Shocking as it may sound, there are actually several sources claiming that Brodie Croyle may be breathing down Matt Cassel’s neck for the starting quarterback job in Kansas City.
Chiefs beat writer Kent Babb claimed yesterday that Croyle could be challenging Cassel for the starting spot. Then, head coach Todd Haley had to explain himself after not explicitly saying Cassel was the best quarterback at training camp. But Haley’s explanation lacked any reference to Cassel as the sure starter.
Could Cassel be returning to clipboard duty? We seriously doubt it, but stranger things have happened.
If Croyle is indeed challenging Cassel, it has to drive the Chiefs brass and fans crazy. If Croyle was capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL, the Chiefs wouldn’t have had to ship a second round pick to New England in return for Cassel.
Croyle has virtually never been fully healthy during his college and pro careers. I’m not saying he’s not tough, I’m sure he is, but his body has never been able to stand up to the pounding football has put on it. Despite enormous talent, some people’s bodies just aren’t meant to play football, and Croyle has been an example of that since blowing his ACL during his senior year of high school.
Croyle is 150-for-260 for 1,401 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions in his career. That works out to a 67.5 QB rating.
In his only full season as a starter in 2008, Cassel was 327-for-516, for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His QB rating last year was 89.4 and he had a 10-5 record as a starter. He also displayed toughness, smarts and savvy in replacing Tom Brady for the New England Patriots after not starting a game since high school.
Was he a product of the Patriots system and a loaded roster? That probably had something to do with it, but in the end Cassel had to read defenses, find receivers and make throws.
It’s very possible that sitting behind Brady for three years and learning from Bill Belichick simply made him a better quarterback. Arm strength was never a problem for him and no one ever said he wasn’t a solid quarterback in college. He backed up two Heisman Trophy winners in Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart and the competition between he and Leinart to succeed Palmer was very close.
Kansas City would be foolish to sit Cassel in favor of Croyle. Yes, Croyle has a hot wife, but his injury history shows that he really can’t be relied upon for an entire season and Cassel has proven he can play in the NFL.