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QB quandaries (cont.)

Posted: Thursday May 17, 2007 10:43AM; Updated: Thursday May 17, 2007 12:25PM
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Rolling the dice (cont.)

Daunte Culpepper says he'll be 100 percent ready to go when Dolphins training camp opens.
Daunte Culpepper says he'll be 100 percent ready to go when Dolphins training camp opens.
Doug Murray/WireImage.com

Miami -- The Dolphins are a mess at quarterback, with the Trent Green trade in its third month of limbo and Daunte Culpepper's injury-addled career resulting in its own version of purgatory. The draft raised more questions than it answered after the Dolphins decided on the wholly unpopular move of bypassing Brady Quinn in the first round and taking BYU's John Beck in the second.

There are league observers who believe Beck and the Dolphins could be a poor match, since he's not very big and his West Coast-style game might be ill-suited for the tough, physical brand of cold-weather football that three of the four AFC East teams play. If he ever makes it to Miami, Green is your starter this year. But that just serves to delay the franchise's discovery of the next Dan Marino another season.

Cincinnati -- You want to make a Bengals fan shudder? Just mention that NFL vagabond Doug Johnson (four teams in the four years from 2003 to 2006) is the only veteran hand behind Carson Palmer. That's a considerable drop-off for a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, and even riskier in my view than New England having the relatively untested Matt Cassel behind Tom Brady. Palmer, after all, has been hurt at least once significantly. Brady has never had a major injury.

Kansas City -- The Chiefs might in their heart of hearts want Brodie Croyle to seize the day and win the starting job this preseason, but I say that idea will look laughable by mid-August if veteran Damon Huard is given a level playing field on which to compete. Huard out-performed Trent Green at every turn last season, so it's hard to imagine him not handily beating out the unproven Croyle. Huard's a short-term fix to be sure (he'll be 34 in July), but he's not Vinny Testaverde. And the guy can play a little. He had a 98.0 passer rating last year, and went 5-3 as a starter, with 11 touchdowns and one pick. Unless the Chiefs are willing to dump the season as part of Croyle's development, Huard gives them their only shot to win now.


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