It might seem like this has been an up and down season, but that would be a mirage. What it's been is a very consistently mediocre season from a very consistently mediocre team. Teams are, of course, the norm in any sport, with real losers and real winners being the exceptions. But in the Chiefs' case, a great deal of the reason has been the installation of Matt Cassel at the quarterback position. He's had a few good moments, but for the most part he's been- mediocre.
One thing for sure: Matt Cassel is not a winner.
What makes a winner? It's intangibles for sure and the most important one is what they call "leadership" or "charisma." Some people have it, most don't. Cassel doesn't and never has which is why he was a career pine rider until the Chiefs decided to break the bank on a roll of the dice with him. It clearly didn't work. In his tenure behind center in Kansas City, he got no better or no worse than the day he came. He made some throws, but he missed A LOT more than he made.
A good deal of Cassel's problems are physical. He is big and strong and can throw with force, but he might have been better served staying in baseball. NFL quarterbacking is not about heaving the ball, which is the best way to describe what Cassel does. He has a terrible, Tebowesque, throwing motion, as though he were throwing 2lbs barbells. And he never developed any touch.The play of Chiefs receivers, especially Bowe, has been underrated, too many times they have had to work too hard to reel in errant passes.
Let's hope Matt Cassel's time as a starter is now over in Kansas City, and that he will join his rightful place in the pantheon of his peers- Elvis Grbac, Sonny Bono, Steve DeBerg, Todd Blackledge, et al.
Enter Tyler Palko. The questions are easy to pose:Tyler who? Haven't we already had a washout named Tyler? Isn't he too small to play quarterback? The answers will be coming, but I will not be surprised at all if Palko suddenly breathes some life into this moribund team.
When I see Palko come into the huddle, I see leadership. I feel charisma. I see a guy with the headlights on, not a guy who is a deer caught in them. I see a very smart guy who will no doubt make some mistakes and some bad throws as he gets his footing. But I don't think we'll see any bonehead plays. What we'll see in improvisation and a guy who extends plays. We'll see a winner.
And too small? He is exactly the same size as the last Chief's quarterback to win a playoff game, a guy who also won a few on his previous team, the San Francisco 49ers.While no one should expect the Second Coming of Joe Montana, one this is for sure. We have nowhere to go but up, and we were never going to get there with Matt "The Heaver" Cassel.
Palko's chance is long overdue! Bring on the Pats!