Monday, December 01, 2008

Don't go down that road!

Finally. A win, and even better, a win over the Raiders. Praise be the Lord!

Already (and very unfortunately) the KC media have started overplaying their hand – like the poker player who has just drawn a card to the inside of a straight, the pundits are talking up a Chiefs revival led by Tyler Thigpen.

This is a distraction and we've been here before. Last year it was Brodie Croyle who would lead the tribe of the chosen people to the promised land. After his season-ending injury it was anyone who could stand up and throw the ball. Now it's Tyler.

This has got to stop.

If not, we go to the next training camp with a QB controversy. Tyler or Brodie. The scenario is well-known and well-scripted. These two battle it out for the starting job – distracting the team and the coaches from the real business of winning football matches. You end up with a starter who is always looking over his shoulder. There are examples of how disastrous this is and you don't have far to go. Just look at the Bears and the Bills. Both teams decided to swap horses in a fast-flowing stream this week and got so wet they nearly sank out of sight. The Chiefs must not go down that road.

The management must get smart. Draft a high-profile QB who will start next season. Decide to keep either Tyler or Brodie as backup. Get a franchise QB who will lead the team for the next decade. That is the only way.

Just look at the QB's taken this year. Joe Flacco is doing very well thank you in Baltimore. True, he has a good team to work with; but for a QB taken relatively low in the draft, he is making all the right moves. Over in Atlanta Matt Ryan is leading a poor team steeped in soul-destroying self doubt by the Vick saga to a play-off berth. And, according to the experts this was a poor year for QBs. The brave choice is to take the top QB in the draft – particularly as the Chiefs are likely to be picking in the 3,4,5 slot again.

In the Tyler Thigpen hype we are suffering from at the moment, it is forgotten that last April the Chiefs could have drafted either Ryan or Flacco. Certainly, they could have had Flacco easily He was taken 18th when the Chiefs had already had two picks. To get Ryan, taken at three, might have involved a trade, but it could have been done.

Next year looks a good one for QBs. Pundits are listing two in the top three picks, Bradford of Oklahoma and Stafford of Georgia – one of whom will probably be available when the Chief's turn comes.

The Chiefs must get off the fence and grab one. Fans are rightly getting fed up with the “build through the draft” scenario. This only works if you truly build in all positions. It's time to take a risk. Pay the big bucks. Go for broke. Grab the best QB that fits and give him the team.

If not, five years of mediocrity is almost ensured.

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