KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A.J. Feeley played quarterback for several head coaches in his 11-year NFL career but found there were things Andy Reid asked that not all of the others did.
“To play quarterback for him, you have to be able to do some things other coaches won’t necessarily ask you to do,” Feeley said. “You have to be really accurate. You have to be athletic and be able to make throws on the run. You have to be able to stand in the pocket and throw the ball down the field with authority. You definitely have to be coachable.”
Reid, the new head coach of the Chiefs, said after he was hired last week that he will start his search for a starter by looking at the quarterbacks already on the roster. But, using Feeley’s guidelines for the moment, what chance do they really have?
Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi may be coachable. Cassel and Quinn at least don’t seem to fit. Neither was accurate last season, and neither showed a big downfield arm.
Stanzi is less of a known quantity. But the previous two coaching staffs, at least, didn’t think he was good enough to play despite the Chiefs’ desperate need for a competent quarterback.
Asked what he knew about the Chiefs’ quarterbacks, new offensive coordinator Doug Pederson mentioned only Cassel by name.
“He’s done some nice things,” Pederson said. “It’s something we want to evaluate and study it hard this season. I want to look at that and see if the right guy is there on the roster, and if we have to find somebody to come in, we find somebody to come in. But we will give our guys every opportunity to compete for that spot.”
Cassel and Stanzi are under contract for next season. Quinn’s contract will expire in March, but he indicated he would like the chance to play for Reid.
“I’m a free agent this year, so it would have to be sort of a mutual decision,” he said. “I think it’s awesome. Andy Reid is a very well-respected coach. As a quarterback, I’d love to play for the guy if I have an opportunity to.”
Quinn spent part of one offseason working out with Kevin Kolb, a quarterback who began his NFL career playing for Reid in Philadelphia. Kolb has since moved on to the Arizona Cardinals.
“He really had a great experience with him,” Quinn said. “He liked him as a coach and everything. Kevin really liked Andy’s offensive system, and he felt like he was a great teacher as far as helping him understand the offense and how things are done at the quarterback position. He said his game plans were able to get guys open all the time. They had a lot of talented receivers in Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson, but they were also finding ways to get those guys open.”
Kolb said he believed Reid was capable of making Cassel, Stanzi and Quinn better quarterbacks, provided they get the chance to play for him.
“I have no problem telling you I’m a better player for starting my career with Andy and the Eagles,” Kolb said. “I give him a lot of credit. I was a lucky man being drafted by him and having played for him.
“He definitely sees things through a quarterback’s eye. He taught me a lot of what I know. He taught me the full spectrum of being an NFL quarterback, how the whole things works.”
Kolb also had some advice for the Chiefs’ quarterbacks.
“My advice for them would be just to trust him,” he said. “Trust what he’s teaching you. Andy’s very precise in what’s he teaching you as far as technique and the way he wants things done. At first, you’re thinking, ‘Why does he want it done this way?’ But after a while, it will all make sense. So trust Andy and trust the production that’s gone on in that system. He’s had a lot of productive quarterbacks.”