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Changing The Way We Think About Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel

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It's OK to admit you're wrong sometimes. I'm not ready to fully admit it but I'm standing on the edge of this one -- I'm pretty sure I was wrong about Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel. I try not to be too reactionary but, as a fan, the quarterback is an easy target. When the Chiefs were down, it was the in-style thing to do to bash Cassel and say he was the one part that was holding KC back. I still think that was true -- but it's not the case anymore.

Cassel is now part of the solution and the perception of him is starting to change. Peter King of SI.com included this in his Monday Morning Quarterback column:

I think it's been fashionable, on TV and in print and in 'net space, to belittle Matt Cassel. You can still do that, but only if you'd like to be wrong. Last seven games: 18 touchdowns, one interception. Rookie Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis must be making life more comfortable for Cassel. Last year's touchdowns and interceptions for Cassel: 16-16. This year: 22-4.
Remember Charlie Weis' first goal? "Fix the quarterback." This guy knows something about football, huh?

I think as fans we can get caught up in story lines. In 2007, the offensive line was awful every single game. In 2008, the running backs were terrible every single game. In 2010, the story line was, at one point, the quarterback was playing poorly every single game.

It's probably about time we change the way we think about Cassel.
The last seven games. I know, you've heard this stat before but we'll do it again. Cassel has put up incredible numbers over the last seven games including 18 touchdown passes to just one interception. He's second in the NFL in touchdown passes and tied with Tom Brady for the least amount of interceptions to this point. The best stat of all, in my mind, is his completion percentage - 60.4 percent. As I've said, I feel 60 percent is the minimum a quarterback needs to hit. And Cassel is doing just that.

 

Consistency. When the Chiefs were losing, Cassel had this message: We're working hard to get better every day. When you're 4-12, that line drives you up the wall. But now that the Chiefs are winning, Cassel's message hasn't swayed. I still don't like the cookie-cutter press conference answers but maybe Todd Haley was right and all we can ask for is being the same guy everyday.

The contract. This is one area where we've stayed fairly consistent. When Cassel was playing poorly, we said the $63 million contract wasn't a big deal because he's in the middle of the pack relative to other quarterback contracts. Now that he's playing well -- and doing it for an extended period of time -- the contract still isn't a big deal. Cassel's contract is simply what it costs if you want to commit to a quarterback.

The block. So the Chiefs are looking to endear Matt Cassel to the fans, huh? On Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, Cassel was seen going down field blocking, ahead of nearly the rest of his teammates. You want fans to like your quarterback? Get him to do the dirty work.