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.