View Full Version : "It Ain't Easy Being Green" Huard to be Respected

09-14-2006, 01:32 PM
Coyer not taking Huard lightly, making sure his D respects the KC O.

By Lee Rasizer, Rocky Mountain News
September 14, 2006

ENGLEWOOD - Right now, it ain't easy being Green. But it might be just as difficult serving as his backup this week.

Trent Green's severe concussion will end his starting streak at 82 games and has opened the door for Damon Huard to start his seventh NFL game Sunday, when the Kansas City Chiefs play the Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High (2:15 p.m., CBS 4).

The question is whether the second-stringer is walking into a hornet's nest.

The Broncos (0-1) have treated backup quarterbacks rudely during Larry Coyer's three-plus seasons as defensive coordinator.

In seven games since 2003 going against primarily the No. 2 quarterback, the Broncos are 7-0, winning by an average of about 30-10. The replacements have completed 53.1 percent of their passes with four touchdowns and six interceptions.

"I think you get lucky with stats like that. These guys rally, and this is a class organization and they're a talented group," Coyer said Wednesday about the Chiefs (0-1). "This is the best offense in the league now. That's what you're looking at. And it hasn't changed any. They'll operate the same with or without (Green), and they'll rally. And they'll be highly motivated."

Huard isn't an average backup. He has learned behind Hall of Famer Dan Marino in Miami and was Tom Brady's caddie with New England, winning two Super Bowl rings. Huard is 5-1 in games he has started.

"It's not like they're going to fall over and die," Coyer said.

Huard's appearance Sunday after Green was KO'd was his first since Dec. 27, 2003. He entered a 23-10 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals trailing by 14 points and couldn't rally the Chiefs. Huard has not started since Nov. 26, 2000.

"We've got to help him, obviously," Chiefs coach Herman Edwards said. "We can't put it all on his shoulders. But it's good to have a veteran guy like that."

Edwards has seen firsthand what the Broncos defense can do when it smells fresh blood.

While with the New York Jets last season, Edwards was without starter Chad Pennington, and the team practiced all week with Brooks Bollinger running the first team, the plan being to take advantage of the backup's mobility in the bootleg passing game.

A concussion on the third play brought in Vinny Testaverde and foiled the preparation, and the Broncos posted their first shutout since 1997.

The Broncos also won road games in 2005 against Kelly Holcomb of the Buffalo Bills and, predominantly, Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers in reserve roles. Billy Volek of the Tennessee Titans, Doug Flutie of the Chargers, Rick Mirer of the Oakland Raiders and Jim Sorgi of the Indianapolis Colts suffered similar losing fates the previous three seasons.

"It's hard for starting quarterbacks against this defense," said Broncos assistant head coach Mike Heimer- dinger, who was Edwards' offensive coordinator last season. "And in this league, if you play a backup and it's his first time out there, it's tough. Playing a defense like ours, which is as good as it is, makes it doubly tough."

Yet look no further than the Pittsburgh Steelers' Sept. 7 performance in the league's first regular-season game this year - Charlie Batch filled in for Ben Roethlisberger with two touchdowns and no interceptions - as proof the task is not impossible.

"Underestimation can get you beat," Broncos safety Nick Ferguson said. "So our thing is to worry about ourselves."

It will be odd for the Broncos to see a Chiefs backfield minus Green, maybe more than one without injured running back Priest Holmes. The two- time Pro Bowl quarterback has been a fixture in the rivalry, starting 10 times in the past five years.

"We have a week to prepare for somebody, so it will be easier," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "Usually, when somebody goes down in the game, that guy comes in and you are not really sure what his strengths and weaknesses are, especially if he hasn't played for a while."

Broncos defenders knew little about Huard before in-depth film study Wednesday, but Coyer was part of a staff with the University of Pittsburgh in the mid-1990s that played the quarterback's Washington team and pointed out two overriding traits: mobility and "nobility."

"He looks calm back there, even though he's a backup watching him in there," Broncos defensive tackle Demetrin Veal said.

It's perhaps a safe assumption the Broncos defense will bring extra attackers to disrupt the backup and force quick decisions, given Huard's lack of playing time.

It also stands to reason the Chiefs, playing against a team that was unbeaten at Invesco Field during the regular season last year and is unbeaten against Kansas City at home since 2001, will lean heavily on running back Larry Johnson to take the pressure off Huard.

But, Coyer cautioned, "sometimes what you think may not always be the truth."

Kansas City passed more than it ran it (35-20) during Week 1. Protection issues resulted in seven sacks, and Johnson, who rushed for 1,750 yards last season, carried 17 times for 68 yards.

"Early in the season like this, you would expect a team to be conservative," Broncos cornerback Domonique Foxworth said. "But he's been in the league for 10 years, so I don't think they're worried about what they're going to get. So we'll prepare as if we're going against Trent Green."


Copyright 2006, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

09-14-2006, 01:34 PM
"It's not like they're going to fall over and die," Coyer said.Huard just might

09-14-2006, 02:03 PM
So they are acting like they might be worried a bit about Huard.

I'd be more worried about Jake 'the fake'.

Psyko Tek
09-14-2006, 03:42 PM
they are, I spent all day talking to bronco fans
they are very worried about which jake will show up

'cause KC can kick field goals too

09-14-2006, 04:24 PM
"It's not like they're going to fall over and die," Coyer said.

No it will take the DL to ensure that.