Chiefs coach Edwards has no problem with outspoken players Print
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Tuesday, 25 September 2007 13:38
NFL Headline News

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -Damon Huard, who became Kansas City's starting quarterback almost by default when Brodie Croyle had a bad preseason, is apparently on a very short leash.
Coach Herm Edwards confirmed Tuesday he thought seriously about yanking the 34-year-old veteran when the Chiefs generated only 56 yards of total offense in the first half and fell behind Minnesota 10-0 on Sunday.
``Yeah, to tell you the truth. If we kept struggling and weren't able to move the ball, yeah,'' Edwards said.
In the second half, coaches went away from a running game that was being almost completely stymied by Minnesota's putting eight and sometimes nine or 10 men in the box, and started throwing downfield. Huard wound up hitting 20 of 29 passes for 206 yards, including the go-ahead 16-yard TD pass to Dwayne Bowe in the fourth quarter of a 13-10 win.
``I'm a pretty patient guy, and I sat there and waited,'' Edwards said.
``In my mind, I let it go for a couple more series and then if it doesn't get going, I have to do something to get it going. You don't like doing that, but that's why you have patience.''
Croyle, 24, was expected to win the job because Edwards wants to go young. But the second-year pro from Alabama had three turnovers and played poorly in the preseason, and the job went to Huard, who played well last year in relief of an injured Trent Green.
``You don't make an emotional decision. If you do that you will be making a lot of switches and you don't do that,'' Edwards said. ``You go by your gut and you see if the thing works itself out and it did.''
Edwards also said he had no problem with the way his players stomped around and yelled as they got frustrated in the first half against the Vikings.
``I'm OK with that as long as you don't cross the line,'' Edwards said. ``It's all in the competitive environment, and I think that it goes on all the time. This has gone on in sports forever. The thing that kind of makes it unique now is that there are so many cameras.''
Staring at an 0-3 start if they didn't get something going offensively, Huard and running back Larry Johnson were both visibly upset near the end of the half. At one point, Huard and tight end Tony Gonzalez were seen going almost jaw-to-jaw on the sideline. Johnson on Monday even joked that he wasn't sure who Huard was yelling at and that Johnson was ``yelling at anybody who would listen.''
At halftime, Edwards confirmed, ``players were mad at coaches and coaches were mad at players.''
But after hardly throwing to anyone in the first half except Johnson and backup tight end Kris Wilson, the Chiefs started unlimbering their passing arm. They squeezed out a win mostly by striking vertically to Gonzalez and wide receiver Bowe.
So did the staff comply with the players' pleas for a different offensive approach?
``No, not really,'' Edwards said. ``Not at all. We caught some balls, and then all of a sudden we got going. That was our plan in the first half. But all of a sudden, when you're not hitting the passes, you have to understand what's going on in the game.''
It's not that he doesn't listen to players, Edwards said.
``I let them vent because most of the time (when) players vent, there are a lot of things that go into it,'' he said.
``I've always found out this: When a player comes to the sideline you say, 'What are you mad about?' and he says, 'Coach, this is what happened.' Then you show them the picture and it shows them that didn't really happen. They might have thought it happened, but the picture says that didn't really happen. You have to understand that, and I think as a former player like myself, you understand that.
``Good coaches listen to players. And I do a lot of that on the sideline when I go visit with them,'' he said. ``I say what are they doing, what do you think this guy is doing? I know one thing - when you go to a receiver, they're always open.''
 

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