Print and Go Back AFC West [Print without images]

Monday, January 9, 2012
Who will be Crennel's QB?

By Bill Williamson

Romeo Crennel continued to talk up quarterback Kyle Orton during the news conference that announced Crennel would be be the Kansas City Chiefs' permanent head coach.

Orton started and went 2-1 during Crennel's stint as the interim coach and is free agent. The Chiefs could opt to sign him and keep him over Matt Cassel, whose 2011 season ended with a broken hand. Many scouts think the two quarterbacks are comparable.

According to the superb Chiefs’ fan site, Arrowhead Pride, here is what Crennel had to say about Orton on Monday: "Kyle did a tremendous job for us and I'm probably not sitting here if Kyle hadn't done the job that he did. I'm very appreciative of that. I'm also appreciative of the fact that he is an unrestricted free agent and we have to go through the process. I would be unfair to him not to say that I appreciated what he did for me. I'm not going to say I didn't appreciate it but the situation is the situation. We have two quarterbacks under contract. He's not under contract. So we'll play it out and see what happens.”

If I had to guess I’d say Cassel is the Chiefs' quarterback in 2012. Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli, who will ultimately make the call, is a Cassel fan and the Chiefs are tied to Cassel. Crennel said this of Cassel on Monday: "Matt Cassel has won here. We've been to a playoff with Matt Cassel. I don't think that Matt Cassel has fallen off the wagon overnight. I think he's a good talent. He's a good quarterback and he's taken us to a playoff. So I anticipate that he can do it again."

I don’t see a scenario where the Chiefs pay top dollar to keep a healthy Cassel and a healthy Orton on the same roster. Again, my money is on Cassel, but there is no doubting Crennel's fondness for Orton.