Join Date: Nov 2002
Casino cash: $69402
I'm posting an e-mail I got from a reader in 2010...enjoy.
I'm curious about your piece you wrote. You ripped Sapp and Simms for supporting Cassel, and posed the question. Do they watch the games?
I now have to turn that question on you. Do you watch the games? Do you re-watch those games?
You RIP on Matt Cassel for being the "most dangerous" Quarterback in the league for the Kansas City Chiefs because, as you put it, all it takes is a few flicks of the wrist. Ignorant to the fact that as a legitimate starting QB (from the start of the season and playing at least 7 games) Matt Cassel is tied for the league LEAD in least turnovers by a Quarterback. "Who else is there?" you'll ask. A guy we all like to call Mr. Football, Peyton Manning. That's not all though, a guy on a similar turnaround team is doing the same. Josh Freeman. You may have heard of him before. Leads the 5-2 Bucs into Atlanta this week. What else do these Quarterbacks have in common? They are all on 5-2 teams (1 game out of the NFL lead) and Number 1 in their division. Although the Bucs will get into Atlanta and lose their tie for 1st this week.
Back to the analysis. Were you aware that leading into the Buffalo game, that Matt Cassel, through the previous 4 games, was the league LEADER in QB Rating? 8:1 TD/INT ratio, all that fun stuff. What you seem to be incapable of grasping, is that while he WAS the league leader down that stretch, he was playing the same game he was against Buffalo, where he put up a yawn-inspiring 84ish Passer Rating in a win, and a tremendous drive to win the game. Now, how did Matt Cassel put up such a good stretch of games? Well, I'll tell you. To the untrained eye, some fan will say "Oh, but he threw against some of the worst secondaries in the league". Despite the fact that people base "best" and "worst" secondaries by sheer yardage alone. How about defensive red zone scoring? The only truly terrible team on that stretch was Houston, and that was arguably one of Cassel's best games as a Chief. Interestingly enough, you ripped on him in that game, and the Chiefs, being the only teamto rush for 200 and lose, based on your list. You seem to be pinning that game on Cassel, when you should be pinning that game on the Chiefs Defense and Romeo Crennel. Instead, you vaunt them based on previous, unrelated games. Were you watching the Texans game when we forgot all about the pass rush, or played arguably the softest zone coverage we've ever seen this year? Once you shut down Houston's running game, you turn them back to the Pass. A dimension at which they are the hottest, or coldest team in the league week in and week out. They happened to torch us and make our defense look pedestrian. Do you know what was worse? The touchdowns we gave up on the ground, because of tackling miscues. Berry, Johnson, Dorsey, Belcher, all guilty of missed tackles in that game on big/key plays that either turned the tide, or gave them the score.
Back to Cassel. Is he great? Absolutely not. Is he bad? Obviously not if he's playing as a top 10-15 QB at the HIGHEST LEVEL of Football in the world. What you need to understand though, what truly bothers me about your article, is the fact that Matt Cassel is different than any other QB in the league. This guy is a machine, a robot. Haley and Weiss have all the faith in the world in him to execute this offense. Funny though, you said that us running on 3rd and long was a sign of them having no faith. Perhaps you need to enroll in the Chiefs school of game planning to understand WHY we run on 3rd and league, and why we don't run on 3rd and long. The answer. Game planning. This is the reason we brought in Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weiss, and there was no better example of that than the Indy game. Go back and watch the Indy game again. Count how many times you see Matt Cassel drop back and actually make a read.You're going to come up with 3 or 4 passes where Cassel was allowed to make a read outside of the last drive of the 4 quarter, which was arguably our best passing drive of the game. What does that mean? It means that Cassel executed the game plan as designed. He was told to take a 3 step drop and hit Receiver A on a slant, drag, hitch, curl route, and he threw it to that receiver. The play calls throughout that game were designed to hit a specific receiver, or for Matt to throw it away. No real reads, no check downs, get rid of the ball. Why did we do this? Two answers. Dwight Freeney, and Robert Mathis. We knew going into this game, if we gave them the momentum in the pass rush, we'd find ourselves down early and with an insurmountable lead. We've done this week in and week out. Not so much to the extent as the Indy game, mind you, but our play calling is paramount in each and every game, and it follows the game plan as designed unless we are losing by a decent amount.
Is Matt the QB of the future? Probably not. But right now he is our best option, and he does a GREAT job at executing the game plan as designed, and he plays with more heart at QB than just about any Quarterback in the NFL, and he plays smart. I forget which game it was, but the announcers were talking about his Completion % and noted that Matt Cassel lead the league in throw-aways, and at the time, fewest sacks. Now, combine that with the fact that he is tied for the league lead in fewest turnovers, and 2nd in fewest sacks to none other than Peyton Manning, and you couldn't seriously make the case for Matt being the most dangerous QB in the league. Simply put, Matt Cassel will not lose you games based on his current play this year, and our game planning going into each and every game. On top of that, how many of those turnovers (interceptions) were a product of a tipped ball? I'll let you do the research on that, because I already know the answer.
The bottom line is this. You're pulling a "The sky is falling" approach to Matt Cassel and calling him the most dangerous QB in the league, when in fact, he is the SAFEST QB in the league, according to factual statistics. You want to talk about the most dangerous QB in the league? He's in the AFC West, his name? Phillip Rivers. He's cost his team multiple games to turnovers, despite having great stats in YPA, YPC, 3rd down passing, and QB rating. Up until last week, he hadn't been able to close out a game from behind, and last week really doesn't fall into the category, but you have to throw a guy a bone every now and then.
Come back to reality when you get a chance, and do your homework under the microscope. I realize you are trying to get page views for your website by ripping Matt Cassel, but do you honestly think people are going to take you seriously through 7 games as him being one of the Safest QB's in the league? What you have is speculation, and that future speculation doesn't bode well against one of the top 7 or 8 easiest finishing schedules in the league. Matt Cassel isn't Peyton Manning on the line or in the pocket, but right now he hasn't played us out of any games this year, and if he follows the game plan, he won't do it at any point this year. You want to rip on someone? Rip on Bowe or Chambers, or the Defense's ability, or lack thereof, to tackle at crucial moments against teams that are driving (Indy and Houston for example).
Hopefully you enjoyed this email more than I enjoyed your article.
What makes you believe we can't win a playoff game with Matt Cassel? He follows the game plan and doesn't put this team in jeopardy. That, in and of itself, is a Playoff capable QB. Does it mean he will win a game? No, but it certainly means he'll give his team the best chance to win by not putting the team in a position it shouldn't have been in.
Also, as a Chiefs fan, I find your statement that he is a waste of my time and money to be ignorant and inappropriate. As a fan, I believe in the Head Coach, and he believes in Matt Cassel. I may not like every play or every decision, but I have faith in the Team, the Coaches, and they have faith in him. He hasn't done me any wrong, why should I NOT support him? It's not like Brodie Croyle is going to do any better in his position. Hell, Brodie won't even be on this team next year unless it is purely for depth, and I don't believe he'll re-sign with us.
I have supported Matt Cassel since he came here, if only for the fact that he plays with the intangibles that separate Great Quarterbacks from Good Quarterbacks, and being a bigger Chiefs supporter, I have to say that if you cannot discern the difference between '09 Cassel, and '10 Cassel, you need to step off the Anti-Cassel Bandwagon, and clean the glasses. He's playing more like '08 Cassel. More important than that, is the fact that he dug himself out of '09 Cassel to get here with the '10 Cassel, in a familiar environment. He's never had that luxury, he's never been a starter until the NFL, this is, for lack of better judgment, his "Junior" year of College.
This year, he is getting the job done, and that deserves respect and support. Being negative about him won't help him to play any better, and rooting against him is just damaging to the team.