This is my first post so bear with me. I have had a lot on my mind. I have been following Arrowhead Pride for quite some time now. I have been a Chiefs fan from back when Steve DeBerg was the starting quarterback. I rooted for the team back then and I still root for them now. I don’t need any paper bag to cover my head. I am a Chiefs fan. Yes, this year has been a difficult year to support the team; however, I am not a bandwagon fan and choose not to stray and root for another team against my Chiefs. I’ll root for the Rams unless they are going against the Chiefs because they are our home state team as well, but no team, and I mean no team, can take the place of the Chiefs for me.
I know that Matt Cassel isn’t a great quarterback. He is average at best. He has had a few good years, but I am not delusional enough to think that Matt was leading the team in New England. Just because a back-up player is on the field in place of an injured leader doesn’t mean that a leader’s presence is absent with the team. You think that Ray Lewis isn’t still a leader for the Ravens even from the sidelines? No. Leadership is a key ingredient for any team. I thought that one of the things that Scott Pioli looked for in draft picks was a player’s ability to lead their team in college. I am just wondering where this leadership ingredient that some of these players have had is currently residing. I am all for Shaun Smith coming back to the Chiefs. Lord knows we need someone to light a fire and kindle a passion for this team. They aren't getting it from the coaches on the sidelines.
It’s evident and plain to see from the commentary on here that a majority of people are not happy with Cassel’s ability as a starting quarterback. Well he wasn’t drafted in the first three rounds as a quarterback, so what do people expect? Drafting a player in late rounds with the leadership and excellent play ability like Tom Brady is rare. Only a person with an enormous ego (Scott Pioli) would think that they could do it twice as if one could buy powerball tickets in back to back weeks and hit the jackpot both times. I can’t say that I am impressed with Matt Cassel’s playing skills this year. I am not going to lash out at Cassel first though. What I am going to do is put some thoughts out there for people to mill over and hash around.
Bad habits are learned over a process of time. They don’t just appear one day. Part of being a teacher/parent/coach is to help eliminate bad habits from forming by seeing actions that have just happened and breaking them before they become a habit. I know when I was younger and an older neighborhood kid handed me a cigarette, my mother appeared out from nowhere, like a bat out of hell, and a belt was on my hind parts. She saw a potentially bad habit and eliminated it before it could start. To this day, I don’t smoke, and I give her the thanks for the lesson learned however painful it was at the time.
Cassel has learned some bad habits and the coaches have not done a good job of helping eliminate them habits. I don’t know what everyone else saw last year, but it seemed like every picture I saw of Matt Cassel had him flat on his back whether from a sack or hit after a pass. There is nothing like learning how to react to a situation like physical reinforcement. Where was his protection? I like the improvements that have been made with the offensive line including the signing of Eric Winston although he needs to improve on his pass protection. He was signed for his run blocking ability though and we all know that. The injuries to the O-line this year have affected our depth and yes it hurts, but this is when players need to step up.
Of course Cassel looks to Bowe almost every snap – if you got laid out like Cassel did last year you would be wanting to get rid of the ball as soon as possible also – what other wide receivers do we have that can beat the press or get open quickly? This is a problem our offensive coordinators have needed to resolve by tossing in more screens, calling short routes, and utilizing more options. After all isn’t that what the west coast offense is supposed to be about? The offensive line coach should be drilling in pass protection. The wide receivers’ coach should be drilling players with breaking press coverage and running better routes… yes and catching the balls with their hands and not their finger tips, but maybe then passes would be more accurate if players were open and the quarterback wasn’t so rushed to get rid of the ball so quickly. I don’t know where to begin on Zorn though because it looks like he hasn’t taught our quarterbacks a darn thing. I’d rather see management ask Joe Montana if he would become our quarterback coach. At least Joe knew how make things happen and he could bring a team back to a lead when they were behind. All the blame shouldn’t be on these coaches though. It’s the head coach that is the one that is over the team’s coaching personnel in the end. It’s his responsibility to make sure they are doing what needs to be done or remove them and find someone else that can get the job done. Am I saying that Cassel throws as many interceptions as he does because he rushes throws and doesn’t want to get planted in the turf? Yep, that’s about it. I liked DeBerg because he was tough. I liked Favre for the same reason, even though he wasn’t a Chief. I want my quarterback to have the ability to stay cool under pressure, take a hit if needed, and scramble if all hell breaks loose as long as they can carry the damn ball and not cough it up or else throw it away. Coaching is the problem here.
Cassel will never be good until he breaks the bad habits that he has acquired no matter how much heart he has. He has to learn to be able to trust his offensive line to protect him. Where the hell is Manu Manu the Slender when you need him? (For those of you that don’t know… watch Necessary Roughness.) We need a new quarterback. Sorry Matt, I don’t think that you are going to break these habits that quickly. I could see Cassel as a back-up quarterback, but not one worth the salary that Pioli has established for him. So we draft a new quarterback or pick one up in free agency. I hear Flacco could become a free agent if Baltimore doesn’t sign him, but they would be crazy not to do so.
I don’t share the same reasoning that many of our readers do though. I am sorry, but this quarterback class that is coming up doesn’t have any players like Bobby Three Sticks or Andrew Luck. I agree with the minority out here on the AP though and think we need to pick up Teo in the first round. If we are going to stick with the 3-4 then solidify the line-backing core. Don’t wait till DJ’s retiring to get a new guy in here. I think Hali, DJ, Teo, and Houston would be an awesome core. I like how Poe is advancing in his skills also. I’ll give the management some props for their selection with Poe. I didn’t think they would have taken the risk that they have by selecting him. I figured Pioli would have taken the safe route and drafted DeCastro. I think we should pick up a quarterback in the second round if we can’t pick up a quality quarterback in free agency or through a trade. I think it would be a good idea to pull a Redskins maneuver with the next draft and snatch up Collin Klein in a later round as well. I don’t see him going in the first few rounds. I think he is projected in the seventh round currently. We definitely need some depth at cornerback also. I think Grimes and Rogers-Cromartie are up for free agency this spring also. I’d also like to see the team pick up a good tight end that doesn’t get injured when the wind blows more than five miles an hour. We could also use a back up for center. Lilja has done a decent job filling in with the exception of his lousy snaps in one game, and he isn’t getting any younger. People may think I am nuts, but I don’t care. Good teams have a good defense. Marty knew that. We all cheered and were proud of our Chiefs when the defense was strong. I think Thomas, Smith, and Saleaumua would be ashamed of what the Chiefs defense has become. Even when the offense wasn't strong they still had heart and played hard. I still have hope for our current team though. I believe our defense has the ability to become great. I think that adding Teo would help, along with getting another quality cornerback, and an excellent free safety. I would like for us to have a corner with some speed like Rogers-Cromartie.
In short resign Brandon Albert and Dustin Colquitt. Offer Hillis a year with the potential to extend that as a full back. He is a better full back than a running back in my opinion. If Bowe isn’t happy to be here and wants to go, then let him go. Screw slapping the tag on him. I want a player that has heart and will give our team 100%. Now Bowe may want to go because of the fact that some of the passes heading his way have left him out there to be annihilated and possibly career ending, so I wouldn’t blame him if that is the case.
Sorry for the length and lack of proper fluidity. I write like I think. It’s sort of random, but makes sense in my mind because I see the whole picture coming together in the end. I’ll try to make any future posts shorter and more concise.