PDA

View Full Version : MERRILL-- What to do with Damon?


Chiefs Pantalones
11-05-2006, 01:50 AM
What to do with Damon?
Huards stock has risen, but the Chiefs have said Green will start once hes healthy.

By ELIZABETH MERRILL
The Kansas City Star


Now that Trent Green is back in uniform, and inching closer to his return, its time for another quarterback controversy question for Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson.

Carl, how will you keep Damon Huard after the season?

The question seemed meaningless in March, when the club signed him to a one-year, $750,000 contract as an insurance policy. Then Green went down in the season opener with a severe concussion, and Huard has emerged as one of the NFLs most consistent passers.

The Chiefs reiterated again that Green will be their guy once hes ready, and that could be next weekend at Miami. That means Huard will go back to the bench and possibly oblivion. Because a good quarterback is hard to find in the NFL, Chiefs fans are already wondering where that will leave Huard at the end of the year.

You might ask him, Peterson said. I think he likes it here. He knows the organization and the people he works with. He likes his role. Im not going to speculate on where well be in March. Im just relieved and glad hes here. And hes the essence of a team guy.

Peterson made a point to say there were critics last winter when the club didnt make a push to keep Todd Collins, the No. 2 guy in Kansas City before he went to Washington. The Chiefs drafted Brodie Croyle in the third round in April, and the franchise has said Croyle is the quarterback of the future.

But Huard has given them something to think about in a 4-2 run as the Chiefs starter. He threw for 312 yards last week against Seattle and played with a groin strain. He has earned the trust of his teammates and has elevated Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez back to pre-2005 numbers.

Huard played the part of good soldier again last week when asked about the future. He said hes focused on the Rams and is ready to go back to backup when Green comes back.

Would I like to be a starting quarterback in this league? Absolutely, Huard said. I think everybody aspires to that. I dont think guys play the position to be a backup. But you know what? Thats the role that I have in my position right now, and thats what Im doing. And if something happens in the future, then great.

I cant worry about tomorrow. I have no idea. Anything can happen. I just worry about today, this week and the Rams.

Rams coach Scott Linehan, who worked with him at the University of Washington, calls Huard a good guy who deserved his chance. Huard has backed up Tom Brady and Dan Marino, but said last week that hes never considered himself unlucky.

Hes playing football. He has another chance.

Damons always been a type of guy to do what hes doing now, Linehan said. Im just really impressed that he came into the league as a guy that needed to prove himself, and everywhere hes gone, whether it was Miami, or New England, or now Kansas City, hes never disappointed when theyve called his number.

Huard, 33, didnt know where hed be once the 2005 season ended. His stats or lack thereof didnt merit a lot of consideration from other NFL teams. He has repeatedly said that the fact that people are calling his situation a quarterback controversy is good because it means hes doing something and the Chiefs are winning.

I mean, I hadnt played in five or six years, he said. So really, the only teams that were going to be interested in me were someone who knew me, a coach who knew me, or the Chiefs. So that really only left it to a handful of teams. A couple of teams.

That number is about to grow.