Matt Cassel has become a decent NFL starter who might have a career much like the guy who replaced him after he came down with injury. Not Tyler Palko, of course, but a Kyle Orton type who will continue to find various starting gigs in the NFL due to the lack of franchise quarterbacks in the league. Young guys will flame out and create voids at starter positions every year, which means guys like Jason Campbell, Orton and Cassel will always have work as a possible starter.
But Scott Pioli now says that the Chiefs aren’t satisfied handing the baton to Cassel and telling him the job is his. If the Chiefs starter over the last few years wants it for yet another, he’s going to have to earn it over unnamed competition.
“We’ve been saying it for three years, and I’m going to continue to say it, because it’s a core part of our philosophy: There will be increased competition at every position, including the quarterback position,” Pioli told the Star. “Who that is, I don’t know. Maybe it’s Kyle (Orton), maybe it’s another free agent, maybe it’s a draft choice, I don’t know. Very few people can perform at an extremely high level without competition.”
Randy Covitz also got head coach Romeo Crennel on the record about the same.
“What happens in free agency remains to be seen,” Crennel said. “I know competition makes everybody better, and we’ll just have to see what kind of competition we’re going to have at the quarterback position.”
That sounds like there’s been some significant internal decision making about the quarterback position, and that the discussion has yielded unsatisfactory results. It’s interesting that Pioli specifically mentions Orton, because he’s now a free agent. Perhaps that’s a signal that the team liked what they saw.