Cassel, Then Croyle, Then Cassel?

From Arrowhead Stadium

One of the more unusual moments of the season came near the end of the third quarter and it involved the head coach and his top two quarterbacks.

The Chiefs took over at their 49-yard line and Thomas Jones ran for one-yard.

That’s when Todd Haley called Matt Cassel to the sidelines and sent Brodie Croyle into the game. It wasn’t like Croyle had been warming up, and Cassel wasn’t injured.

So what was up?

“I have great respect for the Tennessee Titans,” said Haley. “It was not a situation here we thought we had the game in hand or anything like that. It was a strategic area that we had to get cleaned up. I’ve got complete faith in Brodie and it didn’t hurt to get him a little playing time in there.

“We just had to get something cleaned up strategically with Matt that we didn’t get done during the change of possession. There was a fairly quick turnover, so Brodie got some snaps.”

Huh? “Cleaned up strategically?”

OK, so let’s see if Cassel can shed any light on the subject.

“Coach made the decision we needed to fix a few things on the sideline so he brought me off and we talked,” Cassel said.

Talked about what?

“I don’t want to get into specifics right now about what we were going over and all of that. He wanted to talk about a few specific things, talking about things I was going to do when I went back in.”

There’s only one problem with that scenario – Cassel and Haley barely talked when he was off the field for two plays and the timeout when the third quarter ended. The quarterback looked like he was pleading his case to assistant head coach Maurice Carthon. The only time he was within conversation distance with Haley came when the coach was talking to Croyle between quarters.

OK, so Brodie what was the story there?

“He told me to go in,” Croyle said. “I did.”

But why did the coach put you in?

“You’ve got to ask him,” Croyle said.

So Croyle got two snaps. He completed a pass to FB Tim Castille that lost two yards, and then on the first play of the fourth quarter, his pass to WR Dwayne Bowe was tipped by Bowe and intercepted by LB Will Witherspoon. That left Croyle with one of the ugliest statistical lines possible in the NFL: one of two for minus-2 yards and an interception. That’s a 16.7 passer rating.

8 Responses to “Cassel, Then Croyle, Then Cassel?”

  • December 27, 2010  - Chiefs Win Game & Division – They Rule The AFC West | Chiefs Football at says:

    [...] SIDEBAR: Cassel to Croyle to Cassel? [...]

  • December 27, 2010  - bhive01 says:

    This was so confusing. I wish Croyle could have got something going, it’s a shame that drive ended so spectacularly horrible.

  • December 27, 2010  - johnfromfairfax says:


    I’m not sure we’ll ever know what truly transpired. Do you think it was done to make a point or what? It seemed premature for Cassell to be pulled and it certainly backfired if it was meant to make a point. It didn’t make a difference in the result but was certainly puzzling.

  • December 27, 2010  - Josh says:

    We have proof now that we don’t have a second or third string QB. Cassel has to stay healthy through February, and in the off-season, we must draft or otherwise acquire, a strong utility QB that can handle the load when Cassel has to have his other appendix removed. :)

    Bob, if you were holding the reins, who would you pursue as a developmental QB, given a bottom-half first or second round pick? Or do you think there will be enough free agent journeyman QBs that we wouldn’t have to burn a decent pick?

  • December 27, 2010  - TDKC says:

    The Titans were getting awful chippy. Maybe Haley was trying to protect his QB,

  • December 27, 2010  - MattMac44 says:

    IMO, Cassel was “audibling” too much or to the wrong or uncompatible plays. There were a couple of “check with me” situations yesterday (IMO, again) that Matt may have changed without success (i.e., strong-side run into a strong-side blitz).

    Somehow, last year’s scene with Coach Haley and Matt came to mind, albeit much, much lighter -”SNAP THE F**KING BALL!”

  • December 27, 2010  - aPauled says:

    Don’t know the “why” but it would have been nice to see Croyle do something positive while he was in the game. Croyle needs a session with Sgt. Ermey to get some self confidence…the jack wagon.

  • December 27, 2010  - cychief24 says:

    that part of the game scared the heck out of me! my gosh Brokie is just plain bad. I am guessing this was one of Todd’s mind games with Matt and the whole team. It was great to have all of us cheer Matt when he went back in.

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