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Old 01-15-2012, 12:13 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Mellinger: Now is the time for Chiefs to make bold move at QB

Now is the time for Chiefs to make bold move at QB
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star

The old personnel man wants a promise you won’t use his name. He will talk to you, and say exactly what he thinks, but doesn’t want to be the one using a public forum like the local newspaper to tell Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli how to do his job.

It’s just that the man spent a few decades being paid to evaluate NFL talent and he can’t look at the Chiefs without seeing what he thinks is obvious.

“They need a quarterback,” the man says. “Matt Cassel is fine, but look at the league now, the way things are, you need to do better than Matt Cassel. At least bring in someone to compete.”

This is the Chiefs’ major decision now. It is real, even if the decision-makers are maintaining their usual silence. Cassel is the incumbent, and there are no indications that the most important opinions on him are wavering.

But the costs of moving on have never been lower, the potential benefits never been higher, and the timing never better. The easy thing is to see that the Chiefs need to get better at quarterback.

The harder thing is thinking through the options and making the necessary sacrifices.

• • •

That whole Suck For Luck thing is nonsense. A nonstarter. NFL teams don’t throw seasons, and they certainly don’t make progress by throwing seasons.

But right now, it’s impossible not to think about it.

Because the Chiefs will own the 11th or 12th pick in April’s draft — it’ll be decided by a coin flip with Seattle — and that’s just too far to trade into the first (Andrew Luck) or second (Robert Griffin III) pick. Whatever chance the Chiefs had to draft one of this class’ premier quarterbacks died when they won seven games.

Shawn Zobel, who runs DraftHeadquarters.com, thinks a realistic framework for the Chiefs to move into the No. 2 pick would be roughly what Atlanta gave up last year to move from No. 27 to No. 6 in order to take Julio Jones: two first-round picks, one second, and two fourths.

The NFL’s new CBA includes cost-control on rookies, plus the Browns have extra picks from the trade with Atlanta, so it would be an enormous stretch for the Chiefs to make the best offer. Either way, it would be a staggering haul that didn’t help the Falcons, plus left them without a first- or fourth-round pick this year.

Griffin’s potential is real, but the Chiefs have too many other needs — starting with an offensive line that needs to get both younger and better — to do that. Besides, trading up is entirely out of Pioli’s track record.

We also know that re-signing Kyle Orton is both uncertain (he’ll have other options) and entirely inadequate. That leaves two options for a bold move: take a quarterback with the first-round pick, or go big with someone else’s quarterback.

A first-round pick probably means Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill. He’s a former wide receiver with only a season and a half as a starting quarterback, so he’s raw, especially with quarterback intricacies like pre-snap reads and progressing through receivers. He recently broke his foot but is expected to recover.

The last option is the one that makes the most sense. Peyton Manning is the sexy name, of course, and the obvious and sad irony is that the Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game since the last time they brought in someone else’s aching Hall of Fame quarterback, Joe Montana.

Manning would be a no-brainer, both in terms of football and public relations. The problem is the list of what would have to happen — his neck fully heals, the Colts let him go, and he decides he wants to play somewhere else — is wrought with uncertainty.

The positive is that the Chiefs are in a place to offer Manning a talented roster with a coaching staff that could still be suited to him and a presumably winnable division.

Matt Flynn is the best free agent, though the Packers could use the franchise tag to keep him as their backup. Flynn drove up his price by throwing for six touchdowns and a franchise-record 480 yards in the season finale against Detroit, and was also good (24 of 37 passing, 251 yards, three touchdowns and an interception) in his one start last season.

But here’s the irony: his profile is an awful lot like Matt Cassel’s was three years ago. Both are career backups to Hall of Famers. Both have benefitted from being in wildly successful systems. Flynn will be 27 when the season begins, just like Cassel was when he began with the Chiefs.

It’s a small sample, but perhaps instructive that of two NFL personnel men who spoke for this column, one said he liked Cassel more three years ago than he likes Flynn now.

That’s OK. There aren’t many certainties in the NFL, but here’s one: the Chiefs are in a promising place that can best be ruined by lacking the guts to do something bold.

• • •

The advantage the Chiefs have in searching for a better quarterback situation is in timing first, and resources second.

Romeo Crennel hasn’t hired an offensive coordinator, or even given much of an indication on which coaches will be back. That gives him an opportunity to sync the new staff with whatever decision is made about the quarterback.

Acquiring someone else’s quarterback — Manning or Flynn — comes with an added benefit. The Chiefs have plenty of salary-cap space, and could structure any deal in such a way to make the most out of the league-mandated spending minimum that begins in the 2013 season.

The quote at the top of this column is a pretty good summation. Cassel is fine. He’s had four seasons as a starting quarterback. Twice he won 10 games, once he played for a team that had no chance, and the other he got hurt.

But this narrative from the Chiefs that Cassel is young and developing needs to stop. He turns 30 in May. He’s started 54 games. Rookies are coming into the NFL ready.

Cassel told The Star last week he wouldn’t mind if the Chiefs made him compete for the job. Nothing that happened last season indicates that competition would come from Ricky Stanzi.

The Chiefs have the chassis for a good football team, now and into the future. Much of that is because of the improvement of players such as Tamba Hali and Jamaal Charles and Pioli’s ability to sign them long-term.

Since Pioli took over three years ago, two of the most consistent limits on the team have been his unwillingness to make bold personnel acquisitions and the quarterback.

This offseason presents the perfect chance to change that.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:18 AM   #2
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Go bold! Get a backup to compete with the front-line backup you already have!
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Mellinger

Cassel told The Star last week he wouldn’t mind if the Chiefs made him compete for the job. Nothing that happened last season indicates that competition would come from Ricky Stanzi.
Well, Stanzi never was given a chance last year because of Haley's bromance with Palko.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:21 AM   #4
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Pioli is smart. He knows what he's looking for in a QB. Before every interview with a QB at the Combine, he balls up a bubble gum wrapper and throws it on the floor. If a QB picks it up and throws it in the trash can, he'll get drafted. If not, he wont. Sanchez and Freeman both left the wrapper on the floor. Hopefully RGIII won't make the same mistake.



Side note: Stanzi picked up the wrapper, but in the process, he farted, that's why Pioli waited until the 5th round to draft him.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:23 AM   #5
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IDK bout others, but I'd give up this years 1st, next years 1st, and this years 2nd for RG3. No problem.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:26 AM   #6
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:28 AM   #7
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Pioli has no balls. He's going down burning with Cassel.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:30 AM   #8
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True fans who don't follow the team online probably think this article is an edgy, bold, and abrasive critique of Matt Cassel, their starting QB.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:32 AM   #9
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True fans: "Mellinger is really going out on a limb talking about Cassel like that. He only went to the pro bowl in 2010." (yet I know people that bring his pro bowl up, but they forget he was an alternate because Brady couldn't go)
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:33 AM   #10
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Dumbass. At least Flynn actually PLAYED in college.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:35 AM   #11
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanilla Thunder View Post
Pioli has no balls. He's going down burning with Cassel.
I agree if shit doesn't change with drafting a 1st round QB, or giving Stanzi a chance to see what he has when he plays with the 1st stringers.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:36 AM   #12
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My eyes lit up with excitement and wonder when I read this title. I thought that somebody from the KC Star was actually going to advocate drafting one of the top two QBs in this year's draft.

Then I read "Matt Cassel is fine". Worry started to set in.

Then I read "Griffin’s potential is real, but the Chiefs have too many other needs..." I got pissed.

After reading Mellinger act like a retarded dildo of a true fan, I thought the article couldn't get any worse. But then Mellinger wrote this gem:

"Cassel told The Star last week he wouldn’t mind if the Chiefs made him compete for the job. Nothing that happened last season indicates that competition would come from Ricky Stanzi."

.....

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Old 01-15-2012, 12:37 AM
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This message has been deleted by KcMizzou. Reason: MFR... I read it... nevermind.
Old 01-15-2012, 12:39 AM   #13
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DO IT!!!!
I'll get right on that. Gonna give good ol Scotty a call. Gotta watch what I say though. They've been tapping into my phone lines lately.

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Old 01-15-2012, 12:43 AM   #14
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IDK bout others, but I'd give up this years 1st, next years 1st, and this years 2nd for RG3. No problem.
DO this!!
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:47 AM   #15
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DO this!!
I will. And because I'm a nice guy, I erased your previous post about the article.
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