This isn't a reactionary article after two blowout losses. In the past, I have been patient with Cassel. The NFL is a "win now" league and it was honestly refreshing to see a team give a player time to develop. Players can't always come in and win right away. Aaron Rodgers need a few years to develop behind Favre, Brady developed for a few years behind Bledsoe, Brees struggled for a few years in SD. I honestly believe that teams need to be more patient with players and develop from within rather than rush players in and out waiting to hit the lottery on a guy who can come in and provide an immediate spark (most of the time... more on that later).
It is for these reasons that, overall, I support Pioli. He has been patient with the development of players. Hali only had 3 sacks in 2008 but Pioli was patient with him and he has developed into a defensive stud. Derrick Johnson didn't really blow up until 2010. Overall, Pioli has been patient with our team, relying on continuity and developing from within to build up a strong team. Of course I would like to see our team do better right now, but I honestly believe that we are on the right track in most aspects of the game... except quarterback. Cassel has had his chance. He has some skills but he struggles in a couple obvious areas. Namely, going through his progression and motivating his teammates. Against the Bills he looked downright depressed. He looked like he wanted to quit and I saw that attitude reflected in his teammates. It is time for him to go and here are 9 players the Chiefs should consider bringing in right now to replace him, in the order by which I think they should be considered.
T. J. Yates
Yates is at the top of my list for two reasons -- he performed reasonably well for a rookie in the playoffs (11 for 20 for 159 yards and a score against Cincy and 17 for 35 for 184 yards and 3 picks against Baltimore) and he is young. He is an extremely solid backup quarterback and may fetch a higher price than we are willing to pay for a guy who has only played in a handful of games. However, he does have a playoff win under his belt, which is more than I can say for Cassel. I think we could swing him for, at most, a 2nd rounder. If we land a young guy like him, that opens up next year's first round pick for the other position we desperately need a vocal leader -- linebacker. But that talk can wait for the offseason.
Tebow was my first choice until I remembered Yates. Seems crazy right? Here is why we should seriously consider trading for him: he is an excellent motivator of his teammates, he is great in a run oriented offense, he is clutch, and he can be had for cheap. I honestly think that Tebow is everything that Cassel is not. He won't be the type to give up on a play like we have seen Cassel do so many times. We will have to suffer through some bonehead plays but I honestly think that Tebow has it in him to be a great NFL quarterback. We just need to be creative in how we formulate our offense around him. Tebow also probably has a chip on his shoulder towards Denver after they let him go even though he took them to a playoff win against the Steelers. I think we can all agree that a quarterback who wants to smash John Elway's face in belongs in KC.
I still can't believe we let him get away. The offense looked entirely different with Orton at the helm. Do I think he is a long term answer? No. Do I think he is a good enough game manager to allow the rest of the talent on this team to win? Yes. Bottom line is that it would send a message to the team that the front office wants to win. Word coming out of the locker room (mostly from Jackie Battle, who now resides in SD) is that the players feel the FO does not have winning as their #1 priority. The plan here would be to bring in Orton and then groom a first round quarterback behind him for another year.
Maybe this will come as a shock to some of you that I would place a guy like Carr this high. I like him for a few reasons. For starters, he has a ton of skill. The guy was a number 1 pick for a reason. Unfortunately he was placed in a really poor situation and, in my opinion, the Texans gave up on him. If they had a better line, I honestly think that we would be talking about Carr as one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL. Matt Schaub would've stayed in Atl, taking over when Vick left. Then Matt Ryan would've ended up in Oakland or even Kansas City.
But now, like a fine wine, he has had time to mature. I think he is ready for a comeback. Word in New York is that Carr is a very good locker room guy and does a lot to help Manning prepare. I think that bringing in Carr for a season would be the perfect setup for bringing in first round talent next year. I imagine someone like Tyler Wilson or Geno Smith being groomed for 2 years behind a vet like Carr. Above all else, I think David Carr is, right now, a significant step up from Matt Cassel. Also, and dream this big if you can, we could wait until the 2014 draft and pick up his little brother for him to groom into our QBOTF.
If you watched any of SF's preseason games, you saw that Kaepernick has a ton of upside. He is young, highly mobile, and has a strong arm. Kaepernick, like Yates, would be a potential long-term solution to our quarterback woes. I think that SF has gained enough confidence in Alex Smith that they would be willing to let Kaepernick go, for the right price.
Russel Wilson, who I was calling for the Chiefs to draft (though not in the 3rd round), may have beat Flynn out of a starting job in Seattle, but that doesn't mean that Flynn isn't a starting caliber quarterback. He has shown flashes, most notably in GB, of greatness. At this point he is definitely worth a look.
Colt McCoy plays for the Browns. As we all know, few people succeed there. Hillis already looks like a much better player than his last season in Cleveland. Maybe a chance of scenery would do McCoy some good. He is a high upside quarterback who is still quite young. I can honestly see him completing 70% of his passes if he lands with a decent team.