Croyle is KC's Best Option

"Brodie Croyle can't stay healthy," say Chiefs fans.

Well folks, Damon Huard can't stay healthy either, exiting Sunday's game against Oakland with mild head trauma, and Tyler Thigpen won't be healthy much longer if he continues to run for his life. In fact, there aren't too many quarterbacks who could maintain health behind the current Chiefs offensive line.

"Croyle throws too many interceptions," say Chiefs fans.

Both Huard and Thigpen threw an interception Sunday. Huard has now thrown two interceptions in just 16 pass attempts this season, and Thigpen almost looked like he was trying to throw interceptions.

Numerous Raider defenders had a shot at a Thigpen pass Sunday. From his own 20 yard-line, Thigpen threw two consecutive passes that could have been intercepted. Apparently, not only was he trying to throw picks, he was trying to throw them for touchdowns.

"Croyle isn't a winner," say Chiefs fans.

That's an unfair assessment. Dwayne Bowe has a bad record in a Chiefs uniform, but no one is saying he's not a winner. Glenn Dorsey's 0-2 as a pro, but he's not yet been labeled a loser. This team, as a whole, over the last 18 games has not been much of a winner.

You can't put every win or loss on his shoulders, but what you can do is realize that Croyle is the only viable player this team has at quarterback. After watching today's debacle, I don't see how the Chiefs will win a single game with either Huard or Thigpen at quarterback this season.

Throughout training camp, KC's backup quarterbacks had an ongoing contest to see who could throw the most interceptions in a given practice. Huard's time as an NFL quarterback is done after this season. His gross underthrow on a fly pattern to Jamaal Charles on the Chiefs' first drive was a prime example of his weak arm. People often use the word "finesse" in reference Huard, but that's a misnomer. A better word is weakness. He just doesn't have the arm strength anymore.

As for Thigpen, he's a project. He has good arm strength and he's mobile, but he's too inconsistent. On one play, he badly missed a wide open Dwayne Bowe in the flat, resulting in another Chiefs three-and-out. The flare pass to the flat is supposed to be an easy pass in the NFL, and he couldn't make it. Thigpen has potential, but he's not the guy you want quarterbacking your NFL team at this juncture in his career.

The lesson to be learned here is that the Chiefs go from mediocre to really bad when Croyle is not playing, and there are rumors circulating that he may be out longer than was originally reported (two to four weeks). If that's the case, expect the Chiefs to be picking near the top of the draft again in 2009.

With that said, it's not Huard or Thigpen's fault they're on this football team. President Carl Peterson and Head Coach Herm Edwards share the blame on this one. I'm not sure who's more at fault here, because discussions about quarterback personnel happen behind closed doors.

The Chiefs' decision to keep Huard around is puzzling, as it doesn't go along with their youth movement. He's precisely what John Welbourn, Kyle Turley and Eddie Drummond were last season - a veteran who's lost the ability to perform at a high level. The Chiefs are supposed to be over their phase of throwing incapable veterans on the field in an attempt to squeeze a last bit of productivity out of them. You can flatten out, rollup, and squeeze a bottle of toothpaste all you want, but when it's out, it's out.

There may not have been a slam-dunk free agent quarterback available this offseason, but there were better players than Huard and Thigpen available. There are still better options. Why didn't the Chiefs pull the trigger on Chris Simms? The Titans apparently felt he was better than the quarterback Kansas City passed him up for, Ingle Martin. Other available free agent quarterbacks who are superior to Huard and Thigpen include Daunte Culpepper, Tim Rattay, Kelly Holcomb, Jared Lorenzen and Bruce Gradkowski.

It's not just about free agents this season, either. It's about the Chiefs neglecting the position since Croyle was drafted. Many free agent quarterbacks have been signed in the last three years, and many of them were improvements over what the Chiefs had on their roster.

It was apparent throughout the entire preseason how bad this team would be without Croyle at the helm, and today, that bad team was on display for the entire Chiefs Kingdom. He's not a great quarterback, but Croyle is an NFL-caliber player, something that can't be said for Huard or Thigpen, who may develop into a decent player, but by the looks of what we all saw Sunday, he's not even close right now.

Kansas City's front office should be on red alert. They need to have a sense of urgency about getting a respectable quarterback in Kansas City. If something is not done soon, not only will the feared television blackout become a reality, it will become common place. Chiefs fans aren't getting angry, they're disappearing.

Clark Hunt, I beg you. Carl Peterson, I beg you. Herm Edwards, I beg you. Do something to excite this great fan base before you do permanent, irreparable damage - trade for a quarterback. Brady Quinn is waiting in the wings in Cleveland, Kyle Boller's youth is wasting away in Baltimore, Rex Grossman's getting bored in Chicago, Charlie Frye's riding the pine in Seattle, Brian Brohm is sitting idle in Green Bay. Give up more than market value if you have to, offer Larry Johnson's services if need be, but do what it takes.

The fans in Kansas City have been loyal and patient, and now it's time for a little wink of appreciation. Let them know that you're not okay with being embarrassed like Edwards, Brian Waters, and Glenn Dorsey said they were after Sunday's loss. The fans in this town need reassurance, and it's time for you to give it to them.

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