KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a former first-round draft pick once considered the savior of another franchise, quarterback Brady Quinn wasn’t about to celebrate the news that he had officially been selected the Chiefs’ top backup to Matt Cassel.
“Everyone wants to be a starter in this league and play on the field,” Quinn said. “That’s the ultimate time you’d be pretty happy having a title of sorts.”
Even if Quinn wasn’t impressed, it was big news for the Chiefs, though not a surprise. Quinn has more experience than his competition, Ricky Stanzi, and outplayed him during the preseason.
Coach Romeo Crennel cited Quinn’s experience as the big factor. Quinn, a first-round pick by Cleveland in 2007, started 12 games for the Browns over three seasons.
Stanzi, a rookie last season, has never played in a regular-season NFL game.
“That’s the main thing I feel like will benefit us the most,” Crennel said. “He (Quinn) has experience in games. Both guys have good ability, and they both competed and worked very hard.”
Stanzi will stay with the Chiefs as their third quarterback.
“He’s a good, young player with a lot of talent, and he has a lot of upside to him,” Crennel said.
Because of the difference in experience, Stanzi needed to clearly win the competition, and that didn’t happen. His bid to be the top reserve was doomed with his play two weeks ago in a preseason game in St. Louis, where he threw an interception, lost a fumble and was sacked four times.
In their perfect world, the Chiefs would have loved to see Stanzi win the job. Not only was he their fifth-round pick last season, but he is signed through 2014. Quinn is on a one-year contract.
But Stanzi didn’t claim the job. Heading into Thursday night’s final preseason game against the Packers in Green Bay, Quinn has completed 59 percent of his throws with a passer rating of 76.1. Stanzi has completed 46 percent and has a quarterback rating of 27.1.
“Whatever spot the coaches want me in on this team, it’s my job to do that role to help out the rest of the team,” Stanzi said. “Just keep going to work. That’s all you can do.”
With no more competition at quarterback, the Chiefs are focused on getting Quinn ready if he’s needed this season. He was buried on the bench in Denver the past two years after his trade from Cleveland and hasn’t played in a regular-season NFL game since 2009.
“That’s just how it goes for a backup,” Quinn said. “You’re not going to get as many snaps, and you have to be prepared to just jump in and go play. I’ve been accustomed to that over the past couple of years, and I’m ready for that if that does happen in this season.
“The biggest thing for me is just being new to some of the personnel here and kind of getting in rhythm with some of the wide receivers. That’s something I think we’ve been able to accomplish through camp and throughout the preseason.”
Crennel didn’t say how much any of the quarterbacks would play in Green Bay.
“Let’s see how we do,” Crennel said. “If the good guys do (well) enough to come out, then the second guys will go in. If they do (well) enough, they might come out. Otherwise, we’re just going to play.”
The Chiefs kept their fourth quarterback, rookie Alex Tanney, through their first round of cuts. That’s surprising in that Tanney, who wasn’t drafted, received almost no work in team drills during training camp and hasn’t played in any of the first three preseason games.
That suggests that Tanney, who could be on the practice squad when the regular season begins, could play against the Packers.
“We kind of like the guy a little bit,” Crennel said. “If we didn’t like him or we didn’t think he had ability, we’d let him go. He’s an unproven guy, but we like some things about him. He’s still trying to learn the system, and there might be an opportunity for him this game.”