View Full Version : RAND: Huard finally catches a break

03-01-2007, 08:28 AM
RAND: Huard finally catches a break
Mar 01, 2007, 2:49:48 AM by Jonathan Rand - FAQ

One of the strangest quarterback careers in recent NFL history took another strange turn this week. The Chiefs and Damon Huard agreed on a three-year deal that kept Huard off the free-agent market and made it clear he’ll get every opportunity to be the starter this year.

Based upon Huard’s 2006 performance – a 5-3 record as a starter and a 98.0 passer rating – he’s the quarterback you’d most like to see under center for this year’s opener. Incumbent Trent Green ended last season in sharp decline and Brodie Croyle, entering his second season, needs a lot more development.

This signing might mark the first time in Huard’s career that a team truly rewarded him for a good performance. You know how some guys get all the luck? Huard’s been one of those guys always under a cloud. His odyssey through the NFL has been a real head scratcher.

He started out as Dan Marino’s caddy in Miami and finally got a chance to play in 1999, his third season. When Marino was injured at New England, Huard, despite spending half the game on his back, threw two touchdown passes and led a 31-30 come-from-behind victory. He proceeded to go 4-1 as the starter before Marino returned.

Marino retired at the end of that season, yet a year later Huard couldn’t beat out Jay Fiedler, an ordinary quarterback, for the starting job in Miami. So in 2001, Huard moved on to New England, where he figured to back up Drew Bledsoe. But there was also a sixth-round draft choice named Tom Brady, who was enjoying a strong rookie showing in training camp. Huard got to watch Brady lead two Super Bowl victories.

Upon coming to Kansas City in 2004, Huard couldn’t beat out Todd Collins, a seldom-used journeyman, for the backup role behind Green. Even when Collins moved on in free agency, Huard became the backup by default. Former CFL quarterback Casey Printers was overwhelmed even in the preseason, and Croyle clearly wasn’t ready to step in.

Now, most of us figure that a bunch of coaches in the league can’t all be wrong about one player — especially a quarterback, one of the most intensely evaluated positions. Yet, Huard last year did everything he could last year to prove all his NFL coaches wrong.

Week after week, we waited for him to turn into a pumpkin, as do so many backup quarterbacks who get on a roll. But the wheels never came off Huard, though his last start, in a 13-10 loss at Miami, was ordinary.

If anyone still considered Huard’s performance a fluke, he dispelled that in the final regular-season game, against the Jaguars. Green briefly left the game because of an injury early in the third quarter and Huard, seven weeks removed from his last start, completed a bullet to Samie Parker.

This guy could fall out of bed in February and throw a dart. Huard added a 40–yard pass to Eddie Kennison and led the Chiefs to their last touchdown of a 35-30 victory over the Jaguars that ultimately landed them in the playoffs.

Yet, Huard still didn’t get the nod when the Chiefs were desperate for an offensive spark during the second half of a 23-8 playoff loss at Indianapolis. An obvious conclusion was that coach Herm Edwards still didn’t place much faith in Huard, who, consequently, would take the hint and try free agency.

But the Chiefs decided that losing Huard, who turns 34 in July, would leave them too iffy at quarterback. Huard decided not to shop a free-agent market loaded with better-known though somewhat-damaged quarterbacks.

Ultimately, the Chiefs and Huard decided they needed each other. Even in the NFL, it’s never too late to make the most of an opportunity.

03-01-2007, 09:17 AM
I think you can explain why Huard never got a chance until now pretty easily.

Dave Wannstedt is an idiot.
Tom Brady was pretty good.
Trent Green was pretty good.

03-01-2007, 09:20 AM
So the trend tells us that Casey Printers will beat out Damon Huard and Damon will be traded to the Raiders for a 3rd round draft pick in 2008

03-01-2007, 09:59 AM
I think you can explain why Huard never got a chance until now pretty easily.

Dave Wannstedt is an idiot.
Tom Brady was pretty good.
Trent Green was pretty good.

You forgot to mention:

Herm Edwards is also an idiot

03-02-2007, 01:10 AM
I think this is the "best" bet based on salaries and a rebuilding year.