Damon Huard: One on One

Shortly after he signed a new three-year contract with the Chiefs, Warpaint Illustrated Publisher Nick Athan talked with Damon Huard about his future, the excitement of a new opportunity, the city and his friend, Trent Green.

Warpaint Illustrated: You and I talked in late November about the chances of you coming back to KC. You weren't very optimistic, but this week that changed. First talk about the contract process, and secondly about own your expectations for the 2007 season?

Damon Huard: "We came to a mutual agreement that made a lot of sense for both me and the Chiefs. I'm glad to be under contract for the next three years with a great organization. My family and myself are real excited to be part of the Kansas City Chiefs going forward. As far as 2007, we'll see what happens and I'm just glad to be in the mix. Go out and compete and, who knows, maybe I'll be the starter next season."

Warpaint Illustrated: I read in the local newspaper that you indicated the Chiefs didn't make any promises about you becoming the starter next season. But you didn't shop your talents to other organizations, so you had to feel good about your chances to become the starter in Kansas City, right?

Damon Huard: "There is no guarantee either way, considering my age. There was no guarantee I'd be a starter somewhere else. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. I'm just real happy to be back where I know the offense, the system and the direction coach Edwards is going with this team."

Warpaint Illustrated: How much of an influence did Edwards have on your decision to return? He stuck by you for a long time last season, and I know you well enough that you felt that you could have remained the starter the entire season. He did give you an opportunity and he has spoken glowingly about you.

Damon Huard: "It means a lot. He did a great job in his first year. He changed the culture and the environment. It was a place where guys worked hard. He certainly was a part of me coming back and I'm grateful for the opportunity he gave me. If he hadn't, I might not be playing today."

Warpaint Illustrated: The fans have been talking about the quarterback situation since the season ended. With your signing many are wondering about the future of Trent Green and the possibility he might be traded or released. I'm sure you don't want to see him leave, but talk about the relationship you have with him.

Damon Huard: "I don't know what's going to happen with that situation. It's a business, and a business decision will have to be made by the organization. But I've proven I can work with Trent in whatever capacity, and he's a good friend of mine. But I wish him the best, and we'll just have to see what happens."

Warpaint Illustrated: What kind of offense can this team field in 2007?

Damon Huard: "I think we have a lot of the same pieces in place with the big guns, Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez. Obviously we have some question marks in regards to if Will Shields is going to retire and what Casey Weigmann is going to do. I hope both come back, but change is constant. Change is also good. We have a lot of good young players coming back. We did some neat things last season. Mike Solari, in his first year as offensive coordinator, did a great job last year and he'll get better as he gets more comfortable with the personnel. We're certainly on the up trend. I look forward to getting back to work."

Warpaint Illustrated:Talk about the attitude of this football team from 2005 to 2006. There appeared to be some friction between the offense and the defense before Herm Edwards became the head coach. I thought one of the interesting things he did was to put offensive and defensive players next to each other in the locker room. Talk about the different mindset in the locker room today.

Damon Huard: "It's a working environment where everything is done so much faster. The schedule makes so much more sense from a learning standpoint, and from a recovery standpoint with the body. He really understands what's best for the team. And down the stretch, the wear and tear and the practice schedule was different. I think the guys bought into that, and I think with the defense playing better there wasn't a division in the locker room that had been there in the past."

Warpaint Illustrated: Your career has taken many turns over the last 10 years, but you've become a fan favorite in Kansas City. What kind of message do you have for those fans that have supported you this past year?

Damon Huard: "I've never been in a football town quite like KC. Maybe you could say Boston, with the Patriots, but this is the best stadium I've played in. How loud they are, and all the support, that was a big reason why I wanted to come back and be a Chief. It's an unbelievable place to play, especially when you win and you come off that field. There so much history and tradition, I'm just glad to be a part if it."

Warpaint Illustrated: I know you grew up in Washington, but every time I talk to you it seems more and more that Kansas City has become home for you.

Damon Huard: "It certainly is, especially with football. I kind of have two homes. Most of my family is (in Washington), but football is down here and I have a lot of great friends in Kansas City. The city has a lot to offer, but it's a very fun place to play football."

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