Miami put that plan to bed, selecting Tannehill with the eighth overall pick.
"I think that we have a really good quarterback," Pioli told WHB-AM, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I think we have three good quarterbacks. I think the guy who's set to be our starting quarterback is a good quarterback, he's a good starting NFL quarterback. And I hear the numbers and I hear trends and you can look at certain statistics and put them in any direction you want to support a position or an argument."
Pioli is aiming those words at Cassel's critics, unimpressed with his 18-21 record after 39 starts in Kansas City. Raised to build rosters and scout players in the Bill Belichick system, Pioli isn't one to veer off course. He believes we haven't seen the best of Cassel in a Chiefs uniform and preached consistency -- and a bit of history.
"There's a number of quarterbacks out there that have been successful," Pioli said. "You wanna look at the history of the Kansas City Chiefs, you look at a quarterback by the name of Len Dawson -- a first-round pick, didn't play for five years, was trying to be run out of this league and couldn't get a job, couldn't get a start. And he's without the doubt the greatest quarterback in the history of this franchise. And I think as he gets more opportunities, Matt is gonna continue to show people that he's a good NFL quarterback."
Pioli claims the Chiefs were unwilling to reach for a rookie passer in the draft after Tannehill vanished off the board. Had one been selected, we might be hearing a different tune from the general manager today, but he's firmly standing behind Cassel in the absence of a rookie arm to groom.