In yesterday's 26-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, QB Matt Cassel was the second leading rusher (28) on the team, only nine yards behind leader Larry Johnson (37). His 4.0 average is better than the running back.
(And, on a side note, he still has some trouble sliding. He had a tendency to not slide but that's a whole different story.)
After the game, Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff was asked about Cassel and his elusiveness.
"Yes, he might be as hard as [Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben] Roethlisberger to bring down," Ratliff said. "He can create some time and make plays downfield and that’s what he did, so my hat’s off to him."At one point in the fourth quarter, Cassel had been hit by a Cowboys defender on 26 of 34 pass attempts. That includes four sacks.
"I'll have to look at the film," backup G/T Wade Smith said. "I know we wanted to keep him clean as much as possible. I'm sure he got hit but that's why he is who he is. He's going to still make plays and he's going to get up and make plays.
Despite the pass rush, a few players have noted how comfortable he looks back there, that includes Smith and tight end Sean Ryan, whose first two receptions went for first downs.
"I felt like he was comfortable all game," Ryan said after the game. If Ryan was lying, then he's got me fooled, but I agree with him. Cassel didn't look flustered despite the heavy pass rush. I mean, really, think about it. Getting hit on 26 of 34 pass attempts at one point? That's unbelievable.
"Obviously, there was a pretty good rush in his face," Ryan continued, "but he never stressed it. There were a couple of lineman that got hurt, and we were moving guys around, but he seemed calm all around."