Good morning AP. As is usual on AP, we have the most amazing fanposts of any sports site anywhere. It shows doesn't it? So, let me take two seconds to throw something out there that I feel is important and then we'll get right back into the meat and potatoes of this post. I have been consumed by researching other sports site's since approximately, October 2009. Not for my reading pleasure but for comparison with our own beloved AP.
The end conclusion with regards to the fans, is still that somehow we really did assemble a far superior group of people here. But this site itself continues to impress me beyond belief. It's everything, from the layout forward. This site is absolutely nothing short of revolutionary. I dare anyone to find a more user friendly, well managed site of ANY genre anywhere on the net. It's simply incredible when compared to just about anything else out there.
I imagine this site will set a trend that will be copied by other sites in the future and will not get the credit it deserves for being the site that did it "first".
RDO's latest post with the stats on dropped passes is just more proof of what I'm talking about. But RDO's post, while certainly one of the very best of it's kind ever posted on AP, is still only one in a galaxy of posts about stats.
We are apparently, and rightfully so, obsessed with stats. But do stats always tell the truth or can they be completely misleading? Let's take a look shall we?
I promised no more Cassel discussion from me for the rest of 2009 only, so I've kept my word. My time is come again.
Statistically, Matt Cassel did a better job in NE last year. So the obvious answer is that he was surrounded by better talent. His receivers could actually catch the ball over there. His HC coach was arguably the very best to ever grace the NFL sidelines. His QB coach was considered to be so talented he went from QB coach to HC in a single bound. That is very impressive in and of itself.
While that is certainly a huge contributing factor and statistically all that can be validated, is that the only reason he did better in NE? Well certainly from a direct impact standpoint, the answer is yes. But what about the not so "apparent" factors that could have led Cassel to be better in NE than in KC? Are there factors in his case that you can't capture with a statistic? I believe so.
As most of you probably already know, I'm a huge Tom Landry fan. SO I will start with a Landry quote. "Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you're in control, they're in control." Or how about this one from the grandfather of all NFL great coaches, Vince Lombardi. "Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence." And this one also. "Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can."
I've looked but believe me there are no stats for confidence and it's effects on a team in the NFL. But that does not mean it's not just as big of a factor as anything else you can gleem from a statistic. I have no doubt in my mind that Cassel'sbelief in his coaches and his receivers in NE went a long way in contributing to his continued improvement last year.
I would say that has everything to do with Orton's success in Denver as opposed to Chicago. Throwing to Eddie Royal, Scheffler and especially BM cerainly could only serve to boost one's confidence.
In the game, I believe it was against Cleveland, Matt Cassel threw a sloppy lob to Chambers on the left sideline, which Chambers mercifully grabbed out of thin air. We applauded the play because it was a success. But the throw itself was an all day interception waiting to happen on any other Chiefs football Sunday. But he threw that ball with confidence in Chambers ability to catch if he could just get the pass inside a certain window. And guess what ? Chambers responded with a confident almost miraculous snag for a long competion. It worked. Confidence led to confidence which led to a successful play. That is the same thing you see Manning and Brady and Brees do every week. Those QB's throw completions that could just as easily be int's. But their recievers catch the ball. They break a tackle. They get the first down. They keep the chains moving. And IMO every one of those QB's is on a TEAM which is part of an ORGANIZATION that exudes confidence. From the ownership down to the GM, to the coaches to the play of the team on Sunday's to the fans.
So, what's the problem here in KC REALLY? I believe it has to start at the very top here too. It's the same food chain in KC as in Indy, Pittsburgh or NE. It always seems to start at the VERY top and works it's way down from there. After not winning a SB since the 60's, I think it's fair you start to doubt your ownership.Yes, problems like our's here in KC all stem from an organizational problem IMO.
This is deeper than talent. This organization has lost confidence in itself and it's really beginning to show. Look, it's not just Peyton Manning that makes that team great. It's the whole thing. There's a quiet calm over there. A steady confidence. It's a look in their eyes. It's in their facial expressions. It's not a stat thing. It's a human thing. Yes, I know the obvious answer is that their loaded with talent so it's easy to have confidence when you have that. But many of you are nodding your heads in agreement because you can see where I'm going with this.
NE, Indy and PIttsburgh are ORGANIZATIONS that win. Not just TEAMS. They can change coaches, staff, GM's QB's HC's players, it doesn't matter. They win anyway. There's something to be said for that. Something no stat will ever answer.
Those teams have consistently proven that it doesn't matter which piece of the puzzle changes, they still find a way to succeed. They do it all the time. For example, who is Garcon and how did he become great? Really? Who is he? NE is the same thing exactly. They can bring in a pro wrestler and convert him to NFL greatness. Those teams could bring in the local Ice Cream Truck driver and he would look great. Those teams really could win with any 22 guys off the street. It's something that goes far beyond any raw talent on the part of the players.
Tell me, do you think NE or Indy or Pittsburgh would have traded Jared Allen away because of a DUI and little off field trouble? If that was the way of the NFL in general, we wouldn't have an NFL. There aren't many choir boys playing pro ball. IMO, we seem to have our priorities screwed up here in KC. It's more about image than winning.
Which is why I believe that in the end, it will fall squarely on the shoulders of Scott Pioli to change the entire perception of our organization. He must find a way to change our culture here in KC. He must find a way to instill a system that will work no matter the individual pieces of the puzzle.
The cycle must be broken and confidence must once again pulsate thru the Chiefs organziation like it once did. It's not something you can point to in a stat. It's not something you can touch. It's something you and I as fans can sense. Something we can feel. It's something we can see in our players eyes when they take the field. It's that confidence that we ARE going to win each game we play. And that may not have any statistical backing but I think it's just common sense.