The Kid With The Golden Arm, by (Big) Matt Christopher


From the moment I heard about Matt Cassel’s appendectomy, I knew how this was going to play out.  It was just so obvious.  I considered writing an article Friday “predicting” Croyle’s inevitable terrible game, but restrained myself.  The thought of the comments I was sure to receive made me shudder.

I don’t know why so many people insist Brodie Croyle has a great arm.  It can’t be based on anything he’s done for us in an actual game.  When Brodie starts, the offense doesn’t move and we lose.  Every time.  Yet here we are in year five of his career, and people are still talking about what a great downfield passer he is.  And it isn’t just the “everything is awesome all the time” crowd, either.  I know plenty of smart football fans who were legitimately excited to see Croyle in action yesterday.  A few were even predicting he’d outshine Cassel.  It was mind-boggling.

I’ve been called a hater many times this year (mostly by angry mouth-breathers* with atrocious grammar), and obviously I don’t appreciate it.  But if you want to call me a Brodie Croyle hater, I’ve got no problem with that.  Because while I might not hate the man personally, I definitely hate seeing him play quarterback for my football team.

*The irony is that those accusing me of “hating” always seem so hate-filled themselves.

I’m sure excuses are being fabricated for Croyle even as I write this.  I’ve read several already.  The most popular seem to be a) “He only got to throw 17 passes!” and b) “It wasn’t Croyle’s fault; the team let him down!”  These ignore the fact that the reason he only threw 17 times was because he couldn’t convert a third down to save his life.  The rest of the team played poorly, no doubt.  But I think this game would’ve been very different with Cassel under center.  We probably still lose, but we don’t humiliate ourselves in the process.  Cassel would’ve converted a few third downs and at least moved the chains and put some points on the board.  The humiliation was pure Croyle.

If there is one silver lining to the beat-down we suffered yesterday, its that any talk of Croyle becoming the starter can officially be put to rest.  It should’ve been put to rest years ago.  Yes, the guy whips short passes really hard.  That doesn’t mean he has a good deep ball, and it certainly doesn’t mean he has “all the tools.”  If this playoff-threatening catastrophe was the last piece of evidence needed, then so be it.  The case for Brodie Croyle as NFL quarterback is officially closed.

A Croyle retrospectacus from your boy Big Matt after the jump:

In a way, I feel bad for Brodie.  He probably knows now that he’ll never again be a starter.  But the thing is, he should never have been a starter in the first place.  People forget this, but we didn’t start hearing about Croyle as a starter until after Clunt (Clark Hunt) spoke to the media about our need to “draft and develop a quarterback.”  At that point Herm Edwards, ever the opportunist, started pimping Croyle in an effort to make it look like he and the owner were always on the same page*.  He talked  predominantly about leadership and intangibles, as the third round pick had done nothing whatsoever to distinguish himself up to that point and, realistically, should never have been handed the starting job.

*Herm did this same thing when Carl Peterson “stepped down” (was fired).  Tried to act like it was something he and Clark had decided upon together.  The reality is that he too was surprised, and was desperately attempting to save his own job from the second he heard about it.  In one interview he said he knew Carl’s departure was imminent and that he and Clark had discussed it.  When he was asked when this happened, his answers became increasingly vague.  A few days later Clark Hunt revealed that he hadn’t consulted Herm, and I jumped for joy.  Because it was at that point I knew Herm was probably next.

But handed the job he was, and when the Hard Knocks cameras came to town, they immediately seized on the “young gunslinger vs aging veteran” storyline.  Herm’s fake smile was all over TV screens across the country talking about how Croyle can make throws nobody else can make.  All of the sudden, leadership and intangibles had morphed into a golden arm.  The show ran with it, fans ran with it, and here we are three years later with half the fan base still thinking this bad quarterback could break out at any time.  It isn’t going to happen.  The Brodie Croyle experiment is over.  It’s time to finally let Hermkenstein’s monster die.

Personally, I don’t even like having Croyle on the roster.  And it isn’t just his terrible record or abysmal play.  An injury-prone backup quarterback is a bridge to the third string, nothing more.  If Croyle has to play even 3 games in a row, chances are he will get hurt.  I don’t see any value in having a guy like that on your roster.  Especially when he also isn’t good.

Sorry Brodie-backers, but the party is over.  Even with the box stacked all day, your boy simply couldn’t make the throws.  He never could.  This is why even when I wasn’t high on Cassel, I knew he had to be the starter.  He is our only option.

The good news is Oakland’s goose is cooked and we’re still one-up on San Diego.  That loss to the Raiders last week really was a gift.  Even after an embarrassing blowout defeat, we still control our own destiny.  I’d rather be a Chiefs fan than a Chargers fan right now.

One last thing: I’d like to congratulate the Tin Man on his first NFL sack yesterday.  No joke, no snark, just a simple congratulations.  I didn’t think he’d get a sack this year.  He now leads Dorsey 1 to .5.  This, mine friends, is a good old-fashioned barn-burner.