The Kansas City Chiefs are in dire need of a spark this season. The 1-4 start—and everything that it encompasses—has dismantled the hopeful expectations that accompanied the team entering the 2012 season.
There are many areas to point the blame—turnovers, lack of leadership, play-calling, injuries or an overall deficiency in talent and depth—but quarterback Matt Cassel's maddening inability to do the things that his position requires of him is the primary reason the Chiefs are the laughingstock of the NFL right now.
While it is never anyone's inclination for a player to be seriously injured, Cassel's departure from the game embodied a perfect storm of emotions from a city that has been suppressed by its sports teams for decades.
Teammate Eric Winston's publically hailed remarks should have run through the standard "15 minutes of fame" by now. Instead, they have now fueled a national quest to crucify all Chiefs' fans and an entire city that already gets no love from the big-time media outlets.
Regardless of what exactly transpired, the focus should now be on Quinn leading the Chiefs—even if Cassel is given a clean bill of health to return this season.
Winston's comments were heard, but should now be forgotten. If Cassel returns under center for the Chiefs, he will be the same quarterback as he was before; one who lacked confidence and the ability to lead this team.
If Cassel takes the field again this season as the starter, the Chiefs organization will risk losing its fanbase. This is the foremost reason that Quinn should take Cassel's job as starter—not because of an ill-timed injury (or well-timed depending on your perspective).
While there is no way to know if Quinn will provide any more than Cassel has as the Chiefs' quarterback this season, it certainly can't be any worse can it?
Cassel has accounted for 14 turnovers and has a quarterback efficiency rating of 66.2. While Quinn has done nothing to prove he is a capable signal-caller in this league either, it really doesn't matter at this point.
Change is all the fans wanted. And regardless of how it went down, the potential of Cassel not taking snaps was precisely what was cheered for.
The Chiefs have one of the most passionate fanbases in all of sports. So as Winston defends his criticism of those that pay his salary, that same group will battle back with more boos if Cassel takes another snap in a Chiefs uniform.
It was never about the injury or even general manager Scott Pioli bringing Cassel to Kansas City in the first place.
It is about where this franchise currently stands with Cassel, Pioli and owner Clarke Hunt leading the way. It is about zero playoff victories in close to two decades. It is about Todd Blackledge, in 1983, being the last quarterback the Chiefs drafted in the first round. And it is ultimately about this organization's stomach-turning predisposition for being mediocre.
The fans need better. Kansas City needs better. The players, coaches, front office and owner owe that to everyone with a vested interest in this team.
That is the reason why Quinn makes sense right now.
If you don't think that's what it's all about, just wait until the fans boo a completely healthy Cassel if he returns to his starting spot or if Pioli fails to address the quarterback position next offseason.
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