The Chiefs made it plain on Monday that the performance by Tyler Thigpen (left) against the Jets on Sunday got their attention.
Of course, there are no guarantees, either (same article):
They will move forward with Thigpen, Ingle Martin and Quinn Gray for now, although that’s not set in stone either. What seems definite is that Culpepper is not going to be part of the equation.
Since Ingle Martin is not generally considered a can’t-miss QB prospect, and Quinn Gray has been let go by 3 teams since nearly fueling a comeback against KC back in 2006, foregoing Daunte Culpepper means that, for now, Thigpen will be given a chance to show he can lead the team to win. The Chiefs apparently believe they don’t need a veteran QB with a demonstrated history of being able to win, which says they think Thigpen can be that QB.
Now, Daunte really hasn’t been that good without Moss. As bad as Huard has been lately, even he clearly has more of the “savvy vet” ability than Daunte. Signing Daunte would be an admission that this season is a failure, that there is little to salvage from this season other than figuring out which young guys to keep and which to cut. It would be an admission that the foundation of the team, the QB, cannot be found this year. It would be an admission that the team will again start fresh next season with a rookie QB drafted this offseason. It would set back the rebuilding process by a year, maybe even two years. We wouldn’t be able to count on being competitive until 2010 at the earliest, and most likely not until 2011. And if that drafted QB busted, we’d stink even longer.
No, foregoing Daunte indicates that the team leadership believes we can build a team around Thigpen now. It doesn’t mean Thigpen will be the QBOTF, but it means that we are trying to build a team identity. It means the Chiefs believe that Thigpen is good enough to help develop Bowe, Bradley, Cottam, Charles, and maybe even Franklin, Webb, and/or Robinson into decent NFL receivers. It means the Chiefs believe Thigpen can help develop the O-line into a cohesive unit. You need a QB that can actually have a good chance to win to get everyone to work together well. You need a QB that can deliver the ball accurately and quickly for WRs to fully develop their route-running skills.
Thigpen might not be the Franchise QB we’re looking for. But he’s shown he has the brain and the arm (and the legs, too?) to be worth taking the rest of this season to develop. And he gives hope to the rest of the team that they can win this year. Maybe even this week. Thigpen will help build the offense’s identity, and even if he isn’t the right one, he will help determine the QBOTF by establishing the type of QB we would get to improve on him.
Hope is important. Hope helps forge a team.