I am utterly sick to death of all the second guessing that goes on here about Matt Cassel. All the mewling, pablum puking and whining needs stop. If you don't like Matt, fine. If you think that you can pick apart his game and figure out why he doesn't do things like Joe Montana and Mr. Football, go right ahead. But until you get a dedicated line to Pioli's or Haley's office and he tells you exactly what Matt has been asked to do and he further tells you that Matt is underperforming on a grand scale, then maybe you should stop pointing fingers and bemoaning our misfortune in not having a franchise Quarterback. If you hate Matt Cassel posts, stop reading now. I have been eating asbestos for 5 days trying to put this fire out, to no avail. What you are about to read is from a Cassel supporter that is on fire. It's the only way to put out the flames. Grab the nearest fire extinquishers and let's go.
Matt Cassel is a franchise Quarter Back in the NFL. He already has elite status. He has the arm to make the necessary throws. His work ethic is unquestionable and he is a student of the game. He is a soldier that is playing his part in this war we call the NFL. He does what he is told and what's more, a franchise QB should do what he is told until he is told to take control himself. Those coaches that are telling him what to do have a few more rounds of the block to base their decisions on. They know what it takes to win games. They know when to feint and when to swing hard. Given time, study and experience, that QB will eventually know those things too. That's when the training wheels come off. That's when a field General takes command.
To say that Matt Cassel can't make defensive reads is insulting. To say that he is too slow to do so may indicate a position on a learning curve. Then again, it may indicate following direction without questioning the direction givers authority. Developing the chemistry that it takes for a football team to win a championship takes time. There is no definitive clock that says the magic number is X number of games or Y number of days. Each time that chemistry is achieved though, everybody knows it. The tedious process that preceeds that achievement looks like failure. Most people are short sighted enough to believe in failure. Champions believe that every success is preceeded by thousands of failures. Thomas A. Edison failed thousands of times before he achieved the success of the electric light bulb. It changed our world forever. Matt Cassel must be given his opportunities for failure because only through those failures can the learned response be developed that will yield success.
I started out this article saying that Matt is already elite. I believe it and I think that a particular achievement of his shows that he has the tools. He may not have put all of those tools to work as yet and created his own light bulb, but believe me, he spends hours at the work bench every day--failing to produce one. We as fans should respect that effort. How many QBs have we had in KC that came nowhere near this level of devotion to their craft. Matt Cassel deserves better from his 'fans' than to consistently be drawn, quartered and dragged through the coals each week simply because he underthrew a few passes and watched some really excellent passes go right through an unfocused recievers hands.
Why is Matt Cassel Elite? I'll tell you why. In the 75 years of the NFL only 113 Quarterbacks have thrown for 400 or more yards in a single game. What's the matter? Not Elite enough for you? I hear those objections now. "400 yard games are great, but they don't really mean that a quarter back is great".
Ok, how about this. On only 53 occaisions (and 38 different QBs) in those same 75 years has a QB thrown for over 450 yards. Matt Cassel just did it vs. the Broncos last Sunday. I still hear those voices in the crowd that mumble, "Yeah, well so what, we lost by 20". Elite does not mean unbeatable. Elite does not mean you can win without your team doing their part to get that W. Even Mr. Football loses games. Last time I checked he's lost three out of nine this year but he is still considered Elite, right?
You want more? I got more. As of last Sunday, Matt Cassel has now authored three 400+ yard games. How often does that happen to a QB in the NFL? Not much. In fact, only 24 QBs in those 75 years have been able to have three games of 400+. Of that number only 14 have more than three. Are we narrowing it down at all? Are you beginning to get the picture that Matt Cassel just might be something special? Is it at least food for thought for crying out loud? This at least has to help you slow rollers along to the fact that Matt has the tools and can make the throws. I mean, with only 14 QBs in 75 years that have been able to eclipse Matt's number of 400 yard games, you absolutely must surrender the point that he is Elite, right? I have seen the garbage time argument. Are you really willing to stand up and say that with only 14 other QBs in a 75 year history that have been able to have more 400 yard games than our own Matt Cassel, that Cassel's three are not indicitvie of something? If I see that in the comments I think I will come unglued.
Silence. Crickets chirping. A few raised eyebrows and yet a general feeling that the old standard of "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink", rings truer than ever. I am not asking anyone to agree that Matt Cassel is the second coming. I am however, asking for some recognition of his accomplishments when discussing his prowess. All that ever seems to make the page is, I like Cassel--he's a great guy but he just doens't have the tools or the ability. As you can tell, I disagree. Hopefully what I have written shows you why I disagree.
I like cake, but my favorite part is the icing. Have a little won't you?
In 75 years of some of the most exciting sports ever played (and yes futbol fans and NASCAR fans, the NFL is more exciting that anything you can produce) Matt Cassel has done something that only four other QBs can lay claim to. In 2008 when he was playing for the New England Patriots, Matty threw for back to back (that means consecutive for those in rio linda) 400 yard outings. He's only one of five. I would say that makes him elite by just about any standard you want to apply. Who else shares this amazing stat?
Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Phil Simms, Billy Volek and Matt Cassel all have this in common? If you also require a minimum of three 400+ yard outings to qualify for this group, Volek drops off (he only had the two). Maybe it's time to cut Cassel some slack. He couldn't perform like this if he didn't have the tools. Cassel and Simms have three games each, Dan Fouts has 6 and Marino has 13 (yes he has the most and still has 5 more than Mr. Football). With Cassel's last 400 yard outing he moved up another notch on the elite status board. Cassel is also the only QB to have over 400 yds passing and more than 60 yards rushing in a single game. THE ONLY ONE.
Go ahead. Keep talking smack about our QB. Keep digging that hole for yourself. Just remember this. When your digging potatoes and suddely you look up and all you can see is a small round opening into the sky, you have dug way to deep. The potatoes were just under the surface. You missed'em because you were diggin with too much pique and too big a shovel. Passion is what we have. Don't let it blind you to the truth.