Croyle the Key to the Chiefs Rebuilding Project

Matt BrowningContributor IAugust 14, 2008

In this time of rebuilding in Kansas City, it would be nice to have a young, highly regarded quarterback to build the franchise around.

Based on the numbers from last year, it would appear that Brodie Croyle isn’t that guy. His six touchdowns and six interceptions show nothing but mediocrity. But more importantly, the Chiefs were 0-6 when Croyle started.

There’s no question that the physical tools are there. Some within the organization claim Croyle has as much raw talent as any Chiefs quarterback in the last 20 years, which includes Joe Montana and Trent Green.

The key question becomes, does Croyle have all the leadership attributes that a starting quarterback, the leader of a team, needs? The number of veterans on Kansas City’s roster is minimal, so it’s crucial that Croyle accepts the challenge of being the offensive leader, along with Tony Gonzalez and Brian Waters.

Perhaps even more importantly, can the 25-year old from Alabama stay healthy for an entire season? He missed countless number of games with the Crimson Tide and missed a couple of starts last season for the Chiefs.

It was apparent at times last season that the Chiefs’ offensive system was too complicated for Croyle. That’s why coach Herm Edwards ditched the multiple shifting; multiple motions offense that had been a staple of the organization during the Dick Vermeil era, to a more simplified, run-based system.

Chan Gailey, former Dallas Cowboy head coach, will coordinate the offense. He plans to utilize the athletic ability of Croyle with rollouts and bootlegs. There will be a lot of progression routes with simple reads, which should make life a little easier for the young gunslinger.

If the offensive line and it’s a big if, improves just marginally, then Croyle should have a chance to succeed this season. He has established threats to throw to in Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe, plus the return of Larry Johnson in the backfield.

With the infusion of youth on the offensive line, it should at least be more athletic than last year’s veteran filled front five. But it’s going to have to be a wait-and-see approach as to the productivity of this year’s group.

The time is now for Croyle. If he can make progress and show the organization he’s the quarterback of the future then the Chiefs may make a run at .500. If not, then this team won’t win very many games and the youth rebuilding project will take a substantial hit.

Which ultimately means a high pick used on a quarterback next April and more losing for Chiefs fans, not just this year but for many more.