|09-23-2009, 07:19 AM|
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Gretz: Seeds Of QB Controversy? … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs
Seeds Of QB Controversy? … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs
September 23, 2009 - Bob Gretz |
For years, Chiefs fans always railed about the fact that the team never developed its own quarterback.
Once Len Dawson retired, they tried with guys like Steve Fuller and Todd Blackledge, but ultimately no matter who was in charge they usually went with veterans, guys like Bill Kenney, Steve DeBerg, David Krieg, some guy named Montana, Elvis Grbac, Rich Gannon and Trent Green.
Developing a young quarterback takes an awful lot of patience. It takes time. It’s painful and sometimes it’s messy.
A pair of games into the 2009 season, it already appears that some media and fans have absolutely no patience.
How else to describe the tavern talk and talk show babble that Todd Haley should replace Matt Cassel (right) after one start as the Chiefs quarterback. The call has gone out for Brodie Croyle to be the man. Yes that’s the same Brodie Croyle that so many lost faith in over the last few years because he couldn’t stay healthy.
Croyle’s performance against Baltimore and Cassel’s efforts in last Sunday’s loss to Oakland has some people thinking a change must be made. Fueled by the $63 million contract and $28 million guaranteed that the Chiefs handed Cassel before the season started, some of the red and gold faithful figured they were getting a polished product.
They forgot that Cassel’s entire NFL starting experience was just 15 games for a football team that run by one of the best coaches in the business and with a pair of top flight receivers in Randy Moss and Wes Welker.
Cassel is not a refined product, and he showed that against the Raiders with two interceptions and that pass at the end of the first half that should have been two rows into the stands and not in the hands of RB Dantrell Savage.
Developing quarterbacks make mistakes, they throw passes they should not, they have chinks in their game that must be corrected. That only gets done one way, and that’s playing.
So now we have the seed planted for a quarterback controversy among the public. Head coach Todd Haley did nothing but water that seed with his comments during a Tuesday press conference.
“I like a lot about this guy,” Haley said of Cassel. “Anybody watching you can see the competitiveness; here’s a guy that is injured that was not running with that thought in his mind. He added 34 yards of rushing to our game and when you do that, it’s positive.
“That being said, I’m excited about Brodie’s progress. Brodie getting to play in the first game, got his feet under him, started to gain some confidence and that was clear in this past week’s practices. I expect all those guys to improve every week. That’s their job and my job to make our quarterback better every day.”
That brought the inevitable questions about Cassel’s status, whether he would consider pulling him in favor of Croyle. If anybody was expected a blanket commitment for Cassel and the starting job from his head coach, they sure did not get it.
Media question: A lot of head coaches around the league say we can’t have this distraction, this is my guy, and this is the way it’s got to be.”
Haley: “Not with me. Just from past experience, that’s all I can go by.”
The head coach then outlined that experience, how with the Jets on Bill Parcells staff then had Glen Foley, but signed Vinny Testaverde late and he won the job in three weeks. He pointed to his time in Dallas, where the Cowboys made a deal for Drew Bledsoe, but eventually replaced him with the unproved Tony Romo.
And the more known situation last year, where the Arizona Cardinals bypassed No. 1 draft choice Matt Leinart and started veteran Kurt Warner, who at the time was considered on his last NFL legs. Leinart had the status and the contract, but Warner took the team to the Super Bowl.
Most NFL coaches sprint away from a possible quarterback controversy. Marty Schottenheimer always referred to his final playing days with the then Boston Patriots and how the team became divided over whether Joe Kapp or Mike Taliaferro should be the starting quarterback. Schottenheimer said many times that’s why he stuck with one quarterback. It’s why after that first season he picked DeBerg, over guys like Ron Jaworski and Steve Pelluer, even though DeBerg drove him crazy with some of his turnovers. That worked out for him in 1990 and 1991. It’s why he stuck with Grbac in 1997 when he came back from an injury, and didn’t go with Gannon. That really didn’t work out so well.
But Todd Haley didn’t shy away from watering the quarterback controversy seed. Is that a sign of his inexperience as a head coach? Or is there something else at play here, some message he’s trying to send to every player wearing a red jersey?
We don’t have enough evidence of Haley and his ways just yet to make a definitive answer, but there’s no question that he believes competition is good for this football team. No matter the position.
“You’ve got to ultimately do what you think gives your team the best chance to win,” Haley said. “If that means another quarterback is in there than Matt Cassel, then sign me up.
“I thought Brodie Croyle went into a very difficult situation, a hostile environment against a very good defense and he looked like an NFL quarterback. He gave us a legitimate chance to win. He executed the game plan the way he was asked to execute it, he protected the football. From that week and add in last week’s practice, I’ve seen Brodie Croyle continue to improve. That’s all we are asking these guys to do.
“All of these guys need to understand, we are going to continue to keep pushing and prodding, trying to figure who of these guys are that we are going to get this thing going with. That is a process, and it is a process that you don’t necessarily find the answers in the OTAs or pre-season. Once you are in these games, some of those answers become clear and some of them become crystal clear.”
And, here’s the key point that Chiefs fans, players and the media need to remember when considering how Haley is handling this situation.
“Generally with poor teams, there is not a lot of competition,” said Haley. “There are a lot of guys that know they are starting regardless of who is back there. That doesn’t happen on the good teams I’ve been lucky enough to be part of; there’s somebody pushing each and every player.”
Isn’t a team’s starting quarterback a different animal than other positions?
“Not with me,” said Haley. “That’s just form past experience, that’s all I can go by. I’m a rookie head coach trying to get this right.”
If Brodie Croyle is truly pushing Matt Cassel, then the Chiefs will only get better, controversy and all, and Haley will have gotten it right.
One thing for sure is that two games into a season of remarkable change it’s way too early to make definitive decisions about most everything involving this football team.
Everyone wanted change. Well, here it is. Patience people, patience.
SIGNINGS, INJURIES & MOVEMENT AROUND THE LEAGUE
* BILLS – signed OL Jamon Meredith from the Packers practice squad.
* BROWNS – waived TE Martin Rucker; claimed TE Greg Estandia on waivers (Jaguars).
* BUCS – placed S Jermaine Phillips on the injured-reserve list (thumb); released S Steve Cargile.
* JAGUARS – signed CB William Middleton and S Courtney Greene; released TE Greg Estandia and WR Nate Hughes.
* PATRIOTS – acquired LB Prescott Burgess from the Ravens for a conditional draft choice; released C Ryan Wendell.
* RAIDERS – LG Robert Gallery will miss four to six weeks with a fractured fibula he suffered against the Chiefs on Sunday.
* RAMS – signed WR Danny Amendola; released WR Derek Stanley; OT Andre Smith will miss one to two games with a sprained knee.
* RAVENS – traded LB Prescott Burgess to the Patriots for a conditional 2010 seventh-round pick; signed TE Tony Curtis.
* REDSKINS – placed G Randy Thomas on the injured-reserve list (triceps); signed RB Anthony Alridge off the Texans practice squad.
FROM THE PAGES OF CHIEFS HISTORY
On September 23, 1962, the Dallas Texans beat the Oakland 26-16 at Frank Youell Field in Oakland. A crowd of 12,500 saw Dallas jump to 16-10 lead at half-time, as QB Len Dawson and WR Chris Burford hooked up for a pair of TD passes of 12 and seven yards. Burford later caught a six-yard scoring pass and K Durwood Pennington kicked a pair of FGs. The Texans defense had four interceptions, as FS Johnny Robinson grabbed two and LB E.J. Holub and S Bobby Hunt each h ad one. CB Dave Grayson contributed a 59-yard kickoff return.
On September 23, 1979, the Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders 35-7 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in beating their biggest rival. J.T. Smith returned a punt 88 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. At the time it established a new franchise record for longest punt return. FS Gary Barbaro returned an interception 70 yards for a score, picking off Ken Stabler’s pass. The offense had a pair of short TD runs by FB Arnold Morgado and a 19-yard TD pass from QB Steve Fuller to WR Steve Gaunty. The Chiefs defense allowed the Raiders just 121 offensive yards.
On September 23, 1990, the Chiefs beat the Packers 17-3 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. It was a defensive struggle in this one, and the Chiefs “D” won out with interceptions by CBs Kevin Ross and Stan Petry, who returned his 33 yards for a touchdown. They also had seven sacks of Packers QB Don Majkowski, including 2.5 from DT Dan Saleaumua and two from DE Leonard Griffin. Christian Okoye ran 23 times for 122 yards and scored on a five-yard run.
On September 23, 2001, the Chiefs lost at home to the New York Giants 13-3 at Arrowhead Stadium, in a game that was postponed for a week because of the September 11th terrorist attacks. The Chiefs never got the offense going, putting up just 11 first downs and 266 yards of total offense. The only points came on a third quarter, 33-yard FG by K Todd Peterson. The Chiefs defense had three interceptions, from CB Ray Crockett, CB Eric Warfield and LB Glenn Cadrez.
SAY A SPECIAL HAPPY BIRTHDAY …
Born on September 23, 1943 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania was Martin Edward Schottenheimer. He attended Ft. Cherry High School in McDonald, PA, the University of Pittsburgh and then was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 1965 AFL Draft. Schottenheimer played four seasons for the Bills and then spent two seasons with the Boston Patriots. He appeared in 79 games over those six seasons and had six career interceptions. In 1967, Schottenheimer returned one of those interception 45 yards for his only pro touchdown.
After getting into the business world upon retirement, he turned to coaching and in 1989 he was named the seventh head coach in Chiefs history. He spent 10 seasons (1989-98) directing the Chiefs, posting an overall record of 104-65-1, the best winning percentage in club history at .615, just a fraction better than that of Hank Stram. Under Schottenheimer, the Chiefs had nine winning seasons and seven seasons in the playoffs. Marty resigned after the 1998 season, but returned to coaching in 2001 with the Washington Redskins and then later the San Diego Chargers. Along with his wife Pat, they now live near Lake Norman, North Carolina
|09-23-2009, 08:35 AM||#3|
Draft a QB
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Happy Birthday Day Marty.....
When Reno Hightower was a prick he was the best damn quarterback in the history of Kern County.
|09-23-2009, 08:43 AM||#4|
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Best offseason ever!!!!!!
|09-23-2009, 09:32 AM||#5|
Die Slow Pisoli!!!
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|09-23-2009, 10:28 AM||#8|
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Happy Gleam Day,Marty.
Dante Hicks: But you hate people.
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|09-23-2009, 10:30 AM||#9|
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And people get paid for writing this BS ....
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