Benching Matt Cassel Means Throwing In The Towel

Before Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, a group of Kansas City Chiefs fans have paid for a banner spelling out a very simple message, to be flown around the stadium.

“We deserve better! Fire Pioli. Bench Cassel.”

While I certainly agree with the first line of the banner, I’m not sure the second two sentences aren’t a case of “be careful what you wish for.”

The Chiefs stink, we all know that. More than likely, before the sun sets on Sunday, fans of the team will have endured yet another embarrassing performance.

Whether or not the actions being called for on the banner are the right move, the point will be heard loud and clear: the fans are angry and they’re willing to part with even more of their hard-earned money to make sure Clark Hunt gets the message.

The desire to see Pioli canned and Cassel riding the pine is understandable. The KC faithful have been more than patient with the team’s constant losing and rebuilding.

Given their results, Pioli deserves to be given a very harsh performance review by Clark Hunt this offseason and Matt Cassel has not earned the right to be brought back as the starting QB of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Much to the chagrin of fans, Romeo Crennel has said he plans to stick with Matt Cassel, for now at least. What fans need to understand, however, is that if and when Cassel is benched, the Chiefs are essentially waving the white flag on the 2012 season. They’re throwing in the towel.

And as bad as things are, Pioli and Crennel are getting paid way too much money to give up after a 1-3 start, however horrible the team has looked.

Benching Cassel means playing Brady Quinn. Brady Quinn is not a good QB. In fact, he is likely a worse QB than Cassel. Bringing him in will only mean the Chiefs will lose with a different guy under center. But they’ll still lose.

Think about it. Quinn couldn’t get on the field over Tim Tebow, a man who literally can’t play the QB position in the NFL. John Elway wanted absolutely nothing to do with Tebow but he knew, despite Tebow’s deficiencies throwing the ball, the former Florida Gator gave his team a better chance to win than Quinn. Say what you will about Elway (but be aware that kids may read this site) but he knows a little something about QBs. A GM and a head coach have one job and that is to win as many games as possible. That is what Elway and Fox did last season by using Tebow and keeping Quinn on the bench.

Romeo Crennel isn’t likely to yank Cassel until he is absolutely sure the season is toast. The Chiefs are awful right now but at 1-3, it is not time to throw in the towel. Remember, the Chiefs were 1-3 at one point last season and that was before Tyler Palko ever stepped on the field. They went on to fall just one game short of the division title.

Crennel and Pioli certainly remember 2011. While a repeat of last year is unlikely, the Chiefs can’t bench their best QB until the writing on the wall has dried. Right now, it’s still a little wet.

The benching of Matt Cassel, which is almost certainly coming, signifies more than just a change at QB. It signifies the end of an era of Chiefs football. It will mean the Chiefs realize that Cassel isn’t ever going to be the answer and it also means they are aware that all hope for 2012 is lost.

Quinn being on the field means the Chiefs are content to stumble through the rest of the season, acknowledging their failed Cassel experiment. The losing will continue and depending on how bad Quinn is, we may even see a little of Ricky Stanzi before all is said and done.

When the dust settles, the Chiefs will have likely secured a high draft pick. They’ll also have proven that they don’t have a viable NFL QB option on their roster.

Sure as we’re sitting here, those days are almost certainly coming. Cassel on the bench, Quinn and maybe even Stanzi. And a lot more losing. We’re like to see it all.

But there are 12 games left to be played. We’ve got a long, long way to go. I don’t know about you but I am in no hurry to usher in the Brady Quinn, sucking-for-a-high-Draft-pick era.

It will likely come soon enough.

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Jonathan Rhea <———Go to this FB page and hit the "like" button–We need to let the ownership in KC that we are finished with Casshole!!

  • Fernando Garci-Crespo C

    “Romeo Crennel isn’t likely to yank Cassel until he is absolutely sure the season is toast.”

    The past two seasons aren’t enough to open his eyes to the fact that Cassel CANT win? While I might agree with the Quinn sucks idea, ¿Why not Stanzy? I for one think that sticking with Cassel IS giving up hope for both the players and the fans. Good Read as always (sorry for my English I´m not from the states)

  • Nate Taylor

    It seems to me to be a double edged sword. On the one hand, chances are that Quinn and Stanzi aren’t starting QB material. Quinn has been on 3 teams now, and after his debut in CLE nobody has thought about starting him.

    However, it appears to be obvious that Cassel is not the QB for this team. If recent quotes from players are accurate, then they don’t have much trust in Cassel. So keeping him in might be detrimental to the entire team, in more than a W/L aspect.

    If you’re Bowe and you see a team that doesn’t even take a chance at fixing the QB position, do you re-sign? If you are a FA next year, and you have a slightly higher offer from KC, do you take it, or go somewhere else that seems more committed to winning.

    I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I think that this situation is more than just QB skills, it’s psychological as well. Anyone remember Gannon/Grbac? Clearly Gannon could play in the league – as was evidenced by his post KC career. What I remember about that situation, though, was that when Gannon came in to the game, the team responded. They held their heads higher, the played more focused football, etc.

    Perhaps Quinn could give that same shot to KC that Gannon did (and if I’m not mistaken, Gannon was a career backup before becoming the starter in Oakland.)

    • tm1946

      There is a PR nightmare happening if Quinn preforms and turns the fortune of the Chiefs around. Why did he not start the season? Why after the first game did he not start? the second game? the second half of the 4th game? On and on it goes. The Chiefs will not be talking and the fans will not be much happier than with the loses.

      • Doc

        I agree with you there that it would be a PR nightmare and it appears that Pioli’s ego will not allow him to state he amde a msitake sticking with his Golden Boy.

      • ArrowFan

        Bull, it would inflate his ego because it only proves he was right in signing Qwinn it would also prove what we all know and that is that Elway is as good a G M as he is looking.

    • Doc

      Ahhhh memories of Gannon and his abilities as conmapred to ‘Garbage Back’ (Grbac). Chiefs management was just as lost on how to identify QB talent then as they are now. The team needs to do something because what they are currently doing is not working. Bench Cassel and give Quinn te start. Sure Quinn may not be better than Cassel but the change has the potential to spark cahnge. First, it may motivate the rest of the team, give them encouragement that something different is being tried. Second, it shows the fans that something different is being tried to give us a team to be proud of. Third, (and this is a stretch here), it may actually light a fire under Cassel so he performs better to win the starting job back. By knowing he is the QB of this team and no accountability for his lack of skills, why would he have any motivation to get better or try to improve? (Man, I almost choked on my own bile writing that). Still, the intangibles of making this one change can have a tremendous upside.IF the experiment fails miserably, you put Cassel back in as the starter. What have we really lost by trying this change? A loss is a loss no matter who the QB may be.

      • Danny W

        I do believe the move of putting Grbac in over Gannon in the playoffs got Shottenhiemer fired.

    • Danny W

      Oh my dude don’t bring Gannon up. I have dreams of the superbowl being blown when his name comes up. Elvis Grbac gets hurt before that we are struggling big time. Gannon comes in and looks unreal good. We get to the playoffs because of Gannon and Marty puts Grbac in for the playoffs and we lose. Grbac was not half of the quarterback Gannon was and it was obvious when he lead the Raiders to the superbowl the very next mother effing year.

  • tm1946

    I cannot agree with the premise of this article, waving the white flag.
    The NFL network said no one (in national media) thought the Chiefs were superbowl bound anyway. They recognize thei team is poorly constructed, a running team in a passing league, has a substandard QB, and isn’t even a 500 team.
    Pioli could easily say he is giving his QB of the future a chance to preform in real game environment. If Stanzi works out, Pioli is gold again. If not, he “tried”.
    What is on the field is not working, not offense, defense, or special teams. To ride a dead horse is waving the flag of surrender. No, you keep trying and adjusting where you can.

  • Chiefswatch

    I don’t see how the argument that quinn is worse than Cassel has any weight. Cassel has been terrible, if Quinn was terrible it wouldn’t be much of a change. I want him benched immediately. I do give up on the Cassel season. So what we win eight games? What the hell does that do for us? Even if we limp into the playoffs we will e immediately booted out because of Cassel. All we do by winning is ensure we draft higher, and if we do too much winning prepare for another season of Cassel. I know what i want, the end of the Cassel era. I no longer care how that comes about and will happily watch loss after loss if it means it will happen.

  • Tim T

    Who says Quinn isn’t any good? He didn’t get a chance with any real O-line in Cleveland, and he doesn’t practice well (like tebow) which didn’t help him in Denver. The guy has never truely had a chance with a good core of receivers. From ND days, it’s easy to see he can manage a game better then Cassel any day. He is also MUCH more athletic then Cassel as well as mobile (and probably won’t run then throw the ball into the middle of the field ala’ Cassel 2 weeks ago). Who knows, you give this guy a chance and he might prove to be the guy KC needs for the next 5 years or more. Lastly, yes, our D stinks this season but is good on paper… what that means is that if we had someone under center who could do more then a 3 and out every time and keep the D off the field, we’ll win. That’s a fact too – look at the stats of offensive plays and yardage and it’s easy to see that whomever has the ball longer, wins the game. I’m ready for the Brady era, and I think it’s going to be a GOOD thing for us.

    • Scott Zupek

      I am also tired of the argument that Cassel is better than Quinn. Right now you can put a tree in there, that doesn’t throw horrible passes and doesnt scramble to fumble the ball and guess what that tree is better than Matt Cassel.

      This argument is all based on the past and has no merit. The ONLY way to find out if Quinn has what it takes is to play him. Beyond that, it’s all second hand guessing.

      How any coach with experience (especially RAC) can sit by and watch the number #1 reason the Chiefs loose (Matt Cassel) go in game after game has to make me believe that Scott Pioli won’t allow RAC.

      Remember, Todd Hailey hated playing Pioli’s games. Spite was the reason for Tyler Palko. When you have an entire coaching staff willing to go against the GM, it’s a sign that the GM has to go.

      But instead, this year it has only gotten worse. Pioli’s EGO has spread into every nook and cranny of this team. We, as fans, can only hope that Clark Hunt is interviewing people as we cry and moan about how bad this team is (which lies on Pioli, because this team would be much better if the 1 – the players felt like they had a chance, which they can’t with Pioli breathing down their neck and 2 – matt cassel was out of the game. He is responsible for 77% of the turn overs this year. 1 is on McCluster, kind of, the other are MC’s fault).

      I am willing to pay money for that Banner to fly over arrowhead about canning Pioli and benching Cassel. Though it sounds like they have more than enough money already. Possibly even two banners!

      And in typical KC fashion, they won’t update and they keep throwing crap out on Clark Hunt is a disgrace to the Hunt family and the Franchise fans.

      • Nicholas Somppi

        thats’s the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard. You practice how you play. “you train how you fight and you fight how you train” that simple.

        • Tim T

          Really?? You play just as hard against your teammates in practice, risking someone getting hurt (vs who cares if someone on the other team during a game gets hurt)? Have you seen how much more muscular and ripped Quinn is then Cassel? I don’t think the guy is just sitting around eating icecream. He doesn’t get enough reps with the 1st team, and never had a true 1st team to win with in Cleveland or Denver (cleveland was probably a 3rd team caliber line at the time as a matter of fact…).
          I have full faith in Quinn as the answer to our losing season. He has enough targets that he can get the job done, has enough brains to manage the game, and has everything to prove in what could be his final chance to show he’s a starter in this league. Cassel just sits on his millions ands wipes his barely broken sweat with 100 dollar bills that he’s guarenteed. Quinn is at least twice the athlete that Cassel is, probably more.

        • Chief Hokie

          They always said Donovan McNabb didn’t practice well, even in his prime.

    • Chief Hokie

      I’m sorry but Quinn sucks. Let me elaborate – he is garbage.

  • Chief Hokie

    I agree with the espn guys, in that we should start Cassel the next two weeks, give him one last shot heading into the bye, and then if it doesn’t work out, replace him with Quinn during the bye week. 4 games is a little early to throw in the towel, however I do wonder like many of you if doing nothing to change the current situation is essentially throwing in the towel.

    • Chiefswatch

      Counting on Cassel to miraculously turn it around is throwing in the towel to me. This moron has not had a good game since playing the pathetic Colts last year.

      • Chief Hokie

        True story, and you’re probably right, but I just don’t see pioli benching Cassel before the bye. He has too much invested in him. It might not be the best option to wait two weeks but I see it as the most likely option.

        • Chiefswatch

          Whatever it takes to get Pioli fired is fine with me. Play him the rest of the season if that is what it takes.

  • Chiefswatch

    Not saying that Quinn is any good but using the Denver Tebow argument falls on its face. We all know the Fans are the reason Tebow became the starter, it had nothing to do with Quinn and very little to do with Orton.

    • Justin Jones

      Elway hated having to play Tebow. i could see it on his face and hear in the way he talked about him. the fans in denver wanted teow so bad only some one as Big time as Manning was gonna get to play. quinn had no shot.

      • Justin Jones

        sorry tebow. not teow. lol

      • ArrowFan

        Elway was hopeing Tebow would fail and then he could drop him. He wanted to keep Qwinn in case Manning went down.

  • mg2098

    Benching Cassel means anything but throwing in the bowl. If the coach so chooses to replace Cassel for Quinn it will send a message to the team and its fans the mediocre play at an NFL level it totally unacceptable. Believe it or not Quinn has never really had a shot at starting on a team with talent. He was a college superstar, and holds many QB records at ND. With him I believe there will would be some growing pains, but if give the same type of support Cassel has had these last 4 years I think he could be successful and much more than a game manager. He has a cannon for an arm. I believe in college he showed he was more than accurate and has some rushing skills to boot. You can say all you want that he has had chances on two other team, but when you look at the overall situation of each team did he really. If he was so bad why would he be offered more money to stay in Denver last season? He is by far the most skillful of QB’s on our roster. I say give the kid a shot, and if all else fails peruse 1 of the 5 franchise labeled QBs coming out of the 2013 draft. Cassel is not and never was the answer. Hes a poor mans Alex Smith at best.

    • Danny W

      Dude Thank YOU! The Broncos GM that’t name will not be mentioned because kids may read this sight, was handcuffed to Tebow because he was a first round pick and Kyle Orton was throwing picks left and right. They were chanting Tebow game after game. So whats donkey face gonna do put in Brady Quinn? Come on man. The only way he could fix his Tebow problem was to bring in Manning. So he threw a pile of dough at the guy poof PR problem over. Brady Quinn is better than Matt Cassel.

  • BurtGummer44

    Playing Cassel means throwing in the towel.

    • Danny W


  • ArrowFan

    I’m sorry but our division is still winable. Dumbver is still only one sack away from horrible. The dolts won on turn overs not because they are better than us. It is still a long season and our teams problem is fix able now. Whether or not MC is the QB.

    • BurtGummer44

      Yeah right, win the division, get stomped in round 1 of the playoffs by a real contender and then face another offseason of false hope with the same hopeless GM/QB combo. It’s time to try and get a real QB to build a true championship team around. Sack Pioli, Sack Cassel and if that takes going 1-15 so be it.

  • Danny W

    I have to respectfully disagree and here’s why. When Quinn was playing for the Brownies he had Joe Thomas but not much else. Josh Cribbs I think? Not much. He get’s injured and next thing you know he’s off to Denver. I remember watching him in the preseason out in Denver looking better than Orton and Tebow. Orton got the nod then the ax because everyone was clamoring for Tebow. Boom we get Orton, who looked better than Cassel, if nothing else for the simple reason he reads his progressions then we lose him and we get Quinn. Quinn took our starting offensive staff to the end zone and then threw a pick that was on the wide receiver for quitting on his route this preseason. It wasn’t his fault. He looked good. Give Quinn a chance brother. I will state the exact opposite of what you’ve said and agree with Burt. If you leave in Cassel you are waiving the white flag. He’s had 3.5 years. His time was done years ago.

  • Jim Harper

    There is an interesting story on the Ravens site entitled Chiefs aren’t tipping their hand on who is the starting QB

  • king kracka

    Here’s what I’m wondering, if Tebow eventually starts, or rather WHEN he does, in New York It’s probably safe to assume Sanchez’s days there are numbered with the organization. If that be comes the case should the Chiefs pursue a guy like Sanchez and make the moves to get him? I think Sanchez can be a solid qb if he actually had some talent around him. Unfortunately he’s in a shitty situation where his offense has only grown worse around him each year, though, for his first three years his stats continued to improve. This year the Jets are obviously a trainwreck. But anyway, is it too far fetched of an idea that we go after a guy like Sanchez?

  • John

    This is one of the worst articles I think I’ve seen you write. Benching Cassel and playing Quinn means that they realize Cassel is not the answer and that they are going to see if they have that answer on this team or not. Quinn was not outplayed and relegated to duty behind Tebow. It was written over and over that Quinn was outplaying him in the preseason and would be the #2. The Bronco’s bowed to the pressure of the masses and did 2 things. Got rid of their best QB, in Orton, and started their worst QB in Tebow. That they got lucky and made it to the playoffs was just one of those things that happen. Even a blind squirrel finds and acorn every now and then. Here is how the rest of this season needs to go. After Cassel puckers up and puts us in a big deficit early this week, we need to put in Quinn and let him finish the game. Go into the bye week and let Quinn have the 1st team snaps for the next 2 weeks in practice and give him a couple more games after the bye week. If Quinn is not an improvement, and does not become the QB that everyone thought he would be coming out of the draft, then you go with Stanzi for the rest of the season and realize that he is either the future or not even in the cards. The one thing we have to know going into the offseason is that we either need a franchis QB or that we have one, and I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to that question.

  • Mike Horning

    STANZI! Stanzi is lucky. With the Hawkeyes he constantly found ways to win. He could throw 5 INTs and still win a game. Give him a shot.