I am not going to complain. I'm not going to guess whom or what position we will draft, pick up in free agency or trade. I'm not going to rant about who should have done what, when or how. Nor, am I going to spew out massive amounts of Kool-Aid.
What I would like to do here is relay what I believe may be happening within the Kansas City Chiefs on a more personal level rather than one of statistics or performance. Specifically the more watched individuals.
Matt Cassel, is a young QB that was given quite a bit of money to perform up to what many people believe to be Tom Brady like quantities. The reason Matt was and is likened to Tom Brady is because he was on the same team with him. Matt has said several times that he is still good friends with Tom and talks with him on occasion. Matt, because of his association with Tom was immediately and mistakenly identified as someone who could and should perform like Brady. There is one problem with that thinking. Matt Cassel is, well, Matt Cassel. He isn't Tom Brady and never will be.
Matt came in last year for the Patriots and performed quite well in a system that had some very good support for him. He had Tom Brady at hand, a QB coach, a Offensive Coordinator and a Head Coach that all were teaching him and correcting mistakes. Not to mention the comradeship of the players on a team he had been with for a few years.
Here in Kansas City however Matt does not have that same type of support system that was available to him in New England. Tom Brady is not at hand, he has no QB coach, no Offensive Coordinator and a rookie Head Coach. He had to start building relationships with a complete set of new players and on top of that players that have been rotated in and out on a constant basis this year.
Matt Cassel was given the mantle of the number one quarterback upon his arrival here in Kansas City. He was given a team to lead and call all his own. He was then given a very good amount of money in which to do this with and is expected to do it week in and week out.
Matt Cassel now has to shoulder the responsibility of leadership and the weight that it brings with it. This is something that is not an easy thing to do for a individual in a entirely new city or team. The pressure must be pretty intense on this young man to perform and provide leadership to a team that has very little talent. This in it's self is a daunting task.
Matt is known for his competitive nature and as has been discussed in several articles upon his arrival, eats , breaths and lives football. Coach Haley mentioned several times about his dedication and having to make him leave his office because of it. This fact is something I believe is working against Matt. He is trying so hard to lead this team to a win week in and week out. He is trying so hard to make that one play, to make that play work, to get that ball to someone.
Have you ever tried to work on something so much and so hard and put forth a real effort into and no matter what you do, how hard you try, it just doesn't work? It just will not come together. I know I have, and gotten frustrated beyond belief. What do you do in that situation? What I do is step back, take a break, take a deep breath, think about it. Then I go back and try again and what do you know, it comes together, it worked.
Matt Cassel doesn't really have that luxury, he can't step back, think about it for a little while, calm down over a period of time and let the frustration subside in a game. He can't take back that bad throw, the miscues, the dropped passes or the fumbles.
He has been constantly sacked, hit and rushed this entire season. Many people complain about him holding the ball to long. I believe he holds the ball longer in hopes of making that one play. His thinking may be that someone, anyone might get open for that pass. He holds on to his hope that something will happen, someone will help, but ultimately no one is there. His competitiveness gets the better of him.
He puts the guilt of most things on offense squarely on his shoulders. This is a very heavy burden for anyone to carry. You can see it on his face. He blames himself. I suspect he gets frustrated and upset more with himself than he does with his team mates.
Matt has proven himself if anything to be a pretty tough kid. He bounces back up it seems like a jack in the box after each punishing play. Even after games like last weekend against Denver he gets up on that podium after the game, talks up his team and ultimately seems to blame himself for most of the things that went wrong.
I'll leave this with a quote from Matt during last weekends press conference that says a lot about this guy, "I always want to be out there with my team, I always want to fight. Part of the situation of us being where we were was my fault."