Chiefs Head Coach Romeo Crennel isn’t tipping his hand on who his starting quarterback will be this Sunday.
But the Ravens seem to believe usual starter Matt Cassel will be under center.
Speaking to the Baltimore media Wednesday, Crennel shut down multiple questions about Cassel, who threw three interceptions last week against San Diego and now has seven picks to five touchdowns.
“We’re going to go into the game and we’re going to do what we think is best for our team to give ourselves the best chance to win,” Crennel said. “I’m not going to discuss a short leash or anything like that.”
Crennel said backup quarterback Brady Quinn, who some pundits are speculating could get the start or at least see snaps, will see the same amount of first-team practice work this week as in previous weeks.
The head coach was asked whether he will advise Cassel to protect the ball better, especially as Cassel is set to face a Ravens team that has eight turnovers (four interceptions) in four games.
“I tell all my players that we need to play better,” Crennel said. “That’s why we’re in the situation that we’re in [at 1-3], because we as a team have not played well enough.”
Head Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens always look at a team’s backup quarterback in their preparations every week, but said “we’re going to have to deal with Matt Cassel this Sunday.”
“We’ve played against Brady and we know how talented he is,” Harbaugh said. “But, Matt Cassel is not to be underestimated by any stretch.”
“I’m definitely going in with the mindset that Matt Cassel is the starter because he is,” linebacker
Cassel still has the ability to put up big numbers. The 2010 Pro Bowler is averaging 265 passing yards per game this season. His best game was in Buffalo, where he threw for 301 yards and tossed two touchdowns to one interception.
“He’s put together a great season,” Harbaugh said. “He’s put together great games. He knows that offense, that New England style offense, that they play.”
Cassel isn’t the only reason why the Chiefs are off to a 1-3 start. It’s turnovers in general.
The Chiefs have the NFL’s fourth-ranked offense and their defense is a respectable 13th in the league. But they are last in the NFL in turnover ratio (-13) and have given the ball up a league-high 15 times.
The Ravens capitalized on the Chiefs’ mistakes the last time they played at Arrowhead Stadium in the divisional playoffs in 2011.
Kansas City coughed up the ball five times, including three in the third quarter alone. Interestingly, all three interceptions and two fumble recoveries were made by players no longer with the Ravens: Dawan Landry, Haruki Nakamura, Josh Wilson, Chris Carr and Brandon McKinney.
“They aren’t back then who they are now,” McClain said. “It’s not really a blueprint. What they’ve done up to this point is a blueprint for who they are.”