Monday, November 12, 2007

For The Chiefs, Bears And Others, The Future Is Now

I've taken a lot of shots at Eric Mangini this season, but I will give credit when credit is due. When it was obvious that the Jets' season was done for, Mangini made the proper call of putting in Kellen Clemens over Chad Pennington, getting a jump start on the young quarterback's future. Other head coaches around the league have got to start considering this move. What halts most of these decisions is that the coach believes his team still has a chance to compete, and he doesn't want to be seen as "throwing in the towel". Of course, that is completely valid. If you look at last year's Broncos, Mike Shanahan clearly conceded the season when he replaced Jake Plummer with Jay Cutler. The Broncos had a legitimate chance of making a playoff run, but Shanahan opted to start the future early instead of giving his team the best chance to win.

However, for a handful of teams, it is time to make the change. First off, let's look at Kansas City. Franchise hopeful Brodie Croyle came into the game late on Sunday against the Broncos, but it was only because starter Damon Huard was knocked out of the game. Watch SportsCenter, and you will hear about how the Chiefs' fans were booing Huard. In reality, they were booing Herm Edwards' decision not to throw in Croyle for a struggling Huard. Croyle came in, and he didn't look all that bad. He was much better than Huard was during the game, and for much of the season. Even though the AFC West is anybody's for the taking, the Chiefs have no shot at winning in the playoffs, and now is the perfect time to get Croyle started.

The Bears are a different story. After replacing Rex Grossman earlier in the season, Brian Griese was knocked out of Sunday's game against the Raiders. Grossman came in, threw a perfect 59-yard bomb, and led the Bears to victory. I know Grossman is Jekyll and Hyde, but Chicago needs to know before the end of the season if they need to get a new quarterback, and starting Griese solves nothing. Perhaps Grossman losing the starting job is the push he needed to get back on track. Personally, I do not believe that is the case, but what other options do the Bears have at this point? They are not a good football team, so letting Grossman have one more crack at being the starter couldn't hurt.

Miami's position is perplexing. Even though they are on the road to a winless season, Cam Cameron still refuses to start rookie John Beck over the lifeless Cleo Lemon. The only reason for this has to be that Beck hasn't shown that he is ready to be a starter, but you know, so what? Neither was Ben Roethlisberger, but he figured it out real quick when the team needed him. What better way to get the kid on the right path then letting him play the second half of the season? Nobody is worse than the Dolphins right now, and Lemon has proved game after game that he is not the guy. Take advantage of the losing season, Miami.

A few more quick hits.

For Baltimore, Steve McNair is done. Kyle Boller is the same age as Tony Romo, so let him have his chance of reviving this dead offense. Putting McNair out there makes no sense whatsoever. Nevermore.

I'm curious to find out how far along JaMarcus Russell is, because the Raiders are going nowhere in a hurry. As with Miami, they need to get their guy out there as soon as possible.


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