The Kansas City Chiefs will head to training camp this summer with a number of new players who will all be battling for playing time. Most of the starters are set but there are a few battles that may go down in training camp that could help determine the future of the team.
Ricky Stanzi vs. Brady Quinn
Matt Cassel may be the unquestioned starter in Kansas City but he’s on an extremely short leash. Should Cassel struggle or if it appears he is holding the team back, Romeo Crennel may be forced to go to one of his other signal callers in an effort to spark the offense.
But who will it be?
Both Stanzi and Quinn could make a legitimate case for the backup role in KC.
Quinn is a former first round pick of the Cleveland Browns when Crennel was the head coach there. Things did not go very well for Quinn in Cleveland. The team around him was not very good and when he did get the opportunity to play he did not look very good. Shortly after Quinn’s arrival, Crennel was fired and Quinn was shipped off to the Broncos where he failed to beat out Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow. He’s been discarded by two organizations but it has been so long since he’s seen the field that it is tough to tell if he just isn’t a starting QB or if he’s just been mishandled.
As for Stanzi, the Chiefs had a golden opportunity to see what they had in the former Iowa QB last season but Todd Haley bungled the situation by starting some guy named Tyler Palko for four games. By the time Scott Pioli canned Haley, Kyle Orton was in town and then interim head coach Romeo Crennel wisely started the veteran. The Chiefs nearly got to the playoffs but never got a chance to see what Stanzi had to offer. In 2012, Stanzi will get a full offseason to prove he can backup Matt Cassel.
Given Stanzi’s lack of experience, Quinn is likely to be the favorite to land the backup role heading into training camp. For Quinn, winning the battle will be crucial because his stint in KC could be his last shot to prove he is a starting NFL QB. Before he can do that, however, he must beat out Stanzi and position himself to be the next man up should Cassel stumble.
For Stanzi, it is important that he continues to develop and does not allow himself to get stuck in the third QB role. If he can wow the Chiefs in camp and beat out the more experience Quinn, he’ll likely have the Chiefs believing in his ability to start. After a year spent backing up Palko at the end of the bench, Stanzi needs to win.