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Published on 08/18/2009 at Tue Aug 18 22:10.
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New Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback Matt Cassel (L) talks with new head coach Todd Haley before their pre-season NFL football game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri August 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Dave Kaup)

New Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback Matt Cassel (L) talks with new head coach Todd Haley before their pre-season NFL football game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri August 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Dave Kaup)

While all four teams in the AFC West have named a starting quarterback, the San Diego Chargers are the only group with a quarterback situation completely devoid of controversy (VOLEKTRICITY fans, argue if you will). The Broncos, of course, are waist-deep in fan and media speculation involving Kyle Orton and Chris Simms. The Raiders have proclaimed JaMarcus Russell the starter despite adding solid veteran Jeff Garcia in the offseason.

And then there’s Kansas City, who appeared set at the QB position after trading for Matt Cassel. The Chiefs couldn’t possibly be considering benching Mr. Second-Coming-Of-Tom-Brady, could they, not after the ridiculous contract to which they signed him only a month ago?

Possibly. And the culprit for the QB controversy is none other than Brodie Croyle.

Yes, Brodie Croyle.

Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star has been reporting since camp that Croyle has outplayed Tyler Thigpen and is easily the second best signal caller on KC’s roster. Now, as you can see in that tweet above, the beat writer is starting to lean toward the idea that Croyle could even supplant Cassel as the starter.

In the team’s first preseason game, Cassel played on an extremely limited basis, completing two of five passes for 15 yards. Hardly enough tape by which to grade Cassel. But Croyle saw more action and performed relatively well, going 12/18 (67%) for 145 yards. Add the fact that Cassel’s been getting mixed reviews in camp, and Babb (who is presumably there for every practice) is just calling it like he sees it.

But Cassel was brought in to be “the guy” – he was thought of highly enough after one season playing in New England to draw interest from both the Chiefs and Broncos. While the specifics will never be known, the notorious phone conversations Josh McDaniels had with the Patriots front office ultimately led to Jay Cutler leaving Denver.

Speculation that Cassel isn’t the best QB in Kansas City is an eyebrow-raising surprise to say the least.

What’s more, Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley doesn’t deny it.

Q: Has Matt (Cassel) been the best quarterback you’ve had here in camp?

HALEY: “I’ll hold out on answering that right now.”

Haley wasn’t exactly exerting confidence in the rest of his team, either. Later, when asked about Brett Favre, Haley quickly changed the subject inward, stating, “I’m just worried about this house that’s on fire and I’m trying to keep it from burning down.”

Haley will likely nip this in the bud first thing tomorrow (several sites are running with it), but this marks the official kickoff to a Kansas City quarterback controversy. Welcome to the club.

Now — San Diego… I’ve gotten my dose of schadenfreude from the Raiders and Chiefs this week. Third team’s a charm?

Croyle making a move in Kansas City? [ProFootballTalk]

  • Tom9798

    Cassel will start. No controversey at all unless he is injured.

    The Chiefs were 2-14 . . . (of course all Bronco fan’s grind their teeth that one of their two victories was against us) . . .

    Croyle started two games and lost both while throwing no touchdowns . . . .

    Cassel led the Patriots to an 11-5 record . . . . which in most parallel universes would have been good enough to make the playoffs . . .

    I would be totally shocked if Cassel is sitting on the bench come game one .

  • Nicole

    At this point, I’m not sure what type of qb Matt is. Now he did fill in nicely for Tom but he had a great supporting cast. I hope he works out because if he doesn’t that wound will open and ignite another firestorm. Just because something works in one place doesn’t mean that it’ll work again. I think they should’ve held off on the money because there was no hurry.


    Matt first.

  • Triston27

    No chance Croyle starts. It’s awfully tough to sign Cassel to such a huge deal and then bench him. Only way you can do that is if there were enough fan support behind Croyle. And trust me, there isn’t. The fans in KC have no confidence in Croyle to stay healthy, let alone win.

  • roshon2411

    Cassel’s a bum. As I said it before, he took an 16-0 team, possibly one of the greatest teams ever, and went a 11-5 and didn’t make the playoffs. Hell, Bubby Brister went 5-0 with the 98′ Broncos. No one was going to make him a franchise QB. Yeah, they didn’t fold but it’s still a 5 game difference. A five game difference with Kyle Orton, would make this team, 3-13 and no one would be happy with that. I thought it was crazy for McDaniels to even think of trading Cassel for Cutler, thought it was crazy the Chiefs traded a 2nd round pick and signed him to that huge contract as well. McDaniels might be a good offensive coach, I was happy with the playing calling last Friday, but he is full of himself to think he can make any QB into Tom Brady. Though I am surpised to here Brodie Croyle is the guy. I though Tyler Thigpen, showed some upside at the end of the year and would be the guy to challenge Cassel.

  • Kyle

    I am on record several places saying Cassel’s overrated and a product of the system. I thought KC was crazy to sign him to that deal. Now it might be biting them in the ass.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Cassel starts, they’ve already committed financially, but it’d be oh-so-sweet if public opinion sways to Brodie Croyle’s favor as Matt struggles to justify his millions.

  • (dee)

    The Bottle still hasn’t shown all he can do this year, I think his next game will be better….and I still believe the Broncos will do well this year. Oh yes and I still havent forgotten about my Chicago prediction KERRY … Cutler still only wins 5 or less in the NFC NORTH ….

  • OC Bronco

    Another example of crackerjack reporting. This guy is just trying to be controversial. No chance Croyle starts. Zero.

  • broncoNM

    Ya.. Cassel will start but if he is still stinking it up by week 6 who knows what they will do… I too believed that Cassel was a product of the system and he had years to get to know that system. I immediately started smiling when i heard how much KC signed him for…

  • kerry

    and i remember also Dee. i dont want you to forget it.

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