During his press conference yesterday, Todd Haley said that all positions — including quarterback — is open to competition.
Haley said he was encouraged by Cassel’s performance, including the fearless way the quarterback scrambled out of trouble and rushed for 34 yards despite that bad knee.
“I like a lot about this guy,” Haley said.
But there are things that Haley said he likes about backup quarterback Brodie Croyle, too. Haley said that he wants to see both players improve each week and keep the competition between them at more than a simmer. Haley again praised Croyle’s poise in a loss in the regular-season opener at Baltimore, saying that the fourth-year quarterback gave the Chiefs a chance to upset the Ravens by playing a mostly mistake-free contest.
Haley said Tuesday that he doesn’t want any player getting too comfortable. That has been a common theme since the team gathered in July for training camp in River Falls, Wis., and Haley has said often that just because a player starts one day, he won’t necessarily start the next.
Listen, there is not a quarterback controversy. None. Haley is saying the same things he has been saying since day one. Remember how everyone scoffed when he delivered that line during OTAs? Should it now mean something different because the Chiefs are 0-2? It shouldn’t and it doesn’t.
For the second time in as many weeks, The Star’s Kent Babb takes on the task of translating Todd Haley’s press conference.
Haley: “As I’ve kind of made it pretty clear, we’re going to continue to do everything we can to figure out who the best – or who the guys are that give us the best chance to win. We have some limitations, roster number-wise. There’s some juggling that has to go on. … There’s going to be somebody left out every week. That’s been made very clear to everyone, and that’s going to continue until we find out who those guys are.”
Translation: This season is as much about defining the Chiefs’ building blocks as it is about week-to-week success. As much as Kansas City wants and needs victories, it’s more important to reinforce for the future. One way to do that is to audition certain players, which comes at the expense of others – in Sunday’s case, it was running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Brad Cottam who were inactive, in favor of Dantrell Savage and Jake O’Connell.
I couldn’t agree with the first part of that “translation” more. It’s the reason why there is no quarterback controversy. Haley and Scott Pioli are trying to find out which players currently on the roster will help the team win in the future. They feel Cassel already fits into that category. A better example of what he is trying to do is the limited playing time of Derrick Johnson and Jamaal Charles.
Former Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin, after only being on the field for a handful of snaps in Week 1, was one of the three wide receivers sent out for the first offensive play in Week 2 against the Saints. Maclin is hoping to hit the field even more as the season continues.
“It felt good to finally get out there and play alongside my teammates. It felt good to get my first catch,” said Maclin, who was on the field for about a dozen of the Eagles’ 75 offensive plays in the 48-22 loss to the Saints. He finished with two catches for 12 yards.
“I’m not patient,” he said. “But I’m happy just being on the field. I feel blessed to be in the league. But [not playing a lot] motivates me to work hard and get out there and be one of the marquee guys.”
Most of Maclin’s playing time came in four-wide formations and in some of the spread (Wildcat) formations the Eagles ran. Maclin took the direct snap on that unsuccessful Wildcat flea-flicker late in the first quarter on which he handed off to Brian Westbrook, who pitched it to quarterback Kevin Kolb. Two Saints defenders were in Kolb’s face as soon as he got the ball and he ended up having to throw it away.
With DeSean Jackson nursing a groin injury, Maclin probably will get a little more playing time this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. If Reid decides to rest Jackson with a bye coming up next week, Maclin might even start.
“It’s been a little bit of an adjustment [not playing a lot],” Maclin said. “You always want to be out there every down. All I can do is go out there every day in practice and prove that I’m one of the guys that can play every down.”
I received more than a few emails leading up to the draft from Missouri fans that felt Maclin could be the perfect No. 2 behind Dwayne Bowe. My choice at wide receiver was Percy Harvin, but after seeing what Maclin did in college it’s hard to argue he wouldn’t have helped the Chiefs. Not to mention the positive press that can come along with keeping a local kid in town.
It looks like Jackson will at the very least be limited this week, meaning we should get to see a lot of Maclin throughout the game.