Inside The NFL's Cris Collinsworth and Phil Simms spent some time this week joining the ranks of bloggers across the web debating Chiefs QB Matt Cassel.
I found the debate entertaining, frustrating and helpful all at the same time.
Collinsworth argues that the Chiefs don't ask Cassel to do much and that in key situations they can't (or won't) feature the passing game. Simms argues that Cassel is efficient with what's been presented to him and fits very well with the type of team the Chiefs are trying to build.
I agree with Collinsworth's overall point that the Chiefs aren't asking Cassel to do a whole lot (relative to other quarterbacks) but who cares? It's working right now. As Warren Sapp suggested on the segment, if your running game is so great, why not just hand it off?
That's not to say that Collinsworth didn't have some good points. He did. Here's the debate....
Collinsworth: He's fine at what he does. It's a running football team that plays well on defense and he gets a lot of single coverage. When they absolutely have to throw the ball he can throw it out there and complete a pass every once in a while. They're not winning games with the passing game. I will not say another word for the rest of the day if you let me run every pass play of the Kansas City Chiefs from this past week and you tell me, 'Boy, that's a good passing game they have going there.' Do it! And I won't say another word the rest of the day.
Simms: Is he lined up with all-stars out there? Is it a receiving core where you say they should really focus on their receivers because you can't cover them? Everybody gets single coverage in the NFL -- every team gets single coverage on the outside for a decent number of snaps in every NFL game. But you look at Matt Cassel. Listen, you were wrong when you talked about him when he came to the Patriots. I know you can't get over it. After one game you came in and said, 'He's terrible and they can't win [with him].' I said, 'Well give him a couple weeks to get used to it.' Let's see: He's mobile, he has a good arm, he has the size, he's tough. that's the one thing you have to admit about it. It comes across as you watch him play, he's tough, so it fits into the makeup of what they're trying to accomplish there. When he has to make the big throws he's throwing them in some tight spots. I always judge a quarterback this way: When you drop back, you only have so many opportunities during the game if they're open. He hits those open guys at a very high percentage just like the top quarterbacks in the NFL do.
Collinsworth: Is he in the top 20 in the NFL?
Simms: I'm not going to say that.
Collinsworth: I'll make a list for you. After the show, I'll make a little list and let's see if he's in the top 20...
James Brown (host): Why can't he get it done with the Kansas City Chiefs?
Collinsworth: I don't know why. For whatever reason they're not putting the ball in his hands in key situations. You can see that in these games when everything's on the line...at the very end of the game, if they take a shot and he hits a couple passes, yeah, I'll give him credit for it. But they could not protect him, he was taking sacks...this is a team that runs for 200 yards per game. All you have to do i s run a little play-action and hit the thing in the flat. That's all this passing game is.