Most teams use their bye week to rest, make tactical adjustments, heal their wounds and prepare for the rest of the season. The Kansas City Chiefs are using their bye to re-evaluate their quarterback situation.
Matt Cassel suffered a concussion in a Week 5 loss to Baltimore, giving Brady Quinn a rare start on Sunday in Tampa Bay. Cassel has struggled this season, and Quinn was even worse, throwing for just 180 yards and tossing a pair of interceptions in a 38-10 rout that dropped the Chiefs to 1-5 on the year.
But rather than simply going back to his franchise quarterback, who was cleared for non-contact drills on Tuesday, Chiefs Coach Romeo Crennel announced an open competition for the starting gig.
“What I told them is I’m rotating the quarterbacks. They will get equal reps,” Crennel said. “Both of them will get work and then we’ll evaluate it and then next week we’ll get ready for game week and then we’ll make a decision and go from there.”
Essentially, Crennel is treating Kansas City’s bye week like it’s training camp. But if the Chiefs cannot pull themselves out of the AFC West cellar soon, the rest of the season could soon become a tryout for 2013.
Cassel arrived in Kansas City in 2009 on the heels of strong season filling in for the injured Tom Brady in New England and cashed in with a six-year, $62.7 million contract. But with the exception of his Pro Bowl 2010 season, Cassel has struggled with consistency, turnovers and above all, winning games.
“That’s part of the deal,” Cassel said of Crennel’s planned quarterback evaluation (via ArrowheadPride.com). “Coach Crennel said that yesterday in the team meeting. He spoke to everybody, that everybody is going to get reps this week and everybody is going to get out there. This is a time to evaluate everybody on the bye week, try some different things and see where we’re at. That’s kind of part of what happens. I’m going out there to get better each and every day and do what I need to do to get better.”
Cassel can start by limiting his turnovers — through five games, he’s thrown nine interceptions and lost five fumbles. He’s also been sacked 13 times and owns a pedestrian 66.2 quarterback rating.
But unlike Quinn, Cassel has proven his ability to be a competent NFL quarterback, and former Ravens coach and NFL.com analyst Brian Billick wrote, that may be enough to maintain his hold on the job for now.
There’s a reason Brady Quinn has played for three different teams (Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns) during his six-year career, and his deficiencies were on full display in Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…. If the Matt Cassel chapter has indeed been written in Kansas City, the Chiefs might be better off seeing what they have in Ricky Stanzi instead of leaving the reins in Quinn’s hands for the rest of the season.