Chiefs' quarterback battle is all even

RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- So far, there's no clear leader in the competition between Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard to become the Kansas City Chiefs' starting quarterback.

But that could change as soon as Saturday night.

"It's even. It's been good competition," Coach Herm Edwards said. "Now we get into the games."

Croyle and Huard both know how they play in the team's four preseason contests -- starting Saturday night in Cleveland -- will ultimately determine who wins the job vacated after Trent Green was traded in June to Miami.

"It's going to be about who moves the chains, doesn't turn the ball over and scores some points during the preseason," Huard said. "That, and who Herm's gut tells him to go with."

Edwards said he's going to make sure both quarterbacks get a chance to work with the first team during the preseason.

"The key is giving both of them a chance to be successful," Edwards said. "We've got to make sure both of them have the opportunity to play with the best players so we can see how they really play."

Croyle will get the start against Cleveland, while Huard will start in the Chiefs' Aug. 16 game against Miami, Edwards said.

Against Cleveland, Edwards said he wants to see Croyle's ability to run the offense, a trait considered to be Huard's greatest asset.

"Managing the game and not getting too excited about having to make all the plays," Edwards said. "Let the players around him make the plays."

Croyle said he's not worried about how he handles the offense.

"That's the job of a quarterback, to manage the game," he said. "I've been doing it for a lot of years. It's just a matter now of going out and doing it at a higher level."

The strong-armed Croyle, 24, was a star at Alabama before the Chiefs took him in the third round of last year's draft. He saw limited action in two games as a rookie, completing 3-of-7 passes for 23 yards and a pair of interceptions.

"(Brodie) has a very good arm and he feels very comfortable throwing some balls where you kind of close your eyes and hope it gets in there," Edwards said. "But that's the learning process. He's a talented guy and can throw the ball in all places."

Huard, 34, has been in the NFL for 11 seasons, the past four with Kansas City. He became one of the surprise success stories of 2006, throwing for 1,878 yards, 11 touchdowns and just one interception while filling in for the injured Green. Huard helped the Chiefs earn a playoff berth by going 5-3 in eight starts after Green went down in the season opener with a head injury.

Huard said he's happy with the way he's performed in training camp and that regardless of who gets the starting job, he and Croyle will maintain their good relationship.

"He's a really easygoing guy and we get along really well," Huard said. "Brodie and I have talked about it, and we're going to be supportive of each other no matter what."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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