Chiefs May Keep Spread Offense with Tyler Thigpen at Quarterback

Pete DymeckAnalyst IDecember 13, 2008

Sideline Scouting

Continuing on a published report from the Kansas City Star, Sideline Scouting has been informed that the Kansas City Chiefs are close to deciding on implementing the spread offense full-time for 2009 and having young gunner Tyler Thigpen be the franchise’s long-term solution at quarterback.

The spread offense is simplistic in design for Thigpen, who is in just his second season in the NFL. While the Chiefs have gone 1-7 since the offense was installed, Thigpen’s turnovers have been down while his touchdowns have increased.

Drafted out of Coastal Carolina by Minnesota, this former seventh-round draft pick has looked better than some of the other starting passers in the league. Thigpen was the first player to ever be drafted out of Coastal Carolina. In the second round of the 2008 draft, Coastal Carolina wide receiver Jerome Simpson was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Regardless of where he played college ball, the Chiefs organization will brainstorm whether or not the spread offense headed by Thigpen would work next year. The offense is young. According to reports, head coach Herm Edwards isn’t sold on whether Thigpen will be the franchise quarterback, but even if Thigpen isn’t, the spread formations could still be used next season.

Sideline Scouting has also learned that the Chiefs will still pursue a quarterback in the draft or free agency. High-profile gunslingers like Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell are spread-formation passers, so the learning curve may not be so steep if they were to be selected by a spread offense-established franchise like Kansas City.

Opinions vary on the spread offense, too. Some say it works, but others resist, citing the Chiefs winning percentage.

Quarterbacks generally need time to develop. Peyton Manning did, Donovan McNabb did, and Eli Manning did. The jury is still out on JaMarcus Russell and Trent Edwards. With that said, the Chiefs need to be cautious with how they prepare for the upcoming season, as Thigpen could be the next Tony Romo. On the other hand, he could end up being another Derek Anderson.

Finally, we all know that Thigpen was not drafted by Kansas City, nor was he brought in to become the franchise quarterback. After recent events, he is the best quarterback on the roster and is playing better than some established starters around the league. This decision could impact this franchise and Herm Edwards’ resume for years to come.

Pete Dymeck is the owner of Sideline Scouting, one of the most popular draft sites on the web.