Brady Quinn: Chiefs' Backup QB Is Ready to Take over Starting Job

Darin PikeContributor IOctober 5, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 24:  Quarterback Brady Quinn #9 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a touchdown during the NFL preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium on August 24, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Brady Quinn was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. To date, that has been the highlight of his NFL career.

The Browns toyed with Quinn and Derek Anderson during the 2009 season, and Quinn hasn't thrown a regular-season pass since.

Quinn has been solid, although certainly not spectacular, in the preseason since that time. He was 23-of-41 for 284 yards with a touchdown in the 2012 preseason games. He led the team on several scoring drives and played well in his limited time with the starting offense.

Quinn was a promising prospect out of Notre Dame and would still like to demonstrate he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He has had the advantage of watching the game the last two seasons and adjusting to the pace of the NFL.

He still hasn't had the opportunity to be groomed by a star quarterback, but that doesn't always matter. Point in case, Quinn would be replacing Matt Cassel, who spent two seasons watching Tom Brady.

The Chiefs have a difficult decision ahead of them and one that coach Romeo Crennel may have to decide with his GM. 

Scott Pioli could feel as though his tenure in Kansas City is dependent on Cassel's success. After all, it was his decision to acquire the quarterback, not to mention sign him to a six-year, $63 million contract after Pioli took over as general manager of the Chiefs early in 2009. He has continued to express his belief in Cassel as a starting quarterback.

There is speculation that benching Cassel could spell the demise for Pioli. However, continuing a losing season won't do much to further Crennel's or Pioli's terms in Kansas City.

The Chiefs have stated that they aren't ready to make a change at quarterback, but rumors are circulating that he is losing support with the Chiefs.

Cassel reportedly losing support inside Chiefs'…

— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) October 1, 2012

Cassel will likely have the game against the Ravens and the Week 6 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to show that he can be the same quarterback he was in 2010 when he helped guide Kansas City to the playoffs.

He also needs to demonstrate he's not the quarterback that threw for just 70 yards and three interceptions in the subsequent 30-7 loss in the AFC Wild Card game.

Quinn is riding a one-year contract in Kansas City and knows time is short if he's going to secure another decent payday in the NFL. He's had time to learn and grow and has shown enough promise in preseason and practice sessions that the staff should have some confidence in giving him the opportunity to run the offense.

Gregg Rosenthal of shared Crennel's comments about giving Quinn some additional practice reps with the starting offense.

"You pull him out, put somebody else in, let him settle down and maybe he goes back in," Crennel said of Cassel. "As a coach, you get a feeling about whether he's making good decisions, poor decisions... those kind of things all kind of play into it."

It is difficult to argue that Cassel is making good decisions at this point, having thrown seven interceptions thus far in 2012.

Quinn is ready to step in and lead the team, and fans should be ready for him to be moved into the starting lineup headed into the Week 7 bye, if not before.

If Quinn isn't effective, the Chiefs can always throw Ricky Stanzi into the game. That will help them make conclusions on which quarterbacks should be retained next season.

A pair of quarterback changes would also help Kansas City set themselves up for the 2013 draft where they will likely be looking to draft a new franchise quarterback. Not exactly the season fans were expecting headed into 2012, but if Cassel can't engineer a win on Sunday, the Chiefs could be three games back in the AFC West.


Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.