View Full Version : GRETZ: Go West Young QB

04-04-2007, 06:33 AM
GRETZ: Go West Young QB
Apr 04, 2007, 6:21:20 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ

The question has come on almost a daily basis in this current Chiefs off-season: can Brodie Croyle play?

The answer is simple: nobody knows. The Chiefs sure donít, since his playing time was minimal and his practice time was limited during his rookie season. So at worst, heís right where he was at this time of the year 12 months ago: a third-round pick with potential.

There remains only one way to find out if heís equal to that lofty first-day choice and thatís to get him on the field. The competition is open and Croyle will get the chance to earn the first chair with the offense.

It seems a drastic move to some. But the Chiefs may not have a choice because of whatís happened in the AFC West over the last year. The quarterback landscape has changed dramatically in the division. In todayís league, where there are only two wildcard spots in the playoffs, itís imperative that a team keeps up with the division and has a fighting shot at winning the four-team parlay every year. Itís a whole lot easier than waiting until the last day of the season, and then hoping that three other teams lose.

That the AFC West has gone young at quarterback is a serious understatement. Check out the situation at quarterback in the eight NFL divisions based on the current landscape, which includes Trent Green, no longer part of the Chiefs and Jake Plummer retired:

The AFC Westís position at the bottom of the experience pile is one of the most stunning developments of the last 12 months. Itís not only how inexperienced the divisionís passers are, but how lacking in starting experience they are compared to the rest of the league. The NFC East and NFC North have quarterbacks with more than six times as many starts as the AFC West looks like it will have in the 2007 season.

Going into the 2005 season Ė just two years ago Ė the AFC West had 364 starts just among the four starting quarterbacks: Kerry Collins, Jake Plummer, Trent Green and Drew Brees. Going into the 2006 season, the division had 306 starts between Plummer, Green and Brooks.

If the season were to start tomorrow, there would be 43 starts between Philip Rivers, Damon Huard, Andrew Walter and Jay Cutler. If Croyle were to become the Chiefs starter, that number would drop to 29 NFL starts. If the Raiders use the first pick of this yearís NFL Draft on a quarterback and insert him into the starting lineup, that number would drop to 21 starts.

Right now the quarterback with the most starting experience in the division is Patrick Ramsey, who signed with the Broncos after being released by the Jets. All of his starts came with Washington. Billy Volek is the backup to Rivers in San Diego and he has 10 starts with Tennessee.

Any NFL team cannot react simply to what others are doing in their division. But as competitive as the AFC West has been over the last few years, it would be crazy for the Chiefs not to take the changing landscape into account. Of the eight divisions established with the realignment for the 2002 season, only two have seen every team win the division at least once in the last five years: the AFC West and the NFC South. Year in and year out, the Chiefs are in the most competitive division in football.

This is not to say that Cutler is the next Elway, or that Rivers is the second coming of Dan Fouts, or that if the Raiders select JaMarcus Russell or Brady Quinn they will solve their quarterback problems.

If the Chiefs had a veteran starting quarterback who was 30 years old, this wouldnít be a point of discussion. But if they are going to keep up with the young guns in the AFC West, they too must have a bullet in the chamber. Whether that means Croyle is the starting quarterback this year or next, the Chiefs must head in that direction. They must find out if he can play.

If he canít, then theyíll have to reach back into the draft and find a quarterback who can. Itís the nature of the beast, especially the beast called the AFC West.

04-04-2007, 06:38 AM
which includes Trent Green, no longer part of the Chiefs

Does Gretz know something that hasn't been officially announced? This wording just struck me as odd.

04-04-2007, 06:43 AM
Does Gretz know something that hasn't been officially announced? This wording just struck me as odd.

could it have been he ment to say the chiefs plans? either way...

04-04-2007, 06:49 AM