From Comcast SportsNetKANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The new starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs is a former first-round draft pick on a one-year deal whose career thus far has been a disappointment.His backup is a team captain whose long-term contract made him the face of the franchise.Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel announced Monday that Brady Quinn will be under center when the Chiefs play Oakland on Sunday, and Matt Cassel will serve as the backup for the foreseeable future after struggling mightily through the first five games of the season."I felt like the most impactful move I could make to get everybody's attention was to change the quarterback," Crennel said. "I think that will get everybody's attention, and hopefully that impacts the team because the quarterback position is the one that has the spotlight on him."Crennel said he informed both quarterbacks he was making a change Monday morning. The rest of the team learned of the move shortly before practice."Look, I'm excited about the opportunity," Quinn said. "There's always pressure, but pressure is what you make of it. As a quarterback in this league, you're used to it."The acquisition of Cassel in a trade with New England was the first major move that Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli made after taking the job in Kansas City. His second was to sign Cassel to a 63 million, six-year deal that still has two years remaining.Quinn is playing on a one-year deal worth 1.5 million."Am I going to say I'm happy about the situation? Absolutely not. I'm frustrated," Cassel said after practice. "But at the same time, I'm a team captain on this team. I care about this team and again, as we move forward, I'm a big boy. I'm not going to hang my head. I'm going to do what I've always done, which is work hard -- work tremendously hard."Quinn started for the first time since 2009 in a loss at Tampa Bay two weeks ago, when Cassel was still feeling the effects of a concussion sustained the previous week against Baltimore.Crennel said at the time he wasn't planning to make a permanent move, but he reconsidered after spending the bye week evaluating both quarterbacks, and coming to the realization that Kansas City desperately needed a spark following a 1-5 start."I'm not saying Matt Cassel is the reason we are where we are," Crennel said. "We need to coach better and we need to play better, and if we do those things, we can be better, but my biggest deal was my gut was telling me we need to impact that team by changing that dynamic."Cassel, who missed the end of last season with a hand injury, hasn't been nearly as good as he was two years ago, when he led the Chiefs to the AFC West title and was voted to the Pro Bowl.He was completing just 58.5 percent of his passes for 230 yards per game, and had thrown nine interceptions against five touchdown passes. He'd also lost five fumbles, and his 14 turnovers in total are more than all but five teams in the league."I can't tell you I saw this coming," Cassel said, "but at the same time, when you're 1-5 and your team is struggling and your coach wants to find some way to spark the team, he felt like this was the best way to do it, so he made the decision."Quinn was just 22 of 38 for 180 yards with two interceptions in a 38-10 loss to Tampa Bay. But the former first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns also seemed to show more poise and arm strength, and the two interceptions were passes that could just as easily have been caught by his own guys."Maybe there was a little rust because I hadn't been in a full-game scenario in the regular season in a few years," Quinn said, "but I felt pretty good out there."Crennel said he doesn't want Quinn to be looking over his shoulder, so "there will be no quick hook or anything like that." After playing the Raiders on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City hits the road for games against San Diego and Pittsburgh."I don't think the team has lost confidence in Matt," Crennel said. "It's just one of those things where the circumstances we're in, you have to decide what you want to do to change it, and I decided to change the quarterback."Crennel also said he wasn't considering long-term ramifications when making his decision, such as whether the franchise will trade for a quarterback or select one early in the draft. His focus in making the change was simply to give the team an immediate, much-needed boost."The only future I thought about was this coming Sunday," he said.
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While the Bruins technically operated, and operated well, short one coach once assistant coach Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien behind the Boston bench, that’s not expected to continue for the upcoming season.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed this week that the B’s will be retaining the current assistant coach group of Joe Sacco, Jay Pandolfo and Bob Essensa to work under Cassidy as full-time head coach, and that they’ll be looking to add one more person to his staff.
“I think our staff did a very good job jumping in and picking up, because we didn’t add to it at the time [of Cassidy’s promotion] when we subtracted from the group. It will stay as is,” said Sweeney. “We will also be looking to add to it to complement that group. Bruce and I have already spoken briefly about it, but we haven’t identified yet and we’ve already received some people that would have some interest. We’ll pursue that accordingly.”
Sacco handled the defensemen and the penalty kill in the final few months of the season, and Pandolfo worked with the forwards in his very first season as an NHL assistant coach following a stint in player development. Essensa, of course, worked with the goaltenders and as the “eye in the sky” from the press box once Pandolfo moved to the bench following the coaching change. So the natural assumption would be that the Bruins would hire another former defenseman to work with the D-men given the backgrounds of Sacco and Pandolfo as forwards.
“We haven’t gotten too far out in front of it. But, Joe Sacco moved from the front of the bench to the D, and did a terrific job [while playing a] big part of the penalty kill all year. Jay [Pandolfo] came down from the press box, worked with the forwards, which he had worked with all year. But now he’s in the heat of the battle. They were terrific. We were a true staff,” said Cassidy. “Goalie Bob [Essensa] became a little bit more of an eye in the sky for us up there. We had Kim [Brandvold], who was our skating coach, helped a lot with the practices, with the pace we were trying to establish. I can’t thank them enough.
“Going forward, we’re going to meet and decide what’s the best fit for us [as an assistant hire]. Obviously those two have a forward background, I have a defense background, so maybe that’s an area we have to look at, what’s the best complement. But we’d be getting ahead of ourselves if I said today that we’re pinpointing an exact thing. We’ve got to look at it and say, ‘OK, who’s the best fit. What makes us the most successful?’ We’ll go from there with the candidates we get.”
The situation automatically leads one to wonder if P-Bruins head coach Kevin Dean would be a possible candidate as a longtime Cassidy assistant at the AHL level, or if Dean wants to continue on his track as a head coach. If not Dean then perhaps Providence Bruins assistant coach and former Bruins D-man Jay Leach might also be a strong candidate after his first season working with the young P-Bruins at the AHL level.
While it’s clear the Bruins still have some discussions before potentially making a move on hiring an NHL assistant for Cassidy’s staff, they have made a determination about their scouting staff. The B’s never replaced the head of amateur scouting position when Keith Gretzky was hired as an assistant general manager with the Edmonton Oilers, and it will instead be Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley that will run Boston’s draft board in June.
“Scotty Bradley has stepped back into that role, which he’s very comfortable doing. He holds the title of Assistant General Manager and he’ll oversee the draft. We’re very comfortable with the people he’s worked with in recent years that have been a big, big part of our recent drafts. Our meetings went well,” said Sweeney. “They were just at the U-18s and had other subsequent meetings, so there will be some banter in the upcoming [scouting] meetings, in terms of where we end up finalizing our list. Scotty will oversee that.”
It’s not exactly foreign territory for Bradley, who previously held the head scouting position with the Black and Gold and played an instrumental role in drafting players like Milan Lucic, Phil Kessel, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. But there’s also some question as to how big a role Gretzky played in drafting the massive wave of talented prospects now pushing their way through Boston’s system, and how much his presence will be missed at NHL Draft weekend moving forward.