FanPost

3 Parallel Stories; Our Only Hope for a Championship

Things are looking good for the KC Chiefs. Depending on the rest of FA and the draft we might be going into a season where ALL of the starting positions will be at least be serviceable to great. Doesn't mean a division or especially conference championship is a lock, but we can at least see that on paper, this team is ready to win now. To the extent to which they win will be largely determined by luck (injuries, calls, fluke plays), development (Houston, Berry, Moeaki, Baldwin, Hudson, rookies), and the QB position. We can live with a serviceable SILB, but not when it comes to the QB position. It looks like our only options at this point is Cassel, Quinn, and Stanzi. In all likelihood they will all fail, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that one of them can emerge to become the QB to take us to, and hopefully win, a championship. After the jump lets forget about what is likely to happen and examine what needs to happen for us to win a championship by looking back at history and seeing if it can repeat itself.

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Matt is not very popular figure in KC these days. Last season left a pretty bad taste in our mouth. We got blown out numerous times, the offense was inept the first part of the season, he couldn't go through his progression, holds on to the ball too long, the 3rd down conversion rate was pathetic, and we all know he doesn't exactly have the strongest arm in the world. Matt Cassel is obviously not going to have his bust in Canton. However, he isn't the worst QB of all time. If the surrounding talent around him is strong enough he can be an effective player, evidenced by the 2010 rushing attack. If the running game comes back around, not that far fetched, Cassel can command a respectful offense. When comfortable, he doesn't turn the ball over, and can capitalize once we get into the red zone. His finesse pass, or whatever you want to call it, comes in handy when the field gets short. Its good for jump balls in the end zone and drops in nicely behind zone coverage. The question is: can he get us to the red zone? And the answer to that is yes, if his teammates help him. We need to have an elite running game, Bowe needs to create magic after the catch, and the defense and special teams has to give us a leg up on field position. I don't find this to be a far fetched scenario. Its not like it hasn't happened before to this franchise...

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Green's career and Cassel's resemble each other. Green was drafted in the 8th round (222nd overall) while Cassel was drafted in the 7th round (230th overall). Green was a backup his first 4 years in the league, like Cassel, and broke out in his 5th year with the Redskins due to injury to the starter, and found a new home with the Rams in 99. We all know what happened after that and Green came to KC in a trade just like Cassel. It wasn't smooth sailing when he first arrived, throwing 17 TDs to 24 INTs, but he eventually went on to command the best offense in the NFL. With the help of one of the greatest offensive lines the NFL has ever seen (2 hall of famers, 3 pro bowlers), Priest in his prime, and the greatest TE of all time. The defense gave up a lot of points, but did get a lot of takeaways, helping with field position and not to mention the best KR at the time in Dante Hall. Not saying the Chiefs have this kind of talent, but they will need that type of talent if Cassel is to succeed.

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Brady is an interesting case. He was drafted in the 1st round after a blockbuster tradeup by the Browns, but was never given the full confidence of his franchise, largely due to Anderson's Cinderella year and the coaching change after his 2nd year. He was never granted that honeymoon phase that many rookie and sophomore QBs are granted in their first few years in the league. He was a deemed a first round bust and shipped to Denver for a FB (damn good one at that) and 6th round pick only after starting 12 games. Can Quinn turn things around and finally live up to his 1st round potential? Its not like it hasn't happened before to this franchise...

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Len Dawson, our once in a generation hall of fame QB. How in the hell can I compare the two? I can't, except that if Quinn lives up to what he was billed as coming out of college, his story will greatly parallel with Dawson's. Dawson was considered a 1st round bust in Pittsburgh and was traded to the Browns after his 3rd year, like Quinn. He signed with the AFL Chiefs in 1962 to reunite with his college coach at Purdue, Hank Stram. So like Dawson, Quinn is signing on to his 3rd team after the expiration of his rookie deal and reuniting with a former head coach. Will Quinn become our next Dawson? Highly unlikely, but not out of the realm of possibility.

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Stanzi is my favorite QB on the roster right now. I thought highly of him coming out of the draft last year and was glad we picked him up. Take it with a grain of salt, but after last years draft Mel Kiper was asked who he thought would be the best QB in the class and he emphatically, without hesitation said Ricky Stanzi. He admired his leadership abilities and how dedicated he was to studying film. He fell to the 5th because he doesn't have the greatest tools in the world. Those players went in the first (Newton, Gabbert, Locker). But, Stanzi could be a sleeper because of the intangibles. He could project to have the ability to have a calm presence in the pocket, while making smart decisions, and when the time comes, making the big plays to win the game. That is how he won in college and what will need to happen for him to succeed in the NFL. Can Stanzi become our franchise QB, the only one to do so that we drafted and developed ourselves? It has never happened to this franchise before, but it has happened under our GM before...

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I know what your thinking, get off the crack pipe. I want to reiterate that these scenarios are unlikely, but they are what needs to happen if we want the Lombardi Trophey and that they are not out of the realm of possibility. Brady was a late rounder like Stanzi because he didn't have the tools GMs were looking for. He was considered very nonathletic, like Stanzi, after running a horrible 40 at the combine. Despite success at Michigan, front offices didn't think he looked the part. Have you ever seen Brady's combine photo? Stanzi doesn't pop out either just looking at him. But, if Stanzi does rise to the occasion his story will be compared to Brady's. Brady won his first Super Bowl in his sophomore year after Bledsoe went down due to injury. I don't think Stanzi will be named the starter in week one and will have to get on the field because of injury or bad performance by the starter. Remember, Brady wasn't BRADY! until that undefeated season. Before then, he was just considered a good QB, who managed the game well, relied on a great D, and came up big in clutch situations. It is interesting to note that I'm not the first one to make this comparison. A lot of people called him the next Tom Brady while he was at Iowa and there is some data to back it up: ARTICLE, also might want to follow up with thos one : http://fantasyfootballmetrics.com/Player_News/2011/NFL%20Draft/Draft_2011_Stanzi%20Wonderlic%20_3-11-11%20%202.0.htm

If I had a gun to my head and had to make odds of one of the three scenarios panning out, I would put Cassel's parallel at 25%, Quinn's at 2%, and Stanzi's at 1%. Not the greatest odds in the world, and obviously at varying degrees of outcome, but not out of the realm of possibility. So the question to you AP is: do you feel lucky?

DISCLAIMER: I'm biased and writing this out of pure desperation to find hope, considering I was banking on the Montana parallel. I bet $300 on the Chiefs winning it all at 50 to 1 thinking Manning was a lock because of the surrounding talent. Looks like I'm screwed there, but I'm not counting this team out. When I think of Cassel starting, I think of the surrounding talent. When I think of Quinn starting, I think of unrealized 1st round potential. And when I think of Stanzi starting...I think about fantasy football statistics. We got a shot and that is all that matters. If there is a good QB on this roster it will show.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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