Chiefs Concerns: Desmond Bailey
Cassel is a bacteria that needs to be purged entirely from the roster. Reid needs to bring in his vet qb of choice and draft another…maybe two more. Can’t imagine another team wanting Cassel either. Maybe the Pats will because they’re the only team capable of solving his ineptitude. Other than that…he’ll be on the street until Scott Pioli gets another front office job…
As you can imagine, my thoughts didn’t sit well with many of Cassel’s supporters. Even some of his critics found my words harsh and hateful.
I want to clear something up. I don’t hate Matt Cassel. I don’t know him well enough as a person…as a man…to say with 100% conviction that he’s either a great guy whom I could respect and have a few brews with….or a dude who’s front teeth I’d like to lodge in the soles of my Timberland boots.
What I do know is I can not stand the guy as a Kansas City Chiefs quarterback. In 2012, Cassel consistently displayed a new level of incompetence that to me, embodied all that was wrong with the Chiefs last season. A complete lack of fundamentals, confidence, competitiveness, discipline, and execution.
Is Cassel a bacteria? Figuratively, YES! Bacteria cause sickness…diseases that spread. Don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not labeling him a lockeroom cancer as in being a constant and detrimental distraction to the team. It’s more so his ineptitude that ultimately plagued the Chiefs ON the field.
Was he solely to blame for the Chiefs being the laughing stock of the league last year? No. However, he was the quarterback…the guy to whom the team should be looking to for leadership, inspiration to raise their level of play, and accountability. Cassel failed to deliver on all three.
Instead he delivered fumbles in the most critical of situations, ill-advised throws, and just overall boneheaded-ness like rolling out to the wrong side of a play or…missing his own head when angrily trying to put his cap on after another of his interceptions (on a screen play at that). It’s these things that the coaching staff and teammates see and begin to wonder…”Why bother?”…
Why bother going balls out on defense, shutting the opponent down, only to put Cassel back on the field? Why bother running this route hard across the middle when I know the ball’s going to be overthrown and I’m gonna get K.O.’d or worse? Why bother calling this play on 3rd & long when, despite it being the best call for this situation, I don’t have complete confidence in Matt’s decision-making, accuracy, or arm strength to pull it off?
I get the feeling Chiefs GM John Dorsey is wondering “Why bother keeping Cassel on this roster?”. Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid have evaluated the Chiefs. Reid himself stated he’s watched a ton of film. Neither Dorsey nor Reid are blind. Immensely more qualified than I am to critique a quarterback’s viability as a starter or a backup? Most definitely. But they aren’t blind.
I think Matt Cassel has… uh…he’s demonstrated the skill to play in the National Football League
Though Dorsey’s statement is true, it doesn’t sound at all like a GM convinced of Cassel’s ability to lead his team nor did it even remotely answer Wyche’s question.
Dorsey may be referring to what Cassel’s supporters tend to defend him with - his 2010 season in which the 10-6 Chiefs won the AFC West and he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.
Thanks in large part to the guidance and tutelage of former KC Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis that year, Cassel posted an impressive 28 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions for 3,116 yards and a passer rating of 93.0.
However, against teams that finished 8-8 or better, Cassel was 1-4 (yes…the Chiefs faced just five teams at or above .500 that year) as a starter, threw 5 td’s vs 3 ints, and completed just 50.7 percent of his passes for 748 yards and a passer rating of 69.9.
Consider this was all while being coached by Weis – probably the only man who had Cassel solved in terms of his skillset – and those selectively fond memories of Cassel’s 2010 season start to wither and gradually rot as did hopes of the Chiefs being competitive from week-to-week in 2012.
Speaking of competing and winning, Andy Reid, in an interview earlier this month with Dave Stewart of Metro Sports, gave the following as essential criteria in his search for quarterbacks:
Well.. listen…the skill that’s most important is that he wins football games. Now, that’s a bold statement but what you see with the quarterback position is the great ones make everybody around them better. That’s what they do. They make everybody’s game come up.
Stewart then queried Reid for his take on the notion that some offenses require the qb only be a game manager.
The quarterback is an extension of the offensive coach or head coach. Whoever that is, that quarterback is THAT,” stressed Reid. “And he’s gotta be that on the field. He has to take charge in this offense. Now there are other philosophies, but in this offense that’s what he has to be.
When you’ve got the type of QB Reid describes, you never feel like the game is out of reach no matter what the scoreboard says or how adverse the situation is. With Cassel – and even his most stubborn apologists will have to admit this – you knew the game was over as soon the other team was up by 10 points or more regardless of whether it was the end of the 1st quarter or the 3rd. Cassel simply isn’t what Reid is looking for – an infectious leader able to will his team to a win.
We are not cutting him,” proclaimed one Chiefs fan in defense of Cassel. “not that people will like him staying but Reid is going to keep him for this next season.
Why would the Chiefs pay 7.5 mil to a guy who can’t find his own head with a cap and doesn’t fit Reid’s profile of the position? John Dorsey and Andy Reid strike me as very smart men and the smart move is to give Cassel his walking papers as soon they stabilize the position with their own guys via free agency, trades and/or the draft.
Talk to ya later…