The Kansas City Chiefs made what most observers anticipated official this week when they named quarterback Brady Quinn to be the #2 man at the position behind starter Matt Cassell. The move relegates young Ricky Stanzi to be the third-stringer.
Quinn was signed in free agency as the insurance policy for Cassell so this was no surprise, but there was a time in training camp where it looked like Stanzi might have some momentum. A young kid with a well-earned reputation as a winner in college stood in sharp contrast to Quinn, at least in terms of perception, after the latter hadn’t worked out as a first-round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns.
But the perception of Quinn wasn’t entirely fair and Stanzi was unable to seal the deal when training camp practices turned into preseason games. The latter completed less than 50 percent of his passes and made it clear that he’s not ready to assume the backup job on a team where even optimistic observers concede that #2 could turn into #1 by October.
Which brings us to the next step in the Kansas City quarterback saga. How much wiggle room does Cassell have, after consecutive poor showings in the preseason?
Head coach Romeo Crennel hasn’t tipped his hand on playing time for Thursday against the Green Bay Packers, nor how short of a leash Cassell will be on once the season starts. But with a #2 starter that’s a former first-round pick and hungry to prove himself, combined with a head coach on his last chance to prove himself in the NFL, no one can envision Crennell allowing the ship to go down early if Cassell falters.
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