Much debate has been made throughout training camp and the preseason over starter Matt Cassel and number two quarterback Brodie Croyle. We at Warpaint Illustrated have been open about our likes and dislikes for both, but after Thursday night I am much less optimistic about both than I was early on in training camp.
Cassel hasn't done enough to lose his job, but also hasn't done much in way of improving his stock amongst Chiefs faithful. In limited action Cassel had a very "yo-yo" type game, which included both a touchdown throw and an interception. But after spending nearly two weeks on the sideline with an injured bicep, Croyle has done little to improve his stock on the depth chart. Croyle's arm strength has never been in question, but his inability to stay healthy has surpassed the level of mere concern and into the realm of a liability.
Dwayne Bowe did his best to help Matt Cassel.
The tight ends battle seems to have come to an end on Thursday night. Leonard Pope has made the most of his full offseason with the Chiefs. With rookie Tony Moeaki often injured, Pope may have earned himself a starting spot for Monday night. Although Moeaki finally showed up this week, his adjustment to the NFL has been slower than anticipated. Although I believe he could still be a difference maker this season, Moeaki will start the season behind Pope.
Jackie Battle was by far the offensive player of the game. With some very impressive runs, topped off by a 50 yard scamper that set up a touchdown drive, Battle has won out the battle for the fourth running back spot. With the impressive play of FB Tim Castille over the past few weeks, it appears Battle could force the Chiefs to cut ties with Mike Cox.
Barry Richardson was given ample opportunity last season to fill holes on the offensive line, but has capitalized this time around with the injury to right tackle Ryan O'Callaghan. Injuries don't typically lead to losing your job, but honestly that only pertains to players who have proved their worth. This is definitely not the case for O'Callaghan.
Big Barry has been engulfing his teammates in practice for weeks and his showcase Thursday night is just one of many exciting and encouraging signs of the offensive line's continued improvement.