QB Battle Has Clear Leader

There has been much debate, banter, posturing and side-stepping dialogue about who will be the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007. You'll read a great many things over the next three months but when the dust settles there is only one clear choice. Though the Chiefs have stated the competition is open, to me it's already closed.

The Chiefs have five quarterbacks in camp. Three will make the team and only one will start. Trent Green is en route to Miami (sooner or later). He's not going to be a factor for this team in 2007. There are 100 reasons to keep Green, but a very important one not to.

The head coach wants to move in another direction. Herm Edwards has made it clear he needs an efficient quarterback in his offense. He doesn't need to be flashy or stylish, he just needs to get the job done.

This offense needs a quarterback who can deliver short passes on third down, hand the ball off to Larry Johnson and occasionally use play action to set up a deep pass.

It doesn't need a wily veteran with a price tag of $9.2 million, even though I think Green has at least one more year left in his tank. Damon Huard was re-signed in the offseason and promised nothing. He had an idea that Trent Green was probably moving on, but realized Brodie Croyle would get an opportunity as well. He's been told he'll have a chance to vie for the starting job, but it might end up being a limited one.

That leaves the young gunslinger from Alabama the clear front-runner for the job.

Edwards will do whatever it takes to rebuild this roster from top to bottom by sacrificing veterans on the decline for younger players with potential. But more importantly each player has to fit into next season's offensive and defensive schemes.

On Sunday, Croyle and Huard spoke to the media and each said the right things. Croyle wanted no part of the Green controversy. He was humble about his development from last year to this year, realizing that he has to earn his position. He was also direct about the confidence he has in himself as a starter.

Huard believes he has a shot at the starting gig. There was zero question a year ago he was the team's best quarterback. It wasn't close, and who knows what kind of roll he could have gone on had he started in the playoffs.

Maybe the outcome would have been different, but at least the Chiefs and Edwards learned they had to make a change at the quarterback position in 2007.

That change has occurred. Oh sure, there will be some drama over the next couple of months and we'll talk about the quarterback battle with the same vigor that we discuss other position battles.

We'll give it the same courtesy we gave Lawrence Tynes after the Chiefs drafted Justin Medlock in April. Where is Tynes now?

Where will Green be come September? We know where Croyle will be - in the opening huddle against the Houston Texans.

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