Thigpen, Croyle, Crow

…as I remember it, there were quite a few people who said variations of, “Thigpen will never be good enough to be our full-time starter, because how good can someone be if the Vikings cut him?”  Yes, I’m looking at you, Jason Whitlock.

Have those people officially eaten crow yet?

Now, I’ve always been in Thigpen’s corner as a backup plan to Croyle. I pointed out last year that he did a great job on his one drive; that although he threw an INT in the end zone, it wasn’t a horrible throw, just the sort of INT that even experienced QBs throw on occasion. I also pointed out that his big problem in the game against the Raiders at Arrowhead and against the Falcons was that he started so slow/badly that he put himself and the team in a hole too big to get out of; but that in both those games, he did fine once he got started. I predicted that IF he was ever able to overcome that problem and not start off going 1 of 13 on passes, that he showed some good things and could be a decent QB.

However, I was always more behind Croyle. I thought Croyle had the physical and mental skills and the poise necessary to be a successful starting QB. Even though I thought Thigpen would be a dang good backup, I wanted Croyle to come back and win games as the starting QB.

Now that we’ve seen Thigpen do well several games in a row (without getting a win), and then get a win on a mediocre night, I took a moment to think about what we’ve seen from Croyle last year and this.

Croyle did a decent job at times, and had much less to work with on offense last year. However, in trying to not make bad decisions and bad throws, Croyle was often tentative and rushed this year. And despite having a good arm and decent accuracy, Croyle never really displayed the range of throws that Thigpen can make. It isn’t all because the Chiefs’ O-line sucked at the beginning of this year; Thigpen found ways to make the time to allow him a long throw down the field, or put the ball on a frozen rope to Bowe along the sideline before the rush could get to him. And even though the sideline WR screen toss is harder than it looks, and many QBs will throw too high at times, Croyle often looked panicked/rushed in making that throw, and threw it too high in what seemed like 75% of his attempts.

So even though I ate crow on Croyle not being able to finish a single game, much less the season, and even though I was behind Thigpen as a valid NFL QB from the beginning, I still feel like I need to be accountable for considering Croyle as a better QBOTF than Thigpen. I will eat crow, because Thigpen is clearly far better at the same or lesser level of development. Not just more durable, but more poised, more capable, and more efficient.

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