Brodie Croyle Feels Ready To Start In The NFL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The football came zipping out of Brodie Croyle's hand.

It soared 50 yards and came to rest with perfect precision in the arms of a wide receiver streaking toward the back of the end zone.

Brett Favre couldn't have thrown a more perfect pass. No wonder Trent Green is clamoring to be traded to Miami.

For at least this one play in practice, when the defense wasn't hitting for real, the third-round draft pick from Alabama looked as if he's ready to start in the NFL.

Does he feel like he is?

"I do," Croyle said Sunday.

"If you'd asked me the same question last year, I'd have probably said the same thing. But last year I wasn't. But through a whole year of learning and a whole offseason of continuing to get a little bigger, I feel like I'm ready to go."

Whether he's ready or not will ultimately be Herm Edwards' decision. And there's no way the coach is going to show his hand.

"I have a while to do that," Edwards said Sunday, the final day of the Chiefs' mandatory three-day minicamp. "The competition's been good. You don't rush it. It all takes care of itself."

In the meantime, Croyle, Green and Damon Huard all continue to share the ball equally in practice. Green, the aging starter for most of the last six seasons, waits impatiently for the Chiefs to agree to a trade that will send him to the Dolphins.

He and Miami already have worked out a contract. He maintains Croyle is Kansas City's quarterback of the future and that any competition in the Chiefs' camp will be "weighted" to Croyle's advantage.

Plus, hardly anybody thinks the Chiefs will keep Green and his $7.2 million salary as a backup.

Croyle, a soft-spoken, second-year pro, is doing his best to sidestep all the controversy.

"We've all had the same amount of reps basically the whole time," he said. "I'm going to get my shot, but at the same time I've still got to earn it."

By no means does he view the job as his to lose.

"I view it as up in the air," he said. "As long as I have the best day or the best camp or whatever, then I've got a shot at being a starter."

Croyle made several eye-catching plays during a 90-minute workout in front of about 15,000 fans on Saturday, but also misfired a couple of times.

"I've still got a long way to go," he said. "There were a lot of things Saturday I could have done better. I have a tendency to want to push the ball when I could easily have taken a checkdown. I've gotten better at that. But I've still got a long way to go. I still have the rest of (team practices) and training camp to get ready to go."

Neither Croyle nor Huard, who started eight games last year while Green recuperated from a severe concussion, says the ongoing quarterback uncertainty is a problem.

"Not with us," Croyle said of Green. "He's a pro. He comes in, he's the same Trent. My locker's right next to his. We still have the same conversations we've always had. So it hasn't translated over to us."

But isn't it hard to get a rhythm going with everyone sharing equally in practice time?

"It is," Croyle said. "It would be easier if you took 60 percent of the reps like if you were the starter. But you have to earn that right. You just have to make the most of the reps you get."

As he visited with reporters on the edge of the practice field, it was obvious that Croyle had prepared carefully for all questions about Green and Miami sure to come his way.

"It doesn't do us any good to talk about it. Trent's situation is Trent's situation," he said. "He doesn't bring it into the locker room. He comes out here and practices like he's a Kansas City Chief. Until otherwise, that's how he's going to do it. I have a lot to worry about myself."


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