act

Before the season started, some people said that Chiefs backup quarterback Damon Huard couldn't get the job done if he was called upon. He did that. Some said that he could never lead the team to victory if Trent Green went down. He did that.

And now he's lost his starting gig and nobody is more supportive about Herm Edwards' decision than Huard himself, who's handled this entire situation with nothing but class and respect for not only himself, but also for the organization.

Huard has been through an emotional roller-coaster over the last nine weeks. For us mere mortals, I expect if one of us were given a chance to lead an NFL team and it was taken away from us, we'd probably act like one of our kids – throw a tantrum and stomp off. Some NFL players do that even today, but Huard isn't one of them. He knew all along that this gig was temporary.

We all speculated that he might keep his job after the Chiefs defeated the Rams two weeks ago, but even the purest of Chiefs fans had to realize that the run would end once the doctors gave Trent Green the go ahead. "All along I knew that Trent Green would be the starter," said Huard. "I am not disappointed. Everybody wants to play and I have said that over and over here."

Two weeks ago I did a one-on-one interview with Huard for the upcoming issue of the magazine, and I found him to be very comfortable in his own skin. He was so down to earth and very genuine. I left the conversation with an understanding that he's all about the team.

Huard is a talented quarterback who unfortunately had the poor luck of playing behind three potential Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks. There is no doubt that Dan Marino and Tom Brady fall in that class. Time will tell if Green makes that elite class, but Huard knows his place on this team and that's good enough for now.

The last thing Huard wants to do is create any controversy whatsoever. He noted that he appreciated the honesty of Edwards, who told him early Wednesday morning that Huard was relegated to his old role as the backup.

Huard took it like a man, but more importantly, as a leader of this football team.

"The decision had to be made," said Huard. "I appreciate the honesty. All along Coach Edwards made it clear that Trent Green was the starting quarterback."

Still, this transition is not easy for Huard, who enjoyed a lot of support from the fans with his solid play at quarterback. He wants to be the starter, and with his recent success he could be a hot commodity next season.

"I have no idea what the future holds," said Huard. "It certainly has been a fun run this year. Hopefully we can win a few more games this year and get into the playoffs."

For Huard, that can't be easy to say, but that's what makes him so special and the ultimate team player. Even in the early stages of his tenure as the starting quarterback he understood that this was probably a part-time gig, and never looked beyond the next game.

But even more important for Huard is the accolades and support he's received from his teammates in Green's absence.

"Guys probably wondered before I took my first snap ‘what is this guy all about," said Huard. "We can watch him in the preseason games or watch him in practice and he might look pretty good, but we all know the regular season games are where it counts. When you win some games like we have in the fourth quarter, some close games, some come from behind, some on the road, gaining their confidence was the most important thing to me."

Now Huard returns to his role as the backup, and he'll do whatever it takes to help Green win games on Sundays.

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