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Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Updated: November 8, 9:06 AM ET
Edwards backs off commitment to reinserting Green

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Herman Edwards has been saying for weeks that Trent Green would replace Damon Huard as Kansas City's starting quarterback when he's healthy. The Chiefs coach appeared to back off the subject Tuesday.

Trent Green

Damon Huard

"The one thing you can never count out is chemistry on your football team, and that is very important," Edwards said. "At this point, I don't have to make that decision. It will be a decision I'll make."

Green could be back Nov. 19 against Oakland, but Huard's excellent play -- 11 touchdown passes and only one interception in seven starts -- has fans split over who they want as the Chiefs' starter.

Radio talk shows have been abuzz and the Kansas City Star conducted an election-type reader poll Tuesday as to which quarterback should play.

After Huard led the Chiefs to a 31-17 victory over St. Louis on Sunday, Edwards was asked if Green would start when he's recovered from a concussion suffered in the opening game.

"Yes," the coach said, echoing a sentiment he had expressed numerous times.

He said Tuesday that his new stance indicates a possible change of heart.

"No, I'm not waffling. What I don't want to talk about (is) a decision I don't have to make in this point in time because that's not important," he said.

"Trent's not playing this week. Damon Huard is the starting quarterback."

General manager Carl Peterson told reporters to drop the line of questioning.

When they didn't, he laughed nervously.

"This question is ad nauseam," Peterson said.

Huard hadn't started an NFL game for six years when Green, a two-time Pro Bowler who'd made 81 consecutive starts, went down in the season opener Sept. 10 with a severe concussion.

Huard is 5-2 as a starter since with a highly impressive quarterback rating of 105.2, second only to Peyton Manning.

He's completed 131 of 203 passes for 1,623 yards. Working behind a weakened, patchwork offensive line, he has saved Edwards' first season in Kansas City and won over the support of a big segment of fans.

Green, on the other hand, is a five-year starter and team leader.

With Green at the controls, the Chiefs have had one of the NFL's most productive offenses the past five seasons, setting a number of league records. Green had more yards passing (20,117) and touchdowns (111) from 2001-05 than any other NFL quarterback than Manning.

Knocked unconscious and carted off the field on a gurney, Green has been working his way back very slowly. He was in uniform in St. Louis for the first time, but Edwards had said he wouldn't play.

"What I don't want to get caught into ... every week we win a game and every week Trent's out, we're going to keep asking the question," Edwards said. "Well, it's not about Trent right now. It's about the football team. That's all that matters."

Green's agent, Jim Steiner, declined to comment.

Huard has maintained a good-soldier approach, insisting his job is to be a backup. But there can be little doubt that he would love a shot at being the starter for the first time in a career that's seen him play second-fiddle to Dan Marino in Miami and Tom Brady in New England.

"If we were the other way, 3-5, we wouldn't be talking about this," Edwards said. "We'd be saying, 'Yeah, when is he coming back? But now, we're winning, and it's, 'What are you going to do when he comes back?

"It's a good problem to have. But at the end, the decision I'll make is the chemistry of this football team. Does it affect it, does it help it more?"

Peterson also denied that Edwards was exhibiting a change of heart.

"I think his point was, 'I don't need to discuss making a decision today that doesn't need to be made today.' That's really what he said. And it's not necessary right now. OK? Obviously, a decision will ultimately be made. It will be his decision."