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Matt Cassel says he’ll compete to be the Chiefs’ starting quarterback

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel says he isn’t just assuming that he’ll return as the starter in 2012, and that he’s ready to compete to earn the starting job.

There’s competition every year,” Cassel told the Kansas City Star. “If you play this position, there’s always competition. You’re competing against yourself, you’re competing against somebody else. Whoever they bring in, you always compete and you always have to go out and try to get better.”

Cassel played nine games in 2011 before breaking his passing hand, and those nine games were disappointing: His passer rating was 76.6, down from 93.0 in 2010. But Cassel says he thinks he has made progress since arriving in Kansas City in 2009, and that the team was heading in the right direction before he got hurt.

“From year one to year two, our team made great strides,” Cassel said. “We won the AFC West and we went to the playoffs. Last year, we were in the middle of the playoff race and I broke my hand so there’s not much I can do about that.”

New Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel inserted Kyle Orton as the starter when Crennel became the head coach for the final three games of the season, but Orton becomes an unrestricted free agent in March and the Chiefs haven’t given any indication that they plan to re-sign him. At the press conference announcing that he will coach the Chiefs in 2012, Crennel had positive things to say about Cassel.

“Matt Cassel has won here,” Crennel said. “We’ve been to a playoff with Matt Cassel. I don’t think that Matt Cassel has fallen off the wagon overnight. I think he’s a good talent. He’s a good quarterback and he’s taken us to a playoff. So I anticipate that he can do it again.”

Those comments don’t sound like Crennel is planning to make Cassel compete for the job. But if Crennel makes Cassel prove that he’s the team’s best quarterback in a training camp competition, Cassel is ready for that.

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42 Responses to “Matt Cassel says he’ll compete to be the Chiefs’ starting quarterback”
  1. joetoronto says: Jan 12, 2012 7:10 AM

    As bad as he is, he really can compete with Ordinary Orton, that’s for sure.

    They both suck, hard.

  2. billinva says: Jan 12, 2012 7:32 AM

    Cassel needs a good QB coach and OC.

  3. toegoat says: Jan 12, 2012 7:44 AM

    Yea, I’d rather take my chances on Frank Castle.

  4. kcfanatic says: Jan 12, 2012 7:52 AM

    Make a play for Peyton

  5. chiefforlife says: Jan 12, 2012 7:54 AM

    They need to switch QBs now. The Cassel experiment should be over. Cassel is going to cost Romeo and Pioli their jobs if he remains the starter.

  6. bucball3256 says: Jan 12, 2012 7:58 AM

    Sounds like a lose lose situation to me.

  7. theandy59 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:00 AM

    You can win with Matt Cassel….he’s not Brady, Manning, Brees, or Rodgers, but I believe he’s a bona fide NFL starting QB. Like every other QB other than the 4 listed above, he needs to be on a balanced team that doesn’t need him to carry the load. KC has the potential to be a very good defensive team, and they can run the ball.

  8. txxxchief says: Jan 12, 2012 8:00 AM

    I hope it’s between him and Peyton.

  9. craigb2003 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:03 AM

    as a patriots fan..i love that mcdaniels came back to us..that being said..the chiefs should of went after him hard considering mcdaniels had cassel playing his best in 08

  10. mrplow3 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:04 AM

    Orton or Cassel?

    That’s like having to choose between a punch in the nose or kick to the stomach.

    Draft RG3 IMO.

  11. sepl12 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:08 AM

    Having watched essentially every preseason snap Cassell ever took in NE, and every snap as a starter he took in NE I feel confident saying Cassell can help get a good team to the playoffs. Anyone saying he’s an awful quarterback really doesn’t understand his game. He is the reincarnation of Chad Pennington. He will spread the field out and dissect a defense with short to medium accurate throws. He will know where every receiver is supposed to be on every play, and know all the tendencies of the defense. His downfall is the same a Chads was, he can’t throw the ball 50+ yards. You win with Matt the old fashion way, defense and field position. It’s not sexy but it still works.

  12. gmen1987 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:12 AM

    Cassell is not as bad as many people think. He had a good year last year and was playing better this year before he got hurt.

    And for those nimrods who keep saying Peyton, sound like it’s more and more likely Peyton played his last NFL game a year ago.

  13. test2402 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:19 AM

    They have no chance in the long run against the broncos and Timothy R. Tebow.

  14. mrgdawg says: Jan 12, 2012 8:25 AM

    Enter the era of Matt Flynn. Cassel will be competing to for backup spot.

  15. fin72 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:30 AM

    “We’ve been to a playoff with Matt Cassel. I don’t think that Matt Cassel has fallen off the wagon overnight.”
    ________________________________
    I didn’t know Cassel was an alcoholic.

  16. chuckxx says: Jan 12, 2012 8:30 AM

    Would somehow love to see the Chiefs make a play for RG3. He reminds me of a young Michael Vick. I know after 9 games the Chiefs were 4-5 with Cassel and they had gotten blown out by the Bills, Lions, and Dolphins. So I for one don’t think Cassel will ever get the Chiefs to a SuperBowl, let alone win it.

  17. 1historian says: Jan 12, 2012 8:36 AM

    In the ’05 (?) draft the Patriots chose Cassel in the last round even though he had not started a game since High School. He got to New England, was given a nice ballcap and instructions to stand on the sideline and watch #12. Which he did.

    Come the 1st game of the 2008 season Brady goes down, Cassel goes in and the Pats go 11-5.

    (Yes, he’s a system QB – what’s the problem with that?)

    He’s not the QB who can put a team on his back and carry it, but on the right team he can be a winner.

  18. neilpountney says: Jan 12, 2012 8:46 AM

    Can someone please explain me what a “System” QB or any other “System” player is because I have never understood that term.

    …. and if these “systems” are so good why doesn’t EVERYONE who is bad copy and use them????

    Matt Cassel is a decent qb not a superstar, put some pieces around him he will win for you!

  19. vegaskid21 says: Jan 12, 2012 8:52 AM

    To steal some of Lewis Black’s material: You’re dealing with 2 bowls of Sh!& The only difference is the smell.

  20. riverhorsey says: Jan 12, 2012 8:56 AM

    KC has 5 division titles , 0 conference championships in 40 years.

    Let Cassel compete with Manning. It’s time to stop F__ing around in KC !

  21. backfir3 says: Jan 12, 2012 9:01 AM

    Anyone saying Cassel is not horrible must not watch him play and knows nothing about the Chiefs…

    Yes Chiefs won the division last year… Easy Schedule every good game he had was against a sub par defenses

    Did anyone watch him play this year when JC wasn’t there to carry the team on his back he is horrendous

    Orton isn’t the best thing since sliced bread but he is sure as hell better then Cassel.

    With Orton in at least we didn’t go 3 and out every drive

  22. pftcensorssuck says: Jan 12, 2012 9:21 AM

    After having not started since high school, Matt Cassell won 11 games for Bill Belichick, in essentially his rookie year.

    He doesn’t suck, he’s just being given the wrong plays.

  23. bdb808757 says: Jan 12, 2012 9:22 AM

    Cassel no longer has the New England offensive line.

  24. snowpea84 says: Jan 12, 2012 9:34 AM

    They simply set the expectations too high by overachieving the year before this.

  25. elboriqua176 says: Jan 12, 2012 9:39 AM

    Cassell is orton with a stronger arm! they can win games for you, but they will not bring you a championship!

  26. irongershwin says: Jan 12, 2012 9:47 AM

    Alex Smith looked like a horrific super bust and he is doing okay this year. The loss of Moeaki and Charles were devastating, and Castle isn’t the type to put a team on his back. They can make the playoffs when everyone is healthy.

  27. gumbyn28 says: Jan 12, 2012 9:49 AM

    with good offensive coordinators (McDaniels and Weis), Cassel has put up:
    - 21 TD/11 INT; 89 passer rating in his first yr starting since HS in 08 under McDaniels
    - 27 TD/7 INT; 94 passer rating in ’10 under Weis, and with total dog-crap at WR

    in 09 and 11, we were an offensive mess thanks to Todd Haley. we had 3 offenses in ’09, first with Gailey, then half the year running super conservative (like this year) with LJ running for no yardage, then they changed halfway through the year, spreading it out with J. Charles. they also had 70 dropped passes in ’09 with WRs brought in off the street.
    this year, Haley and Bill Muir ran the offense, and Haley constrained it down to the most conservative and predictable piece of trash known to pro-football.

    those that say “you can’t win with Cassel”, he’s won 11 games for the Pats, and 10 and a div title with KC (on a bad team).

    they lose Charles in week 2, you’d think they’d throw the ball to Bowe/Breaston/Baldwin?? nope.
    5th in rush attempts; 26th in YPC; next to last in rush TDs on the season.
    passing?? 27th most attempts on the yr with this trio of WRs??? no wonder Haley was fired.

    Cassel is not all-world, he’s mid-pack with a good coordinator.

  28. gumbyn28 says: Jan 12, 2012 10:03 AM

    and all this talk about Orton being better?
    -Cassel has better career stats

    Orton lead them on more drives?
    -he threw 1 TD to 2 INTs for KC
    -they only scored 3 TDs in those 3 games (2 rush, 1 pass)
    -against Den, they were in Den territory TWICE all game, both in the 1st quarter. one was a TD run, the other they got to the 45. TWICE in Denver territory ALL GAME??!!
    -only in Oak territory a couple times as well, and he threw a horrible INT in the endzone, along with 2 intentional groundings, a delay of game for 2 timeouts back to back
    -how many games would KC have won in those last 3 if the defense would’ve given up their 21 pt avg? zero (0).

    ask the Den or Chicago fans if they want Orton back.

  29. pencepost says: Jan 12, 2012 10:10 AM

    Orton kind of reminds me of Jon Kitna. Decent success as a starter, but not good enough to build your franchise around. He will have a choice of either being a starting QB on a bad team with a young guy developing behind him and eventually taking over, or being a very good backup on a good team. I hope he chooses the latter. Please come back to Chicago.

  30. mogogo1 says: Jan 12, 2012 10:11 AM

    Cassel threw 20 more TDs than interceptions last year. Orton has never come anywhere close to a year like that.

  31. bcgreg says: Jan 12, 2012 10:26 AM

    Listen. What killed the Chiefs this year was losing Jamaal Charles very early. They had no “threat” at RB when he went down. They also missed Moeaki at TE. If the Chiefs get those 2 guys back healthy, Cassel is fine. He’s better than Orton by a mile. Orton’s a nice backup QB. Also, the D will be better when Berry gets back too.

  32. thinwhiteduke76 says: Jan 12, 2012 10:29 AM

    Matt Cassel is lucky, considering he ranks in the bottom 5 of completion percentage is on the list of highest paid quarterbacks in the league. He had a good season in 2010, but he’s not a guy that’s going to lead you to the Super Bowl, think the Chiefs know that already.

  33. gumbyn28 says: Jan 12, 2012 10:57 AM

    Cassel is only due $5 mil this year, that’s not “highest paid”.
    bottom line is, we still could’ve been contenders (and easily won the AFCW) had the scheme and play-calling not been something a pee-wee league coach dreams up. Once Haley was gone, Crennel allowed Muir to spice things up a bit…

  34. dougydougdoug says: Jan 12, 2012 10:58 AM

    The Chefs need to stop looting other team’s discard piles for quarterbacks. Their poor choices with drafting and free-agency are primary contributors to the fact that they have been largely irrelevant in the AFC West for a long time. Don’t waste anyone’s time bringing up the lone playoff game in 2010. KC residents should STILL feel embarrassed to go out in public after that disgrace.

    It’s a quarterback-driven league, and likely not to return to a day when a mediocre game manager like Trent Dilfer can take a team to a SuperBowl title. With the talent the Chefs have at TE and RB, they could do very well to make a far better decision on their next QB, than they did with Sand Castle. They fell for yet another scam coming out of New England. Just because a coach or player enjoys some success under Bellycheat, it almost NEVER translates to that same level on any other franchise. Sand Castle is proof positive, as too are the front office jokers who left MA for MO.

  35. kylehamer says: Jan 12, 2012 11:33 AM

    Matt Cassel benefited by playing for the tremendously talented Patriots. If I remember correct 11-5 that year wasn’t good enough for the playoffs. So technically Matt has only one playoff game under his belt.

    His skill level is in the same vein as Kosar, Gannon, and Dilfer. An adequate game manager who make choices not to lose. Perhaps the team can make it to a Championship game with Cassel, but I don’t think that is realistic considering we couldn’t do it with DeBerg (a far better play action passer), Montana (by far a better leader), or Green (by far better system QB).

    If RGIII is anything like Cam Newton in his work ethic, I think it would make a lot of sense for the Chiefs to get younger at QB. And to hire a QB coach who will develop whoever’s skills. There’s a reason Rogers, and Flynn are as good as they are… and it’s partially because they sat on the bench and learned before being thrown to the wolves.

  36. gumbyn28 says: Jan 12, 2012 11:47 AM

    another QB that needed a great trio of WRs and really good offensive scheme to make him look good?
    Kurt Warner.

    looked like hot garbage for the Giants. was so bad, signed to be a back-up behind Lienart.

    Rams had Bruce, Holt, Az-Hakim, Faulk. plus, a really strong Def, good OL, and a great scheme/play-calling. (and throwing it 50x a game)
    Cardinals had Fitz, Boldin, Breaston, Doucet. plus, a really strong Def, avg OL, and a good scheme. (and throwing it 50x a game)

    some think K. Warner is HOF worthy… but with the Giants, he sucked.
    you gotta have skill players around you, and a scheme that will utilize those players.
    KC finally has those skill players, the best WR trio they’ve had since i’ve lived here, and they run it 5th most, pass it 26th most???

  37. capslockkey says: Jan 12, 2012 11:48 AM

    Sure Cassel won 11 games in NE, but did you see who he beat that year?

    Jets were the only team with a winning record. What an accomplishment given he had the same tools (Randy Moss, Wes Welker, that line) that the same team almost went undefeated with (against better competition) and an offense that was trashing NFL records.

    Same story with him last year in KC. He won games against the terrible NFC West and teams like Cleveland, Jacksonville and Buffalo. Guy is a great backup, but he’s not going to take any team deep in the playoffs unless it’s a 2000 Ravens type situation.

  38. yelix says: Jan 12, 2012 12:32 PM

    The Chiefs defense, especially after Romeo took over, looked like it be one of the league’s best once Berry comes back. They have something that most teams don’t, and that is two talented man-to-man corners in Flowers and Carr (assuming he re-signs). Combine that with very good LB play from Hali, Johnson, and Houston, and you’ve got a defense that can keep you in games against good teams.

    The Chiefs need to strongly consider looking at a guy like Hue Jackson or Al Saunders to come in and revamp that offense, and maybe draft a QB in round 2 or 3 that could develop into a starter. Let’s face it: if Stanzi was developing well, Tyler Palko wouldn’t have started for a month.

    All I know is that Cassel’s time is nearly up in KC unless he comes out and has an MVP-caliber season in 2012.

  39. daveyjones1 says: Jan 12, 2012 12:43 PM

    Kyle Orton is really not someone to hang your hat on. He has never proven to be a winner in the long term. Then again, Cassell didn’t even start in college. So basically KC, you need to address the QB position. Why not see what the Colts will take for the #1 pick?

  40. wannabeqb says: Jan 12, 2012 12:48 PM

    Interesting how varied the opinions on Cassel are. My take is that he is a system guy (not an insult) & he needs an OC from the pats system he understands.

    As a pats fan, I saw every game of his rookie starting year and he has the tools. He has also improved since that year, especially when it comes to being braver in the pocket. Is he Brady? No, but he can be a winning QB for KC, especially in that division.

    The choice of OC is going to be key for Cassel’s future.

  41. skolvikesskol says: Jan 12, 2012 2:32 PM

    Ive only seen cassel a few times and everytime i scream “open it up!” if this guy cant throw downfield its over… The new nfl does not work for game managers anymore…

  42. chief67 says: Jan 13, 2012 12:57 PM

    Matt Cassel looks like complete retard when a 3-4 defense puts any pressure from the edges .

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