Given enough time, perception changes. While only a few years ago, Michael Jordan was widely considered the best ever to play on hardwood, there are now those who want to talk about Kobe or Lebron being in the conversation. Recently, the conversation of whether Tom Brady is greater than Montana has been debated. While the younger generation arguing against Jordan and Montana are clearly mistaken, the issue may come down to "Old School" vs. "New School."
When it comes to the quarterback position at the professional level, there are two schools of thought: Old School and New School. The "Old School" philosophy believes that the ideal way to groom an elite (franchise) QB is to allow him sit under the tutelage of a seasoned NFL great in order to get acclimated to the speed, pressure and work ethic of NFL life. Under the "Old School" philosophy we have seen the likes of Steve Young, Aaron Rodgers and to a lesser extent (only sat a year and 2 games) Tom Brady. While there has inevitably been those groomed under the "Old School" who never lived up to expectations (i.e. Matt Flynn, Kevin Kolb), the track record of this school of thought is largely successful.
More recently, the "New School" QB philosophy has been to initiate a young QB as soon as possible. This is a true "trial by fire" approach. We have recently seen the likes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, Brandon Weeden, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton all start immediately. The results of this approach have been a mixed bag as well. The jury is still out on many of these young men. Luck and Griffin have been very impressive early on, as was Newton last season.
So which philosophy is correct? Which is best? Well, do you like Jordan or Kobe? It may be a matter of personal preference, and it almost certainly depends on the prospects in a given year. What almost everyone here can agree on is that Matt Cassel is not the quarterback of the future for K.C. It is also becoming highly doubtful that Stanzi is that man either. So, where does that leave us?
Well the "New School" approach would have us to play out the remainder of the year, see where the cards (and draft pick) fall, and draft a starting QB in the first round of next years draft. Under this school of thought, the most likely candidates would be Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson or Geno Smith. Albeit early in the collegiate football season, the stock of both Barkley and Wilson have taken a tumble over the last few weeks. If you are an advocate of this approach, you would have to decide which of these young men have the most potential to step in and be a leader right away for the Chiefs.
The "Old School" solution for the Chief's woes at QB would be quite different. First, the season would not necessarily have to be played out with Cassel at QB (more on this in a minute). Second, since we do not believe that the next great KC quarterback is currently on our roster, a quick inventory of the rosters around the league would be necessary. Film (preseason) would have to be studied. Determining which teams had both a QB who was elite and who also has served his understudy well by being a good mentor would also be important.
Perhaps a list of elite QBs in the league would include: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, and the Manning of your choice. As you ponder the young backup QBs in each of these situations, only one sticks out to me. Sure, Ryan Mallet may turn out to be a great QB and may well be worth considering, but Chase Daniel is light years ahead of Mallet. Chase has set under the tutelage of Drew Brees for the past three years. Chase owns a Superbowl ring. Chase has been one of the best preseason QBs in the league the last few years. And, Chase took all the Saints preseason snaps because Brees was in a contract dispute. Chase has been in an atmosphere that prides itself in winning (enter Vilma jokes here). Perhaps even most surprising of all, Drew Brees believes that Daniel is better than he was at this early stage in his career. (See this video)
So the question remains, are we "old school" or "new school." Sure we can hold out and sign of the three rookies next year and hope one of them turns out to be RG3 or Andrew Luck. Or, we could possibly trade a 3rd or 4th rd pick for Daniel (who will walk after this season as a UFA) to the Saints, let him play the last half of the season to see if he does well and save our 1st round pick for other pressing needs. Many KC fans would be encouraged that the brass at least showed us the awareness that Cassel is not the man. Additionally, many of the MU faithful may come out and support the Chiefs if Daniel was at the helm. And Clark Hunt may well need a way to increase revenue if things don't start looking better.
So let the discussion begin. I am not naive enough to guarantee that Daniel is the next great franchise QB in the NFL, but I do think he has a better shot than Cassel. I would be encouraged that the club is doing something sooner, rather than later. So, are you "old school" or "new school"? And where does that lead you to believe we should turn as an organization to fix the QB position on this Chiefs team?