Is Brodie Ready? … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

Brodie Croyle had six minutes to get showered, dressed and off to a meeting, so he did not have time to speak with the media horde Thursday afternoon between practice and meetings at the Chiefs facility.

“Got to go, can’t be late,” Croyle said, his wet hair flapping as he moved swiftly out the door of the locker room.

There is little doubt now that when it comes to the first offensive series of Sunday’s big AFC West showdown between the Chiefs and Chargers in San Diego, No. 12 will be in the huddle and taking the snap from center Casey Wiegmann.

“I don’t look at it like a scramble situation,” head coach Todd Haley said of the preparation to get Croyle ready to play this week. “He’s prepared and if it comes to fruition, we’ve got to be ready to go.”

Sometime Friday afternoon the Chiefs will declare the status of appendix-less starting QB Matt Cassel as either “out” or “doubtful”. If there was any chance – there wasn’t – that Cassel would play on Sunday, he would have been on the practice field Thursday. He was nowhere to be seen.

Haley spoke Thursday about his rule that players have to practice to play. The Chiefs have a 90-minute Friday practice and then a walkthrough practice on Saturday. The heavy lifting of preparation week is pretty much done.  

“The policy is that you have to have some semblance of practice,” said Haley. “Again we’ll see as the week plays out exactly where we are.”

Croyle hasn’t played since he knelt down on the final play of the Chiefs 17-13 victory over Green Bay in the final pre-season game on September 2nd. There have been opportunities where he could have taken the field, including in two of the last four games. The Chiefs were blown out at Denver, losing by 20 points. They won in Seattle by 18 points.

But Cassel ended up taking every snap in those games and the other 10 games as well. It’s obvious that Haley doesn’t think mop-up duty is that important for keeping a backup quarterback sharp.

“I think where you are in some of those games, where you aren’t going to be throwing the football a lot, that you are going to see anything that you wouldn’t see in practice,” said Haley.

Croyle allowed that he gets about three or four plays per practice with the No. 1 offense during the week of preparation. As hard as the Chiefs practice each week, those few plays do nothing to re-create the live action of game day.

“It’s been a long time, all the way back to training camp for Brodie,” said Haley. “We had a play clock on the field (Thursday), working time simulation; that’s something a quarterback misses when he’s not playing.

“We talked to our defense about taking a great deal of pride with our show team this week. To really try to up the ante for the look that the offense is getting; the guys understood that. If it should happen that he plays, I know the guys will embrace that opportunity to help him have his best day.

“We would have had (crowd) noise anyway but we made sure that was up to the top level. Cadence would be an issue; center and quarterback exchange is something we’ve worked on. We work on those types of things all year with our quarterbacks. That’s why you do those type of things, so when something does come up, you are not scrambling to be ready to go. That’s how you prepare your team.”

One guy who is sure that Croyle will step up and handle the starting assignment is his backup this week, Tyler Palko. Promoted on Wednesday from the practice squad, Palko has been with the team since March and worked all through the off-season, training camp, pre-season and into the regular season with Cassel and Croyle.

“He’s worked hard and deserves a shot,” said Palko. “I’ll be there to back him up but I hope you don’t see me. This is Brodie’s time.”

Haley doesn’t think the other players on the Chiefs roster need to amp up their intensity level to make up for the absence of their starting quarterback. It should already be amped with all that’s on the line in this game.

“It’s the fourth quarter of the season and the level of intensity has to step up if you want to be a good team,” Haley said.


The Chiefs will join 15 other NFL teams that have had to use more than one starting quarterback during the 2010 season because of injury or performance. That means half the league has needed more than one quarterback in the starting lineup this season.

The league’s 32 teams break down like this:

  • Change (15) – Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Jacksonville, Miami, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, Tennessee.
  • No Change (17) – Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minnesota, New England, New Orleans, New York Giants, New York Jets, St. Louis, San Diego, Tampa Bay, Washington.

This week, the Chiefs will have a change and so may the Vikings, pending the condition of Brett Favre’s right shoulder. It’s hard to imagine Favre’s streak of 297 consecutive starts will end, but that is a possibility with his injury. He did not practice on Thursday.

In the 2009 season, there were 19 teams that used more than one starting quarterback and 13 that got by with the same man.

Only nine teams have gone through the 28 games of the 2009-10 seasons with the same quarterback: Baltimore/Joe Flacco, Cincinnati/Carson Palmer, Green Bay/Aaron Rodgers, Houston/Matt Schaub, Indianapolis/Peyton Manning, Minnesota/Brett Favre, N.Y. Giants/Eli Manning, New England/Tom Brady, and San Diego/Philip Rivers.


The Chargers announced on Thursday that they had met the minimum number of tickets sold to lift the local television blackout in southern California. That puts the Chiefs and Chargers on free TV.

And that’s good news for the Chiefs. No.1, Chargers fans are not the world’s most rabid group of people. If they can stay home and watch on television, rather than spending their time fighting traffic and watching from a dilapidated Qualcomm Stadium, they will stay home.

No. 2, it’s the holiday season and there’s going to be a lot of traffic at the malls and shopping centers. Especially for a No. 3 reason: the weather is supposed to be outstanding, sunny and high in the law 80s. At this time of the year, that’s a helluva day anywhere, even in Shangri-La like San Diego. I don’t think many folks are going to out to take that day and use it to see a .500 football team against a Chiefs team that lacks superstars.


  • NFL – fined Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman $5,000 for a hit out of bounds last Sunday after an interception.
  • 49ERS – assistant head coach/secondary coach Johnnie Lynn resigned for personal reasons.
  • PANTHERS – signed QB Brian St. Pierre off their practice squad.
  • SEAHAWKS – signed OT Breno Giacomini off their practice squad.

15 Responses to “Is Brodie Ready? … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • December 10, 2010  - Josh says:

    Bob, I hate to say it, but the title of this article is misleading. Is Brodie ready? According to his coach and teammates, sure. But here’s a man with a perfect losing record about to take the helm of a ship that’s finally been righted after four years, in what many consider the most important game of the year for the team. What’s different? A better O line, running game, and a maturing receiver. Can Brodie’s body handle the hits? Have his throws gained any finesse, or is he still throwing concussion grenades? Is he seeing more of his check-down options? Is his wife still hot? I know you’ve had little to no visibility in practices, but the Chiefs nation really needs some PremiumBob assurance going in to Sunday.

  • December 10, 2010  - Chuck says:

    Iam SORRY guys, but I have no faith in the 0-9 Brittle Brodie. I have seen enough of him over the last couple of years. It would take alot to change my mind. Look for lots of incompletions and look for a tremendous pass rush to shake him to his bones. Going to probably be a looooong day on sunday. 8 and 9 in the box to take away the run.

  • December 10, 2010  - Edward says:

    Chargers are going to be La in a few yrs with all these blackouts. As for Croyle starting he should do fine. He’s been on team since Haley been hired so their not going have to dial back the playbook. Chargers should be worried because if they put 8 or 9 in the box he’s going to attack them down the field with that rocket of an arm.

  • December 10, 2010  - Edward says:

    I think guys need cut Croyle a break on his record. A lot of his record has more to do with his injuries with him not finishing games and also with lack of talent he’s had when he was in there. Here’s what in looking for out of Croyle will he not force balls in tight coverage like in the past because he knows he’s got strong arm and will he make more touch throws. Sometime he zips passes in there when the throw needs just a little touch. He has best Chiefs team around him that he’s ever had since getting drafted on both sides of the ball. Looking back at that Ravens game he played in last year I expect him to do fine.

  • December 10, 2010  - el cid says:

    Do not think we have much choice, it is Croyle or Palko. I really do not want to find out more about Palko.

    If SD expends everything to stop the run, Croyle has an arm. So if our receivers can find open areas, Croyle probably can hit them. But if SD plays to keep eveything in front of them, could be a long day. Short runs and passes, just waiting for the mistake, fumble, drops, or ints. It is tough with Cassel out (never thought I would say that and I did not hate him anyway).

    My usual beating boy, Pioli. The genius grabbed Palko with the first move at the end of last year. Might have considered a “tired old veteran” as #3, but no. So Brodie, hope your helmet fits, grab a ball and get ready.

  • December 10, 2010  - s_house says:

    I would be shocked if that stadium isn’t packed, this is a do or die game for san diego and their fans know that…

  • December 10, 2010  - aPauled says:

    The #1 rushing attack in the NFL has to be Croyle’s best friend. (Same way the Raiders beat the Chargers last week.) The O-Line, RBs and Receivers have to rally around him. If we can run the ball, Croyle doesn’t have to throw much and we keep Rivers off the field. Good combo. Croyle did almost lead us to a victory against Baltimore in the opening game last year. As long as we don’t get behind early…I still like our chances.

  • December 10, 2010  - tuan says:

    people keep talking about the other team D will put 8 or 9 man in the box to stop or run and make or QB beat them with passing game. aint that what they been try to do all year and guess what we still lead the league in rushing so stop it.please
    stop being scared and give another team too much credit. the game it play on sunday and the field not on paper and or radio..

  • December 10, 2010  - matt says:

    The team is more than one player

  • December 10, 2010  - Kiowa says:

    Run Charles Ruuuuuuuun!!

  • December 10, 2010  - Jimbo says:

    Yes, Brodie is ready. He is the reason I am stoked to see the game this Sunday. He will be exciting to watch albeit nervous exciting. I don’t think the Chiefs will skip a beat with him on the field. Our running ability and subsequent game plan allows for a mediocre passing QB to manage a dink and dunk type offense. Smart football?…yes. Limiting turnovers?…yes. Matt Cassel has done a great job managing this offense. What he lacks in passing skills, accuracy etc. he makes up for in mistake free football.(not literally)

    I don’t see Brodie as a step down from Cassel. Granted he has’nt played since pre season and has minimal practice with the starters. Hopefully he will be smart and protect the football. I think the offense is designed specifically to accomplish this. Obviously this only pertains while we are in a close game, not a blowout.

    Relax Chiefs fans. Prepare for an exciting game that includes a rocket launching display at no additional fee. The key to a Chiefs victory is simple. Brodie stays healthy and protects the football. (god save us all).
    Go Chiefs.

  • December 10, 2010  - harvey says:

    Brodie did pretty well against the Ravens D last year (arguably better than SD). He was in a brand new offense and he did not get help from leading rusher LJ – 11 rushes for 20 yards. He threw 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. Haley said after the game that Brodie gave us a chance to win.

    Matt is our #1 guy but I think Brodie will get it done.

  • December 10, 2010  - bhive01 says:

    Will someone answer Josh’s question? Is his wife still hot?

  • December 10, 2010  - Jimbo says:

    Yes, Yes she is.

  • December 10, 2010  - Butler says:

    I think Brodie will do Just Fine after all he will be leading a much better offense and that Rocket Arm could be Lethal to the BOLTS

    Go Chiefs Go after all we are a TEAM at LAST !!!!

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