Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel confirmed recently to the Kansas City Star that Matt Cassel will indeed be the starter heading into the season.
But he didn’t rule out the possibility of Cassel losing that position.
“But we’ll take a look at (Quinn) and see where he is and what he brings to the table,” Crennel said. “We told him the best guys are going to play. If he’s the best guy, he plays.
“He gives us someone who’s lined up in a game and done it in the NFL at that position.”
This public statement of support for Cassel should come as no surprise. The Chiefs tried and failed to acquire Peyton Manning and since they have no chance of landing either Andrew Luck or RGIII, the team’s hands are pretty much tied. They let Kyle Orton escape to the Cowboys and so until further notice, Cassel is the best QB on the roster.
Just because Cassel begins the year as the starter, however, doesn’t mean he’ll finish it. In fact, don’t be surprised if the current QB depth chart of Cassel, Quinn and Stanzi looks different come September.
When Crennel said the best player would play, I don’t think he was paying lip service. I believe the Chiefs are realize that Cassel is probably not the answer but at this time, there just aren’t any viable options to replace him. We can argue all day about the team no re-signing Kyle Orton but the fact of the matter is, Orton got a boatload of money to backup Tony Romo in Dallas. There is no way it would have made sense to pay Orton that much money to potentially start in KC. Signing Orton for that much would have meant Cassel had to go. While Orton might be slightly better than Cassel, I don’t think he is that much of an upgrade. Orton is just as capable of losing the Chiefs a game they would win with Cassel as he is winning a game the Chiefs would lose with Cassel. The gap between these two isn’t that wide.
The Chiefs were smart to sign Quinn but they are by no means tied to him. The same goes for last year’s 5th round pick Ricky Stanzi. The Chiefs needed to sign Quinn to get themselves a veteran backup who will know their system but should a better option come along, the team can cut Quinn or Stanzi loose.
Don’t be surprised if the Chiefs take a QB early, potentially in the second round. If they do, then Quinn and Stanzi will go to camp fighting for a roster spot.
And if Matt Cassel does not perform, he could find himself on the bench.