Ravens

Quinn next up for Chiefs on QB merry-go-round

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Quinn next up for Chiefs on QB merry-go-round

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Brady Quinn is getting another shot on the Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback merry-go-round.

Coach Romeo Crennel announced Wednesday that Quinn will start Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos, regaining the job he lost when he sustained a concussion against Oakland.

Quinn was cleared to play last week against Cincinnati and came on at halftime for ineffective Matt Cassel, who started the season before sustaining his own concussion against Baltimore.

``I like his leadership qualities and he's had experience with a couple of different teams and he's seen a couple of different things,'' Crennel said of his former first-round pick, who has yet to truly break through as an NFL starter. ``I think that will bode well for him.''

Quinn started against Tampa Bay because Cassel hadn't been cleared following his concussion on Oct. 7. After the bye week, Crennel announced that he was sticking with Quinn, even though Cassel was ready to go, because he wanted to shake up what had been a struggling team.

He never got a chance to see whether it worked.

Quinn sustained a concussion against the Raiders in the first quarter the following week, and later admitted that he tried to keep playing despite having ``tunnel vision.''

Cassel finished out the game and has started the past three weeks, but the team hasn't looked any different than early in the year. The Chiefs are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak that's dropped them to 1-9, tied for last in the NFL, and created such fan discontent that banners asking for general manager Scott Pioli's job have become commonplace at Arrowhead Stadium.

Perhaps by starting Quinn, Crennel will finally get that much-needed boost, only about a month after the Chiefs' coach hoped it would happen.

``That's the thing, you know, to give him enough time to try to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish when I made the move, to try to change the dynamic of the team,'' Crennel said. ``He had his injury and wasn't able to fulfill it, so now that he's cleared and he's back healthy, give him that opportunity to do that. We'll see how it plays out.''

Quinn will have an opportunity to finally show what he can do against Broncos coach John Fox, who never played him last season while jockeying between Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow.

``If I had a regret, it was not having an opportunity to see him play in the regular season,'' Fox said. ``He has all the tools.''

Quinn said he's not seeking redemption, merely trying to help the Chiefs finally get a win.

``I know I really enjoyed the teammates I had there. I tried to get better every day, and I think I got better,'' he said. ``I can't really speak about what did or didn't happen.''

Crennel said that Cassel will return to the second string, making him one of the highest-paid backups in the NFL. Ricky Stanzi remains the Chiefs' third QB, and Crennel was noncommittal when asked Wednesday whether the former fifth-round pick would be active against Denver.

Much of that decision will come down to who is inactive due to injuries.

Leading wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been limited in practice with a neck injury sustained during an awkward fall last week against the Bengals. Tight ends Steve Maneri and Tony Moeaki, and wide receiver Jon Baldwin, are all practicing to various degrees because of nagging injuries.

Then there's the offensive line, which is just as unsettled as the quarterback job.

Left tackle Branden Albert hasn't done much in practice this week after hurting his back against Cincinnati. Ryan Lilja, who slid to center from guard when Rodney Hudson was lost for the season to a broken leg, was inactive last week with a knee injury. Jon Asamoah had surgery on his thumb and was being fitted for a cast that could allow him to play.

None of them were on the field by the end of last Sunday's game - rookies Donald Stephenson and Jeff Allen have been pressed into duty, along with backups Russ Hochstein and Bryan Mattison, joining left tackle Eric Winston on the patchwork protection unit.

``You work with the guys you have here, try to put them in the best situation you can so you can be as effective as you can be,'' Crennel said. ``We'll just have to do what we feel is best.''

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Ahead of NFL Draft, Ravens add to wide receiver corps with Willie Snead

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USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of NFL Draft, Ravens add to wide receiver corps with Willie Snead

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Receiver Willie Snead has bid farewell to the Saints, which means New Orleans apparently won't match the contract the Baltimore Ravens offered the restricted free agent.

Eager to add a target for quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens on Friday offered Snead a two-year, $10.4 million contract. The Saints had five days to match the deal. Snead indicated Monday on Twitter that he's headed out of New Orleans.

Snead tweeted: "What I'm going to miss most is the men in the locker room & the coaches."

He added: "Even though I'm sad to go, I'm even more excited for the next chapter in my life. I can't wait to strap it on as a Baltimore Raven."

Hampered by a three-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Snead was limited to eight catches for 92 yards last year.

In 2015, he had 69 receptions for 984 yards. He caught 72 passes for 895 yards in 2016.

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Was Columbus' travel a factor in the Caps' series comeback?

Was Columbus' travel a factor in the Caps' series comeback?

Whenever a playoff series ends, the analysis begins soon after. Why did this team win? Why did this team lose? Why did this player perform while this one did not?  This is an exercise performed by media, players and coaches alike, especially for teams that walk away from a series believing they let an opportunity slip away.

The Columbus Blue Jackets fell to the Washington Capitals in six games despite taking a 2-0 series lead by winning both opening games in Washington. Head coach John Tortorella will have all summer to think about what he could have done differently and what went wrong for his team, but it sounds like he already has at least one theory as to why they lost.

In a series that featured four overtime games, Game 4 stands out as being far more one-sided than the others. Washington turned in the most dominant performance of the series in a 4-1 win that knotted the teams at two wins apiece.

That game stood out to Tortorella too and he thinks he knows why the Blue jackets laid an egg that night: Travel.

"I think we should’ve stayed in Washington after that second overtime game, the second game there," Tortorella said. "I think that comes back and gets you later on in the series. We should’ve stayed in Washington and let them get a good night sleep. They got in here so late. I don’t think it affected us in Game 3. It comes the next days, so that falls on me."

When analyzing why the Caps won the series, chances are travel is not going to be a reason many people consider. Perhaps there is some merit to this. After all, as the father of an infant, I can certainly vouch for how much of a difference one good night of sleep can make.

But perhaps there is another message being sent here by Tortorella.

Tortorella is a master at using the media to his advantage. He uses the media to send messages to his team or draw attention on himself and away from the players.

Tortorella just saw his young team give up a 2-0 series lead and lose four straight games. Those are the kind of losses that can stick with a player and create doubt in the mind of a team the next time they reach a tough spot in the postseason.

So what did Tortorella do? He came out and put the worst loss of the series on his own shoulders. Why was it his fault? Uh...travel? Yeah, let's go with travel.

The Blue Jackets are not the first team to play overtime on the road or the first team to deal with travel concerns. To hear a coach say it was a reason they lost a game and not even the next game after the travel? Well, that's a first.

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