Tough NFL Debut for Printers


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Jan 22, 2006
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Tough NFL debut for Printers
Former CFL quarterback throws an interception, loses a fumble and is sacked five times.
The Kansas City Star
HOUSTON | - Casey Printers stared blankly into his locker in the cramped visitors dressing room at Reliant Stadium, apparently oblivious of the small crowd of reporters waiting to speak with him.
When he was interrupted from his trance, Printers was mentally dragged back to the nightmare that was his first NFL game. Printers replaced Trent Green at quarterback for the Chiefs in the second quarter of their 24-14 preseason loss to Houston and couldn’t be blamed if he wanted to head back to the Canadian Football League.

Printers completed six of 12 passes for 71 yards, more than half of which came on a 44-yard pass to Chris Hannon late in the game.

Along the way, Printers threw an interception, lost a fumble, had an intentional-grounding penalty that cost the Chiefs a field-goal attempt and was sacked five times.

As NFL debuts go, this wasn’t the stuff of dreams.

“He’s got to go through that,” Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said. “It’s the growing pains of a quarterback.

“He was a little jittery at times. But he made a great throw (to Hannon). He kept his poise for the most part. He lost it a couple of times. That’s the process of trying to let a young quarterback play.”

Edwards said he never seriously considered yanking Printers, even for the quarterback’s own benefit. Edwards had little realistic choice but to stay with Printers.

The only other available quarterbacks were Green, whom Edwards didn’t want to subject to an injury, and Jeff Smoker, who signed only Wednesday.

Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle were injured and didn’t suit up.

“I just don’t pull the rug out from underneath the quarterback,” Edwards said. “He’s going to learn a lot from this.

“He was a little bit down after the first series or so when he couldn’t get anything started. I told him: ‘Hey, you’ve got a lot of plays left. You’ve got to just keep playing. I’m not going to yank you out of the game.’ ”

Printers disputed his coach’s assertion that he lost confidence.

“I always know you have the next play,” he said. “I never dropped my head or anything like that.

“Never do I get down on myself at all. If you get down on yourself, you can’t come back and compete at the very end like we did.”

He didn’t dispute the fact his NFL debut wasn’t pretty. The Chiefs scored a touchdown with Printers at quarterback in the final 2 minutes, but only after Houston fumbled a punt that the Chiefs recovered at the Texans 7.

“From where I was standing, I just couldn’t find the open guy,” he said. “I’m not sure if there were guys open that I couldn’t see. It was just tough going tonight.

“We were just running our basic package. We weren’t throwing a lot of different things at them. It just so happens they were taking away a lot of the things we like to throw.”
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