The Kansas City Chiefs will be bringing another No. 4 with them when they come to battle the New York Jets on Sunday. Tyler Thigpen is expected to start the game at quarterback for Kansas City and will also be wearing that number.
It will also be the second time Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards will face his former team in his former home stadium — the first was the Jets' 13-10 overtime victory in last year's regular-season finale.
During his conference call with Jets reporters today, Edwards was asked if the Chiefs' current turmoil at the QB position reminds him of those of his 2005 season with the Jets.
"No, I haven't gotten to the fifth one yet. I've only got to three so far. We're doing good," he said. "But yeah, a little bit.
"That was a little bit different. We lost 12 starters along with playing the fifth quarterback, so that was a little bit different. It's just where we're at right now. We've got a very young team, the youngest team in the league. We went from one of the oldest to the youngest. A lot of young players are getting a lot of experience."
Edwards is known for being a high-energy motivator. The young Chiefs should arrive eager to fight Sunday, despite producing only one win this season.
The coach said his team was "not very consistent on either side of the football and that's what you see when we play. But they play hard. That's one thing I give them credit for — they play hard."
Although the locker room looks very different than it did three years ago — both because the Jets are in a different locker room, in the Atlantic Health Training Center, and because many of those Jets have arrived after Coach Herm left — some players recalled the impression Edwards left on them.
"You have a lot of respect for him," said nose tackle Sione Pouha. "When you're drafted and he's the head coach who brought you in, that's special. But now it's another week, another battle. Now I want to beat him."
"Not only is he a really good coach but a really good person," said tight end Chris Baker. "You want him to do well ... except when he plays us, of course."
Edwards also has fond memories of the team that he began his head-coaching career with and was complimentary of the team this season.
"I think they're playing well," he said. "The acquisitions they made in the off-season, they have a veteran-laden team and some of the holdover guys are there. I think their defense has played solid, played good.
"Their offense, they can explode at any time and obviously the quarterback has been the big key for them. He's playing well. He can throw the ball out of the yard. [Jerricho] Cotchery and Laveranues [Coles] are playing good, Baker is playing good. The runners are very good, Thomas [Jones] and Leon Washington — I mean, he's a threat when he gets the ball in his hands anywhere. They're a good football team."
Many reporters who took part in today's conference call covered the Jets while Edwards was still the coach. When asked if he'd considered giving Vinny Testaverde a call to try him out at quarterback, he laughed and said:
"Not yet. He's on my hotline, though."