Yes this is a Matt Cassel/Scott Pioli post. Yes I will attempt to use logic. Yes I make up some of my own words.
So this started off as a response in this morning's Arrowheadlines. And of course, it grew. It grew in response to a lot of the Pioli hate I've been reading. And because I, surprisingly, like well thought out, logical responses as opposed to irrational-jump-off-the-cliff-the-sky-is-falling and it's all Pioli's fault-isms (made up word 1).
There seems to be one major flaw and historical forgetting-a-tude (made up word 2) that happens when people tend to bash on Pioli and say something along the lines of,
"he's tied to Cassel, will never get us a real QB, will do anything to keep MC, didn't offer Orton a real contract and didn't actually try to get Manning - because Pioli is really the source of all Evil and why the world wide economy is in the tank because I need someone to blame... " Oh wait, ignore that last one.
And they tend to forget the State of the Team (SotT) before he arrived.
Pioli inherited a shit team with NO QB's (Huard, Croyle, Thiggy) an aging and retired O line, a horrible D, a crazy RB, a few unknowns, and a rabid fan base.
He KNEW he had many holes to fix and some he had to plug with tar so they didn't leak too much.
He KNEW he had to get a QB that would run the team and had the potential to be the QB of the future.
Looking at QB's in the 09 Draft, Stafford most likely would be gone and that left Sanchez, Freeman (and Pat White?). So Pioli rolled the dice on Cassel, whom he had a year's worth of film, and wasn't using a top draft pic to get him. What other option in 09 did he have? OK time to address other problems... which over the last few years he HAS done by drafting players like:
- Baldwin (Bradley)
- DMC (Webb)
- Arenas (page)
- Hudson (Niswanger)
- Tjax (Turk)
- Berry (Pollard)
- Moeaki (Gonzo)
- Succup (Barth)
- Lewis (Page)
By getting FA's and signing players like:
- Cassel (Thiggy)
- Asamoah (Adrian Jones?)
- Hillis (Colby Smith)
- Boss (Cottam)
- Winston (Richardson)
- Breaston (Webb)
And retaining some of our quality players:
- JC (LJ; he of the spittith in the women's face)
No he's not been perfect. And yes it's been a slow haul. But we are in such a better place when we have players like the above than who we had in some of those positions, when he took over (look at the parenthesis).
Yes it may look like he's tied to Cassel but after the trade you have to give the guy his due. You are paying him a large chunk of money. And we did have SO many holes that we were a fast sinking ship. Hell we were mostly underwater when Pioli arrived. So he's left Cassel in place as Good Enough and focused on those holes, some temporarily filling, some replacing. And our team is way better as a unit NOW than we were 4 years ago. We are a stronger team. We are no longer looking at people like Pollard and thinking they are the best, cuz of what we've seen. We are now losing players to FA that other teams want. Although it sucks to lose Carr, it's also flattering to know we have players now that other teams go after. And are worth the coin!
So is Pioli Intentionally hold the team back? No. He's working his meticulous, slow moving, vision of creating a team. A better team. Cassel hasn't panned out to be the QBotF. But he's held the leak together well enough so that we could fill in and replace the other holes. And Truth be told the only problem is that it's not a fast enough process for some of us. Do I want to have a QBotF? Hell yes. Did I think it could have been RGIII? Yup. Are there really any other prospects this year after him? No. Were the FA QB's out there other than Manning worth going after? Not for what Orton signed for and it takes two to tango. So no I don't believe Pioli negligently didn't even bother with Orton or Manning. Cuz what reason would he have to?
I'm sorry the whole, "he's so blinded by his loyalty to Cassel that he really has no desire to go after another QB" line of thinking just doesn't pan out. He is slowly building this team into one that can win, again and again. With quality players at multiple positions. For the first time in over a decade we are a more balanced team with players I am excited about at RB, WR, OLine, DB, DL, and Secondary. We are not the high scoring machine of the Vermeil era, but neither does our D blow. We are not the sack machine of the DT and Smith ear, but neither does our O suck. We are a few players away from being a dominant team. IMHO. A FEW PLAYERS, and one QB.
We may not be where some of us would like us to be YET. But we are a helluva lot closer than we were. It's been years (perhaps back the late 90's) that we've gone into a draft with so many options of what we could do;
- Get BPA
- Trade down for pics this year
- Trade down for pics next year
- Get DeCastro
- Trade down and get DeCastro
And none of it's bad.
So to all you who are bummed about not getting our QB, or letting Carr go or hating on Pioli. Take a moment to reflect on where we are as a team now compared to where we were few years ago. It really isn't a bad place to be. And for all you Pollsters our there.