He's Seen This Picture Before
Sep 10, 2008, 8:50:08 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ
Maybe it has something to do with the No. 33.
Maybe this seemingly impossible task that Herm Edwards has of keeping quarterbacks healthy comes down to a pox upon his football house thatís tied to those 33 interceptions he had during his 10-year NFL playing career.
Could the quarterback gods be paying him back? Silly, you say? Then explain why this Sunday, Edwards will make his 15th quarterback change in his last 51 games as a head coach.
Do the math: thatís a change at quarterback every 3.5 games. We arenít talking about sending a guy in to mop up at the end of a bad loss or big victory. No, itís 15 times since the opening day of the 2005 season that because of injury or performance, Edwards has scratched out one quarterbackís name and written in another.
Edwards just sighs at the subject.
ďRight now, Iím not sure I know anything else,Ē Edwards said.
Maybe this is a curse on a defensive minded head coach, although Bill Belichick didnít have the same problem until just few days ago. Same for Tony Dungy.
Quarterbacks get hurt all the time and any coach in the game long enough has to deal with the ramifications. But Edwards story is unusual and continues this week as Damon Huard steps in for Brodie Croyle, who suffered a shoulder injury last Sunday in New England.
As Edwards said on Tuesday, when a team puts its eggs into the basket of a young quarterback, they hope they remain in one piece.
ďWhen you build your offense, youíre building around that guy,Ē Edwards said of the quarterback, and in this case Croyle. ďYou try to build a system that he can handle and that he can be successful in. So when they miss time, thatís bothersome Ö when he comes back, heís got to stay healthy. Thatís key for him and key for us. If he can stay healthy we feel like we can win with him and we can do some things in our offense to make it go.Ē
Making it go has been a problem for Edwards and his offenses, and a big reason has been the quarterback shuffle. Letís start with the Ď05 New York Jets opener, ironically in Arrowhead Stadium against the Chiefs. Chad Pennington was the starter that season. In game three he suffered a rotator cuff injury that ended his season. His replacement Jay Fielder suffered a shoulder injury himself and was done for the season.
Brooks Bollinger, in his second NFL game, started next. He was replaced by veteran Vinny Testaverde who at the time was about 120 years old. Twice, Bollinger went in and replaced Testaverde in the next four games, before replacing him as starter. In the seasonís 10th game, Bollinger and Testaverde were both hurt, bringing in emergency quarterback Kliff Kingsbury. Bollinger started the next week and for the rest of the season, replaced once by Testaverde.
Thatís 16 games and seven QB moves.
Edwards moved to the Chiefs in Ď06 and Trent Green, an ironman until then, went down in the seasonís first game. Huard replaced him for eight games until Green came back and finished out the season. That was a calm year, with 17 games and two changes.
Then came last year, where Huard started the season, but went out three different times with minor injuries in the first nine games. Eventually, Croyle replaced him, made two starts and then had to come out with a back injury. Huard came in for a week then Croyle returned for the final four starts. But he had to leave the Detroit game because of a wrist injury.
Thatís 16 games and five changes.
Now the Ď08 season has begun and already with just one game, thereís another change.
Is it the types of quarterbacks Edwards has on his roster? Is it something in the teamís training methods? Is it the water? A simple answer to his quarterback woes evades detection by the head coach.
ďIf there was some way to change this, you donít think I would?Ē Edwards said. ďItís football. Players get hurt. It just happens that our quarterback is getting hurt.Ē