|10-09-2006, 03:48 AM|
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KC STAR - Huard is getting more than passing grades
Huard is getting more than passing grades
President/GM Peterson says quarterback is ‘doing terrific’ since taking over for Green.
By ELIZABETH MERRILL
The Kansas City Star
GLENDALE, Ariz. | Damon Huard was holding court in front of a bunch of microphones last week, and a Chiefs’ front-office member walking by stopped, listened for a moment and then whispered something to a reporter.
“Did you know he’s No. 2 in the NFL?”
Now, the league knows all about Trent Green’s backup. Huard is deceptively assertive, unflappable and led Kansas City to another victory on Sunday, throwing for 288 yards in the Chiefs’ 23-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Huard gave credit to just about everybody but himself after his 26-for-38 day. He thanked Green for helping him on the sidelines and gave kudos to the defense. He used the word “neat” at least several times.
“It’s a great feeling,” Huard said. “It’s a confidence-builder.”
Across the locker room, Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson said he wouldn’t speculate on whether Green will be ready next weekend when Kansas City travels to Pittsburgh.
“Take this in the right way, but Damon’s doing terrific,” Peterson said. “Not good, but terrific. He’s moving the clock, he’s scoring points, he’s getting us in a position to win.
“I’m glad we’ve got both of them, and young Brodie (Croyle), too. But I couldn’t be prouder of Damon.”
Huard started the season without completing a pass in five years, but he has emerged as one of the NFL’s most accurate passers.
He hit seven of his first eight throws Sunday and rallied the Chiefs from a 10-point deficit with fewer than 10 minutes to play. His biggest throws came in the fourth quarter.
Huard found Samie Parker in the corner of the end zone and tossed a perfect 15-yard pass, and then he hit Larry Johnson with a 78-yard screen that set up Lawrence Tynes’ game-winning field goal.
Huard hadn’t played much since 2000 before Green’s injury, but now he’s 7-2 as a starter.
“I’ve blanched when people use the term, ‘journeyman quarterback,’ ” Peterson said. “I don’t know what a journeyman quarterback is. He's no game manager, this one."
“In the National Football League, if you’re a backup quarterback, you’re a professional athlete. And people forget what his record was when he got a chance to start a regular-season game."
“It’s not his fault he’s playing behind a guy that stayed healthy. He was fine all along.”
Huard smiled late Sunday as he headed for the bus in his suit and tie.
He doesn’t care about the journeyman title. All he knows is that the Chiefs are 2-2 in a season that seemed destined for disaster when Green went down.
“I don’t worry about it,” Huard said. “I just try to do my job each week, just come to work.”