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Catch-Up Time For Croyle

Posted Sep 1, 2010

Having missed the past two games, Croyle has a chance catch up on game reps vs. Green Bay

Todd Haley and the Chiefs coaching staff haven’t finalized the players’ play-time schedule for tomorrow night’s game against Green Bay, but it’s a pretty safe bet that we’ll see a lot of QB Brodie Croyle.

A year ago, most of the starters were seen exiting the Chiefs fourth preseason game by the start of the second quarter. Throw in the fact that Croyle hasn’t seen a game snap since the preseason opener in Atlanta, and it only furthers the assumption that he’s going to see plenty of live action against The Pack.

“I’d like to play a lot,” Croyle said. “There’s nothing like game snaps. You can take all of the practice snaps that you want, but once you get into the game and see the blitzes and see the speed, you can’t simulate that.”

Croyle had been sidelined with an arm injury for the past two weeks and only began throwing in full earlier this week.

As it turns out, Croyle’s injury wasn’t such a bad thing. He appears fine now and his absence allowed the club to see plenty of Tyler Palko. The Chiefs know what they have in Croyle, but Palko entered camp as somewhat of an unknown commodity. During the two games in which Croyle was held out, Kansas City only used two quarterbacks. The end result got Palko on film for 42 pass attempts and a variety of different game situations.

Now that starter Matt Cassel has had ample time to work with the new weapons that surround him and the team has seen plenty of Palko, it’s time to get the team’s top reserve quarterback back into the flow of things.

“I think it’s a fair statement that he’s missed a considerable amount of time that adds up pretty quick for a quarterback,” Haley said. “I think the snaps that he can get will be positive, that’s for sure.”

 

Whatever the setting, gameday snaps are important for any quarterback regardless of their place on the depth chart. For backups, the preseason is one of the few times to prepare for the speed of things that wait should their number be called; and it can be called at any time.

Once the regular season hits, Croyle’s role shifts to that of the scout team quarterback. He’ll run carded opponent plays for the defensive side of the football and, as a result, take limited snaps with the offense. If training camp practices don’t match the speed of preseason games, show-team reps don’t come close to touching the speed of a regular season game.

“It’s just a matter of keeping yourself prepared, knowing the game and knowing what’s going on,” Croyle said.

To keep prepared, Croyle readies himself with a load of film study, mental reps and by seizing practice snaps whenever they are brought in his direction.

“You prepare as if you’re going to be the starter, and if you don’t prepare, you are doing yourself an injustice,” Croyle said. “If an instance happens in which you have to go in there and you’ve said, ‘I’m just going to cut film short this time,’ or ‘I’m not going to go over my game plan one more time,’ or ‘I’m not going to draw up all the pass plays’ - the moment you do that, you’re cutting yourself short and when you’re presented with an opportunity you aren’t ready for it.

“During the season, if there are 12 (practice) plays, I might get two of them or I might get none,” Croyle continued. “It all depends on how Matt feels and if it’s a new play or something that he needs to rep. It is all mental reps and that’s basically what it’s been for me over the last two weeks.”

Croyle made a spot-start for an injured Cassel in the 2009 season opener at Baltimore. At the time, the Chiefs knew it was a possibility that Cassel would miss the opener, so they extended Croyle in the fourth preseason game to help him ready for a possible start. He responded with by turning in the Chiefs first quarterback rating of 100.0 since 2006 (min. 20 attempts).

Croyle’s call for regular season action could come soon, but it’s also possible that it never comes at all. Either way, Croyle has to be prepared and Thursday night is likely one of his final opportunities to ready in a gameday setting.

“You can learn a lot from (watching), but it always helps to get the reps,” Croyle said.

 

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