Ok. I finally finished the whole KC Sea. game. It's funny. I wasn't able to watch any of the games live, so I get on AP for......gulp.....the gameday thread. The first game had me so hyped up! Reading the comments would have made you think we had just won the SB. The comments for the last game would have you looking for the nearest ledge or sharp object.
Ok. That was a little dramatic, but so were many of the comments.
Any way,I am here to let everyone know my observations.
-My preseason Pleasant surprise so far award goes to Matt Cassel.
I know how many of you feel about this, but I have been very pleased (and shocked) with what I have seen out of Cassel. Let me say this. The guy doesn't get a fair shake from most people. Many on AP try to call it like they see it and admit the good and the bad. But when it comes to Cassel, there are those who show up only when it's time to be negative and complain. If you don't believe it, then check the threads after a good game, and then check them again after a bad game. You will see posters you have never seen before. So far this preseason, Cassel has been making some nice throws and putting the ball where it needs to be. In the past, Cassel was not very good at that.
The key is to look at the receivers stride and hands. Good QB's can hit a receiver in the hands without them having to slow down. Also, the ball should be placed where only the receiver has a chance to catch it. He has been doing this all preseason. Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that he doesn't still make mistakes, but what QB doesn't? The important thing is his ability to make the throws and e has been doing that so far. It's amazing how if Aaron Rodgers has a bad game then "it's only the preseason", but if Cassel makes a bad play, then he sucks, the offense is awful, yada yada yada. Cassel is finally looking like an NFL QB.
Honorable mention for Pleasant surprise is Anthony Toribio. I can not believe how well he has played so far. I wasn't even sure if he was going to be on the team this year and now he is starting at the NT position and looking very solid. Kudos to Toribio, and kudos to the coaching staff. I just hope his stamina is there.
-Now for my not so pleasant disappointment thus far.
The good news is that there haven't been many people I had high hopes for who just tanked it, but there was someone who was projected to be a starter who absolutely sucked! And that is putting it nicely. Shane Bannon.
I knew he wasn't Lorenzo Neal or Vonta Leach, but awful was an understatement. He had several times when he blocked no one, and when he did block someone, it usually was not a great block. I really thought he could be solid for us. Eachus outplayed him by a mile. Eachus actually made me notice him by some of the blocks he threw in the AZ game. Bannon made me notice him too.....by almost earning someone some extra cash by getting Cassel carted off. What's that?......we didn't play the Saints? Oh, well disregard the extra cash. Anyway, I must not have been the only one who felt this way since Bannon played himself off of the roster. A not so close runner up was Stanford Routt. I am still giving Routt time to adjust to his new coaching, so I didn't choose him. But I am watching him.
-Now the most overrated player so far.
This award is for a person I hear mentioned a lot in a positive way, but I don't really know why. I am not saying he is awful, I just don't get why some are so high on him. This award goes to Rupati Pitoitua (#77). I have had this discussion with a few people on AP. The dude is big, and he makes the occssional good play, but his awful plays are awful. He also made me notice him few times. He made some really good tackles, but when he was bad, he was AWFUL. For example, the play where Barry Richardson ( yeah that B-Rich) bulldozed him out of the way around the 2 min mark in the 1st quarter of in the Rams game. The dude plays really high. He is tall and it shows most of the time. Don't get me wrong, he is not the worst player in the world. And honestly, I am higher on him after the Seattle game than I was before, but IMO he is overrated. Hopefully, he will continue to improve.
-The most underrated player so far.
This is the opposite of the overrated player. This is someone I hear negative things about and I am really not sure why. The winner of this award is Dex! Dexter McCluster is hated on so bad by so many people and I just don't get it. He is not the best player in the world, but he is closer to the best than the worst. And what he has done from the slot so far has been great to watch. Dude plays hard and makes plays. His potential is sooo scary. I know that some think he was a reach in the second, but he is a baller. If he and Cassel build on what they have started, then they could be very dangerous.
-Finally, the best up and comer.
This award is for someone who is not there yet, but is heading in the right direction. I know I am going to get some flack for this, but this award goes to Jalil Brown. Yeah, he got abused against Seattle, but that was part of the plan. How do I know? I could tell by how vanilla we played. Many have already pointed out that he got little to no safety help. That would not happen in a real game. What we saw was trial by fire. And if you noticed, he got better as the game went on. I hope Romeo puts him on the island again against GB. The dude has the potential to be a really good CB. He reminds so much of Carr when he first started playing for us. The quicker he learns to get his head around and make a play on the ball, the quicker our D will be that much better.
To wrap up, i just want to say please don't take the preseason so seriously. The Arizona game is the only one I took the starters seriously in for the duration of their time. No, not because we won and looked good doing it. Because we actually looked like we were being serious. Many of the plays that we saw in that game, we haven't seen since from the starters. And Cassel has made very few attempts down the field. I doubt that is by accident. Think back to training camp. How often have we seen the things everyone was raving about in camp during the game? Not many. Cassel and Dex are the only things so far. Are the Cards, Rams, and Seahawks so good that Cassel can't find Baldwin anymore? I think not. What happened to Maneri after that hot start? Bottom line is you don't show your cards in the preseason. How many times do we see teams do great in the preseason and suck it up in the real games, and vice versa? I believe that the team is in really good shape. We have had several good scoring drives. Yopu can literally see when Romeo sics the dogs on them and when he calls them off. The Jets and Dolphins have real problems they couldn't turn it on when they wanted. We should be ok.
Alright, I have my popcorn ready, and I am ready to go.
So keep your heads up and let's go cheer on our favorite team. Go Chiefs!