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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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Wizards notebook: Backing Bradley Beal; Downhill for Decker

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Wizards notebook: Backing Bradley Beal; Downhill for Decker

Back to back Beal?

Losing rarely leads to awards. The Wizards lost Monday in Indianapolis, 109-101. They also rallied from 25 points down to pull within one at 98-97 with 4:45 remaining. The comeback against the Pacers occurred with no John Wall (ankle) from the start and sans Otto Porter (knee contusion) after the opening seven minutes.

Lineups included a player making his Washington debut, combinations rarely used and a scoring Kelly Oubre, who shined for the locals with 23 points in one of his more controlled performances.

They also included the newly minted Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

Bradley Beal’s work Monday puts him in line for a repeat performance especially from those that consider leadership in the equation. Beal finished with 30 points, 19 coming in the second half as he played the final 24 minutes. He wasn’t peak efficiency (10 of 27 field goals, four turnovers), but the All-Star battled when crawling into a hole made sense. Beal had two of his three steals in the fourth quarter and finished 4 of 9 on 3-pointers.

Quick reminder: The Wizards lost for a second consecutive game heading into Wednesday’s clash with the Celtics. 

Pacers center Myles Turner dominated inside with 26 points, 12 rebounds and five emphatic blocks. Ex-Wizard Bojan Bogdanovic had 22 points. All five Indiana starters, none named Victor Oladipo, scored in double figures. 

Like many of Washington's opponents, Indiana knocked down shots from deep (10 of 20 from beyond the arc). The Pacers, tops in scoring defense, held the Wizards to 8 of 23 (34.8 percent) from the field in the fourth. 

Tired legs and minds hurt the cause late, but the shorthanded Wizards fought back. This isn’t amateur hour so simply trying doesn’t deserve praise. That the Wizards struggled in that area for chunks of this season makes such performances worth noting, as does the team following Beal’s lead. Keep this up, but pick up wins -- three games this week against the Celtics, at Nets, vs. Lakers -- and perhaps Beal earns another award.

Dekker hustle

It’s also downhill from here for the newest Wizard. Seriously, Sam Dekker, what’s the encore after the team goes on a 19-0 run after you enter for the first time in a Washington uniform?

The 6-foot-9 forward only finished with two points. We don’t take plus-minus seriously most games so that plus-20 is more oddity than reality of the situation. Still, we received a sneak peek at what Dekker could offer going forward once he learns the system, his teammates and gets back into game shape. This marked his first game action since suffering an ankle injury Nov. 5.

Dekker, who added two steals, runs the court with ease and offers energy from the forward position. It’s conceivable he falls outside the rotation most nights when all are available. Then again, if the former University of Wisconsin keeps running the court, his play might eventually badger head coach Scott Brooks into finding him minutes.

 Where art thou Okaro White?

Word came Monday morning that Wall would not face Indiana. Seeing as he acknowledged giving it a go in Saturday’s loss at Cleveland was probably a mistake considering his overall physical condition, cool. 

Around the same time, we found out that rookie swingman Troy Brown Jr. and forward Okaro White would remain with the Capital City Go-Go. The G-League squad plays in Arizona Tuesday.

That meant the Wizards would only have 10 active players in Indiana, a group including Sam Dekker, who only officially joined the team over the weekend. Reminder: Dwight Howard remains sidelined and the 15th roster spot sits empty. 

Perfect world Washington might not use more than nine players in a game so no whoop. As observers of this team know, there’s no such thing as a perfect world this season.

Sure enough, foul trouble struck Tomas Satoransky and Markieff Morris early, as did Porter’s injury. Other than Dekker’s 10 minutes and seven from Ian Mahinmi, Washington effectively used a seven-man rotation.

Nobody would dare suggest having Brown, White or either of their two-way players (Devin Robinson, Jordan McRae) available changes Monday’s result. Brooks might have bypassed all especially the kids. The G-League exists to offer players like Brown and Robinson a place to get in on-court work. It’s also how a team supplements its roster when needed. 

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Five observations from Wizards' loss to the Pacers despite Bradley Beal's big night

Five observations from Wizards' loss to the Pacers despite Bradley Beal's big night

The Washington Wizards lost to the Indiana Pacers 109-101 on Monday night. Here are five observations from the game...

1. Another loss: The Wizards just can't seem to put together a full, 48-minute performance, a collective effort good enough to beat a team that isn't among the worst in basketball. On Monday, they saw a Pacers team that despite missing Victor Oladipo is still very good, and they fell short of what could have been an epic comeback.

The Wizards stormed back from down 25 points, only to collapse in the final minute and get outscored 11-4 to close the game. The final result was another loss, their second straight. They are 11-16 on the year with the Boston Celtics up next on Wednesday.

The defeat spoiled another big night from Bradley Beal. He had 30 points, the fourth straight game he's dropped 27 or more. 

2. Otto went down: The Wizards found themselves in a tough situation on Monday with only nine available players after Otto Porter Jr. left in the first half with a right knee contusion. John Wall and Dwight Howard were already out, meaning the Wizards were down three starters. Markieff Morris then got into early foul trouble, giving head coach Scott Brooks a real dilemma.

Though Porter's injury doesn't seem serious, the Wizards can ill-afford losing anyone right now. It's worth a reminder that, as bad as the Wizards have started this season, they have done so with few injuries to blame.

3. Oubre came through: Not long after Porter went down, Kelly Oubre Jr. stepped in to fill the void. He had one of his best games of the season with 23 points, five rebounds, three steals, and a block.

Oubre shot poorly against the Cavs on Saturday, but overall he has been playing very well lately. This was the fourth straight game he's reached double figures and the third time in that stretch he's scored 19 or more.

In addition to scoring, Oubre did a lot of the things Brooks wants him to do. He drew an offensive foul, brought down two offensive rebounds and forced a few turnovers. Oubre's best attribute is his length and his ability to cause havoc defensively, especially off the ball. He came into this game sixth in the NBA in total deflections and second in deflections per 36 minutes.

4. Dekker debuted: The lack of options for Brooks detailed above and the lopsided score at least brought one positive and that was the debut of Dekker, who checked in with just under four minutes to go in the third quarter. 

Dekker actually played fairly well considering the circumstances and happened to help key a nice little run for the Wizards. Washington closed the third quarter on a 13-0 run once he came in. On one play during that stretch, Dekker got a steal and then finished with a dunk on the other end.

The run with Dekker on the floor extended to 19-0 in the fourth quarter and kept the Wizards within striking distance the rest of the game. Maybe Dekker was the missing piece all along.

5. Turner is good: For the second straight game, the Wizards had no answer for an opposing big man. Last game it was Tristan Thompson, this time it was Myles Turner. 

Turner had a huge first half on the defensive end and found his scoring groove in the second half. He had a monster stat-line of 26 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks.

The strategy for opposing teams at the moment appears to be to attack the Wizards in the middle, knowing they are just trying to make do with Thomas Bryant and a collection of small-ball fives. Teams may keep doing that until the Wizards stop them.

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