|Brady Quinn came on in relief of Matt Cassel on Sunday against Baltimore. Quinn is likely to get his first start since 2009 on Sunday at Tampa Bay. (US Presswire)|
For one week at least, it's likely going to be the Brady Quinn show in Kansas City, which is what fans have wanted for weeks. The Chiefs are preparing for Quinn to start at quarterback on Sunday at Tampa Bay, although Matt Cassel, who has a concussion, has not been ruled out yet.
So the question becomes: Will the Chiefs open their playbook back up for Quinn?
Romeo Crennel made it clear with his game plan in Sunday's 9-6 loss to Baltimore that the best way for Kansas City to win was to keep Cassel's use at a minimum. He threw only seven passes in the first half, and the Chiefs ran the ball 50 times and only attempted 18 passes.
Fans booed the conservative approach, but since it almost worked, it's likely they'll see it again. In fact, the last time Quinn started a game -- Dec. 20, 2009 -- Crennel was his coach and current Kansas City offensive coordinator Brian Daboll held the same position in Cleveland. It just so happened the Browns played the Chiefs.
In a 41-34 win, the Browns' game plan was similar to what the Chiefs did against the Ravens. They ran the ball 49 times and Quinn attempted only 17 passes. The week before that, Cleveland ran 37 times and Quinn attempted 19 passes in a 13-6 win against Pittsburgh.
"We have to look at the strength of every player we're going to play in the game," Crennel told the Kansas City Star when asked how he would use Quinn. "The things Brady does well, we have to tilt the game plan toward those things. If we didn't, we wouldn't be very good coaches."
Crennel had a similar situation last season when Kyle Orton made his first start of the season against Green Bay. Orton went 23 of 31 for 299 yards in a 19-14 win, but Crennel suggested he doesn't plan to give Quinn that much responsibility.
"Kyle is a more experienced guy," Crennel said. "This is a different scenario and a different situation. I know Brady will be ready to play, and Brady is going to do everything he can to help this team win."
Crennel hinted last week that he might give Quinn a look against Baltimore, but he said after the game that Quinn would not have played if Cassel had not left the game with an injury. Cassel ranks 32nd in the league in passer rating (66.2) and also has a league-high nine interceptions. Despite those numbers, Crennel is not ruling him out starting on Sunday.
"Not totally, but just from what I've seen about concussions, they can be difficult," Crennel said. "The individual is the thing. Some individuals recover faster than others. With the emphasis on concussions in the league, they're making sure we do due diligence on the player's health and making sure he's not rushed back.
"They're going to run several tests to see where he is. Generally, concussions are not good, but we're concerned about the safety and welfare of the player and we're going to give him an opportunity to get well. In the meantime, Brady Quinn has to get ready to play, and Ricky Stanzi has to be ready to play."
Eric Winston stands by comments: Given a chance to think about what he said about fans cheering after Cassel's injury on Sunday, RT Eric Winston stood behind his comments on Monday.
"I meant what I said. I didn't say it off the cuff. … I look back on it, and I'm happy with what I said," Winston told the Kansas City Star.
Winston did take the chance to self-edit his comments after saying on Sunday that 70,000 people cheered that Cassel got knocked out.
"I didn't mean all 70,000 [fans] were cheering," he said. "It might have been 7,000. It might have been 700. It's still too many. Of anything I said, that's the one thing that might have been misconstrued. That was the one thing just looking back on it that I want to make sure people know, that I didn't think it was the whole stadium."
Winston's comments received a lot of attention locally and nationally. Kansas City fans were split in their support of Winston or anger from what he said.
"I'm surprised by the national play it's gotten," he said. "I'm not too terribly surprised by the local play it's gotten. I've gotten an overwhelming amount of support. I think there's always people going to be upset. I don't think you're ever going to make everyone happy. But I stand by what I said. I didn't mean to paint the whole crowd with the same brush, but I do feel like if that's the way you think, and if you think that's OK, then I think we've got problems with society."