The one word that came to mind after seeing Thigpen work this morning was: WOW. He threw two picks, and really struggled with his accuracy. The only real positive thing Thigpen did, he did with his legs. He can run really well, and almost seems to throw better on the move, which is good for the bootlegs the Chiefs will be running more of this season. But overall, he was bad.
Thigpen was pulled after throwing his second pick, and Damon Huard got a few reps with the starters. On his second play with the first team, Huard threw a flare pass to Tony Gonzalez, who wasn't looking for it. The ball fell to the ground, and everyone kind of looked around to see who made the mistake. Did Gonzalez miss the audible? Did Huard forget the play?
We don't really know, but there was definitely some miscommunication. Later, Huard badly missed Gonzalez on a five-yard route over the middle.
The lesson to be learned from this morning's practice was simple: the Chiefs are not set at quarterback. Tyler Thigpen is not the answer as a backup, he's a project in the same way Casey Printers was a project.
Many remember the interesting conversation Printers and Director of Player Personnel Ray Farmer had when the quarterback learned he was being cut. It was one of the highlights from the last season of HBO’s Hard Knocks. Printers pointed out that he was able to make chicken salad out of not-so-desirable ingredients.
So far, Thigpen has not shown the same culinary resourcefulness. To be fair, he has not had the chance to play a preseason game yet, but will come close to that experience tomorrow night when his old club, The Minnesota Vikings, visit River Falls.
At this time last year, Thigpen was in Mankato, Minnesota waiting for the Chiefs to come to town. The Vikings released him, the Chiefs released Printers, and the rest is history. Herm Edwards recalled last year's quarterback shuffle after today’s morning session.
“We kind of really looked at him last year when we went over there,” said Edwards. “We knew about him coming out. We liked him. They happened to draft him, and we were able to get him. He's got a lot of friends coming over here too, probably. He's come a long way. We like him, he's got a lot of talent, got a lot of ability. He's going to have to learn, and the only way they learn is play. That's the one thing we've kind of decided to do here.”
Everyone around the league knows that Jared Allen is traveling to River Falls to play against his old team tomorrow night, and most know about his less than chummy relationship with a certain Chiefs executive. But most have probably forgotten that the Vikings also bring former Chiefs cornerback Benny Sapp with them, and that Thigpen is awaiting the arrival of his old training camp buddies.
All eyes will be on # 69, but tomorrow night will give Thigpen the opportunity to prove to Minnesotans that he was worthy of a roster spot last season. The problem is, he still needs to prove to Chiefs fans that he’s worthy of one this year.
So if Thigpen doesn't prove his ability to be a solid backup, and Huard is over the hill, who are the Chiefs going to bring in, and when?
In a previous edition of Cliff Notes, I wrote that if Brett Favre played football this season, it would be in a Packers uniform. I also said the Packers would welcome him back with open arms, and that the Chiefs would have nothing to do with him. I may have been wrong.
While I think the scenario of Favre playing for the Packers is still likely, I have to take back the ideas that the Chiefs would not want him, and that he would not want to be here.
In a conversation Warpaint Illustrated Publisher Nick Athan had with a league source, the indication was given that the Chiefs would be interested in Favre, and that Favre reciprocated. The level of that interest is unknown, and if there is indeed interest, the national media sure hasn't caught on yet.
During Herm Edwards’ daily press conference in River Falls, he didn't exactly dispel the possibility of Favre's situation impacting the Chiefs.
“Who knows what's going to happen with Brett Favre? No one knows,” said Edwards. “That could create some scenarios for a lot of teams, who knows what's going to happen? We can't worry about that. All we can do is coach the guys that are here.”
No matter how much interest the Chiefs have in Brett Favre, the reality of the situation is bleak. The Packers are saying they want a first-round pick, and chances are, the retooling Chiefs wouldn't be willing to part with such a high pick in return for only a couple years of service. A more likely scenario is the addition of another veteran quarterback after training camp is over.
“In my opinion, there's always going to be some veterans at the end of training camp that are out there looking for jobs,” said Edwards. “You can always go that route if you'd like.”
Will the Chiefs go that route? We can't be sure, but the one thing that is for sure, is that such a move wouldn't be made until after the preseason.
“We've got a young group of players we want to get on the field, and let them play,” said Edwards. “We're going to coach them. They're going to get better.”
The future is uncertain for a lot of the players here in River Falls, and there are a lot of cuts to be made. At least 27 of Herm's campers will not be a part of this team come week one, and there may be some players who aren't here right now that will don the red and gold in Foxboro on the seventh day of September. Buckle up and sit tight, because this preseason could be one wild ride for fans, and it’s the most important one for the Chiefs in years.