Last year, Chiefs tackle Eric Winston called out Chiefs fans who cheered an injury suffered by quarterback Matt Cassel. Now, Winston is rolling out the red carpet for Cassel’s replacement.
“I know I’m going to do everything I can to help him,” Winston told USA Today on Wednesday after news broke of the Chiefs’ trade for Alex Smith.
“It’s about winning,” Winston said. “Alex is a guy who’s been there and has what it takes. Alex can beat you a lot of different ways. He’s a lot more athletic than people give him credit for. It’s an exciting time with all the new people coming in. It was definitely a change of direction the organization felt we needed to go in.”
Winston was careful to point out that he’s not throwing his former quarterback under the proverbial bus.
“I have a friendship with Matt Cassel,” Winston said. “Obviously, you had the sense they were probably going to go in a different direction just because of the totality of all that’s happened. But at the same time, you realize it’s going to cost some of your friends their jobs. Obviously, the organization wanted to bring in new blood. You know that going in. You know everybody is up for review and that’s just how it is. For me, it’s personally bittersweet because I believe in Matt. I think Cassel can get it done. Maybe it will be a great change for him and he can go somewhere else where he can get a fresh start as well.”
Of course, Winston could be in the same boat as Cassel, when the dust settles. The former Texan has only one season in Kansas City, and the new regime could decide to go in a different direction at right tackle, too.