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Saturday, February 25, 2012
Crennel talks Manning, RG3 and other QBs

By Bill Williamson

INDIANAPOLIS -- On Friday, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said that the team’s quarterback job is not open and Matt Cassel is the starter.

However, Pioli said, there will be competition at the position.

Saturday, Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel also said that Cassel is the starter. But he made it clear that the team will explore all options.

Most interestingly, Crennel made it clear that if a certain future first-ballot Hall of Famer who resides in this city becomes available, the Chiefs coach will then become interested in him. Crennel acknowledged the league’s tampering rules, but he did say this when asked if he’d have interest in Peyton Manning if he is cut by the Colts as expected: “With a talent like that, I would be crazy not to consider it if he’s available. I’ll leave it at that.”

There was a report out of Kansas City that said the Chiefs have already talked to Manning’s agent. That is against league rules. The Chiefs do, though, have the financial means to sign Manning. Friday, Pioli did not address the subject because of the tampering rules.

Friday night, Crennel said the Chiefs talked to the three top quarterback prospects, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill. The interviews with Luck and Griffin were likely due diligence efforts because the Chiefs won't be in position to draft either man. Tannehill will likely be available in the second half of the first round, so Kansas City, which has the No. 11 pick, could potentially trade down and get him. Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler said he met with the Chiefs. He is likely to be taken in the second or third round.

Crennel raved about Griffin and said the time with the Baylor player was “special.”

Like Pioli, Crennel said the team would like to have Kyle Orton back. Crennel made Orton the starter when he took over as interim coach in Week 15. The Chiefs finished 2-1 under Crennel. Once again, the coach credited Orton for helping him get the permanent job.

I get the feeling -- and it is just a feeling -- that Crennel would like to re-sign Orton and give him every opportunity to beat out Cassel.

Crennel did acknowledge that the relationship between new Kansas City offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and Miami free agent Chad Henne could make Henne a potential target if he hits free agency. Daboll was the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator last year.

Don’t discount the possibility of Brady Quinn being a backup option in Kansas City. The free agent played for Crennel in Cleveland.

There are a lot of moving parts in Kansas City at this position and it will be fascinating to see how it all plays out.