This posting is a follow-on to my previous FanPost titled: "Scott Pioli; General Manager or Genuine Mastermind". In that FanPost I went over the personnel transactions that Mr. Pioli had a hand in since his hiring in Kansas City. With this FanPost, I am going to attempt to look at those transactions and the activity out of 1 Arrowhead Drive since that last posting. From all of it I will try to explain what I see as the potential thought process of one Mr. Pioli.For this FanPost I will be focusing on the Quarterback Position.
Scott Pioli was hired by the KC Chiefs on the 13th of January 2009. Scott Pioli inherited a KC Chiefs team that had stunning team statistics like;
Furthermore Mr. Pioli had to deal with a aging roster (if you would like to see the current roster turnover check out my previous FanPost), finding a Head Coach and a new starting caliber Quarterback. After addressing the Head Coach position Mr. Pioli used connection to the New England Patriots to make a trade for our current Quarterback.
#7 - Matt Cassel
Matt Cassel began his 2008 NFL Season as the backup to starting QB Tom Brady in New England. However due to a ACL Injury suffered during the Week 1 match-up with our very own KC Chiefs. Matt Cassel came into that game and led the New England offense to a W, throwing for 152 Yards (13/18 w/ 1 TD). Matt Cassel would go on to win a total of 11 games during the 2008 NFL Season and compile the following statistics;
63.4% Completion Percentage (11th Best)
3,693 Yards (8th Best)
21 Touchdowns (T-10th Best)
11 Interceptions (T-9th Best when not including QBs with less than 200 Attempts)
Overall the 2008 version of Matt Cassel was a Top 10 QB in the NFL. The New England Patriots benefited from his play so much that they chose to Franchise Tag him. On the 28th of February the KC Chiefs' new GM Scott Pioli made the trade that brought Matt Cassel (and Mike Vrabel) to KC for a single 2nd Round pick (SS Patrick Chung) in the 2009 NFL Draft.
GM Scott Pioli came to a KC Chiefs team that hosted the likes of Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, Tyler Thigpen and Quinn Gray at the QB position. Scott Pioli immediately knew that he had to do something to upgrade the QB position in order to help the team compete but at the same time not hinder his ability to begin a rebuilding process in KC.
By trading a 2nd round pick to NE for Matt Cassel, a QB that had just led his former team to a 11-5 record and one that he was very familiar with, GM Scott Pioli gave up very little to put a starting caliber QB in place in KC and he did so very quickly. This trade was completed only 22 Days after the hiring of new Head Coach Todd Haley. This tells me that Todd Haley probably had little or no involvement in the acquisition of Matt Cassel.
Todd Haley was the former Offensive Coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals and was known for building high motor offenses that focused on the Passing aspect of the game. Scott Pioli's familiarity with Matt Cassel and the injection of Todd Haley as the new Head Coach in KC (at the time) was a sign that both men thought that Matt Cassel would be a quality QB for the KC Chiefs. The contract (6 Years - $62.7) Million given to Matt Cassel on the 14th of July would also indicate that the KC Front Office was comfortable with Matt Cassel.
#12 Ricky Stanzi
With a starting caliber QB in place GM Scott Pioli began the process of rebuilding/resigning the KC Chiefs' roster. Scott Pioli would go on to draft well (Tyson Jackson would be the closest thing to "bust" during his time in KC, but on the field preformance vs. scheme design and what they are asked to do eliminate the "bust" titles) and resign the young core players left over from the Carl Peterson era (Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Jamaal Charles and Brandon Flowers). The QB position was not addressed again (in any important aspect) until the 2011 NFL Draft when they drafted QB Ricky Stanzi with the #135 Overall pick (5th Round).
NFL.com's Pick Analysis for this choice -
The former Hawkeye is a classic developmental prospect at the position. He has outstanding intangibles and understands how to quickly work through his progressions in the pocket. He could be a valuable backup option for the Chiefs.
Ricky Stanzi's NFL career began with the 2011 NFL Lockout. This hindered the immediate development of the KC Chiefs' "classic developmental prospect". Ricky Stanzi played in all four Preseason games for KC before the 2011 NFL Season.
During the 2011 NFL Season QB Matt Cassel was injured (broken hand) and sent to the sidelines. Head Coach (at the time) Todd Haley chose to play QB Tyler Palko instead of KC's rookie QB (this might have also been instructed by GM Scott Pioli). KC even went as far as to bring in QB Kyle Orton to replace QB Tyler Palko instead of starting QB Ricky Stanzi.
Ricky Stanzi came from a Pro Style offense in Iowa and had Kirk Ferentz as a Head Coach. Scott Pioli's friendship with Kirk Ferentz is very well documented. I believe that the KC Chiefs targeted Ricky Stanzi in part because of this relationship (Bond run deep for Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, Chiefs GM Scott Pioli) and the insight it provided. Scott Pioli chose to draft Ricky Stanzi and I believe he did so because he saw something there and had the insight from Kirk Ferentz. One might think that during the scouting of fellow Iowa teammate Tony Moeaki that the KC scouts had to take notice of Ricky Stanzi during his 2010 college season as well.
Is my opinion that Ricky Stanzi didn't start in place of Tyler Palko for two reasons.
1. The KC Chiefs wanted to keep their Rookie QB on the sidelines. Not because he couldn't produce but because they wanted to follow the same path that the Green Bay Packers took with QB Aaron Rodgers. Like Aaron Rodgers, KC would like to have Ricky Stanzi sit on the bench and learn/develop for a full two seasons.
2. Kyle Orton became available. KC only had to pay Kyle Orton $2.5 Million for his services. This allowed KC to keep Ricky Stanzi on the sidelines and still be competitive.
#9 Brady Quinn
GM Scott Pioli brought Brady Quinn into KC during the 2012 Off-Season. The KC Front Office had made it known that they were interested in bringing in QB competition during this off-season. KC even went as far as to make contact with (then) FA Peyton Manning even though Manning would eventually sign with the Denver Broncos.
Brady Quinn signed a 1 Year $1.5 Million contract on the 17th of March of this year. Brady Quinn spent the 2010 NFL season under new KC Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll giving KC a familiarity with their new backup QB.
In my opinion (which is similar to a few AP readers) Brady Quinn was brought in to be the backup QB. However due to his previous experience running a Offense under OC Brian Daboll he presents a good option (at the $1.5 Million for this season) to take over for Matt Cassel if Cassel struggles or is injured.
I really wanted to believe that the KC Front Office were sincere when they stated that they wanted to bring in QB competition. Naturally I assumed upon announcement that they were talking about the starting position. After all it looks to me at least that this is not the case. I believe that Brady Quinn was brought here for three reasons;
1. Familiarity with the OC Brian Daboll offenses.
2. Relatively cheap backup QB option.
3. Provide a QB competition not with Matt Cassel but with Ricky Stanzi.
If needed to I think that Brady Quinn could be a starter in KC's new offense, but only if Matt Cassel gets injured or struggles early on. Instead I think we will see Brady Quinn as the backup QB early on in the 2012 season but then will be moved to the 3rd string when Ricky Stanzi surpasses him.
Overall Scott Pioli has improved the QB situation in KC vastly. There is always room for improvement but that improvement must be planned for. I think one thing that a lot of KC fans (and all NFL fans) don't remember is that Scott Pioli isn't building a team to compete for one or two seasons, he was hired in KC to build a Dynasty. In order to do so he not only had to begin a rebuilding process but had to ensure that KC would be respected during the rebuild. By quickly settling the QB position like he did with Matt Cassel it kept KC respectful and competitive, which is very important to resigning current players and signing free agents.
I believe that Scott Pioli's overall plan for the QB position in KC when he first got here in 2009 was/is;
1. Bring in a quality QB immediate - Trade for Matt Cassel
2. Find a developmental QB to groom - Drafting Ricky Stanzi
3. Ensure quality backup QB depth while presenting competition - Free Agent Brady Quinn
I think that we will see Matt Cassel as the unquestioned starting QB for the 2012 NFL Season. However KC does have the ability to make a change to Brady Quinn if Cassel doesn't produce or is injured. This allows KC to continue to groom their "classic developmental QB" in Ricky Stanzi. This means that Ricky Stanzi would continue to develop/learn behind both Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn until later in the season when I think he will surpass Brady Quinn on the depth charts.
The roster of the KC Chiefs is almost complete in my opinion. Right now there are no "glaring" needs. They could use a veteran safety for depth, a inside linebacker for depth and that is about it. The Quarterback position is just fine the way it is. Matt Cassel provides a safe quality QB presence, Brady Quinn provides the backup with familiarity with the system and Ricky Stanzi can become the QB of the future for this team with proper development which I think the KC Front Office are attempting to give him.
If everything drops like I think it will, we will see a very good core team already in place when Ricky Stanzi takes the starting QB position in 2013/2014. This plan gives him the most opportunity to succeed, he will have a solid O Line, a very good WRs corps, solid set of TEs and one of the best running back combinations in the NFL. Matt Cassel's contract structure also gives KC the option of trading him or cutting him when Ricky Stanzi is ready with little impact on the Salary Cap or keeping him for depth cheaply.
Too many times a team has reached and grabbed their QB of the future and placed him into a situation to fail like David Carr. I for one am VERY VERY pleased to see KC handling the situation properly.
The 2012 NFL Season can't come soon enough. Until then we will all be subjected to preform our own special roll;
The Armchair Quarterback
210 votes total
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.