Photo courtesy John Sleezer of the Kansas City Star
Last night was the perfect opportunity for Brodie Croyle or Tyler Thigpen to stake their claim to the Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback job. I think the coaching staff wanted Croyle, especially, to win the job last night. He was given the start and plenty of opportunities but, ultimately, didn't pull away.
The best thing Croyle has going for him after last night's game is that his competition, Thigpen, might have pushed himself not only out of the running for the No. 2 job, but off the team completely.
Croyle ended up with five completions on 16 attemps for 85 yards. If he had a touchdown or something, anything to add to his stat line it would make me feel better but, nope, Croyle and the Chiefs weren't able to stick it in. He consistently overthrew his receivers, including two missed opportunities to Dwayne Bowe near the end zone.
What did the head coach think about the quarterbacks last night?
"It’s the quarterback’s job to not take sacks in the red area," Haley said. "We had a couple chances to make big plays throwing it, and we weren’t able to. In general, I would say quarterbacks: average to below. Probably below."
With the exception of the occassional mishap from the right tackle spot, Croyle enjoyed plenty of pass protection, had a rockin' running game and the comfort of a defense that was having it's way with the opposing offense.
In other words, it was a perfect scenario. And he completes less than one third of his passes?
Okay, so Croyle blew it. Enter Tyler Thigpen.
I won't get too deep into what Thigpen or, more appropriately didn't do, last night. 2/7 for 49 yards and two interceptions. He didn't look good. At all.
How, in two short weeks, did we go from arguing we should keep Thigpen until we're offered a third round draft pick to wondering whether he's worth a seventh?
There's one Kansas City sports writer who made said it best, "It probably took all the strength first-time head coach Todd Haley could muster to not suit up and quarterback the Chiefs himself during the second half."
Thanks, Mr. Whitlock.
Frankly, I'm starting to believe if we had signed Matt Gutierrez prior to the June OTAs we would be talking about him as the No. 2 quarterback. In this preseason, he hasn't looked sharp by any means but he also hasn't put out an embarrassing effort like the two other quarterbacks last night.
If Matt Cassel is out for another extended period this season, it's getting to the point where Gutierrez needs to be given a long, long look. It's not necessarily what he's done, but what the others haven't.