Matt Cassel has been nothing if not consistent for the past four years. That is not necessarily a fact favorable to his remaining the Chiefs’ starting QB. He is essentially the same QB who arrived from the Pats, warts and all. His arm strength has not demonstrably improved. His accuracy is still questionable at best. He still locks onto receivers. He still takes more sacks than is necessary. His completion percentage remains acceptable, although his rate is padded by the fact that he almost always opts for the safer target ("checking down").
Brady Quinn hasn’t started a game for over two years; in fact he has played very little over the past two seasons. However, he was reasonably highly regarded coming out of Notre Dame. Considering the mundane levels of Cassel’s physical skills, it would be a reasonably safe assumption that Quinn’s physical skills are likely superior to Cassel’s.
If Quinn were to replace Cassel as starting QB, the playing table should be level. That is, Quinn’s practice reps must first be increased to approximately 50% of the practice snaps. This could be done gradually over the course of two to four weeks. Quinn should start the game when the time is right. Having Cassel start a game, and then waiting until we are behind by two or more scores before inserting Quinn would only make sense if the decision is set in stone. Putting Quinn into a game we are significantly behind in, with the expectation that he will miraculously pull out a win would just be stupid. At this point in time, there just aren’t "relief QB’s".
Quinn should be allowed significant time for accurate evaluation. Giving him the final two games of the season would be meaningless; both for him and for the Chiefs. Quinn would need sufficient time to develop his rhythm. If the Chiefs were to make this move, it would behoove them to have a chance to adequately evaluate the results. While Quinn is here on a one year deal, if he were to start the last six or eight games, and light a fire under the passing attack, Pioli might want to have time to renegotiate a contract with Quinn’s agent (we all know how the organization loves to draft QB’s in the first round; if Quinn looked really good, Pioli could skip a QB in the first round in April).
So what if Quinn proves no more successful than Cassel? So what? It merely means that we have reinforced the idea that drafting a QB in the first round next April is a must. The point is, there can’t be double standards on the team. BRich wasn’t doing his job. He’s gone. Marc Bradley wasn’t doing his job. He’s gone. Chris Chambers wasn’t doing his job. He’s gone. Jackie Battle wasn’t playing to the level of a starting RB, so he’s gone. Matt Cassel must have the same consideration. You play the best players. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, they must be demoted to a position they can handle.