If Not Cassel, Then Who?

Before you think this is another bashing of Matt Cassel, it’s not.  I’m a Cassel fan because I consider myself a NFL realist and somebody who Understands that drafting and signing a franchise quarterback isn’t as easy as just saying you want one, and getting it. The opportunity has to present itself and the Kansas City Chiefs did what they believe and what I believe was best for this franchise in the offseason of 2009.

I want Chiefs fans that are against the Cassel deal to explain to me what’s so wrong?  What were the other options for the Chiefs at the time?  Bring back Brodie Croyle, only to get hurt, and be winless as a starter?  Have Tyler Thigpen come back and run the pistol?  Why not Joe Montana? I watched a Shape-Ups commercial the other day and he can still sling it around.

Let’s stop being the simple fans that can only blame the quarterback for losses and understand just because a quarterback can throw the ball really hard and far doesn’t mean it’s going to amount to anything. Just ask JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders how those measruables are doing for them.

Now it’s obvious, it most certainly helps the overall rating and performance of a quarterback, but it’s controlling those skills and having the will to win is what gives the Mannings, Bradys, and Rogers of the world the rings on their fingers. If those where the main grade points for quarterbacks in this league, why don’t you see scouts with radar guns on the sidelines at college games looking for that kid who can sling the ball 100 mph at his receivers, or the next big stud who can throw that ever so important hail marry 99 yards for the win.  It takes more than a strong arm to be successful in this league and that’s what Cassel has managed to do with the Chiefs.  Is Cassel the quarterback to get this franchise to the Super Bowl?  I truly doubt it, but if the Chiefs focus on giving him the weapons to be successful, and give him the plays to turn his weak arm into a non-factor the Chiefs most certainly can make a run.

Cassel doesn’t have the best arm in football, but compared to the other options the Chiefs had at the time it’s the best they could do.  Forget about everything you know that is Matt Cassel and just look down the stat line of last year’s quaterbacks. You will see 27 TD to 7 INT, with a QB rating of  93 for Cassel. So if you where to take the names away next to stats, you’re telling me, Chiefs fans, you woudn’t take it?  Let’s not forget that the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl, so my opinion is that there was one franchise quaterback last year, Aaron Rogers…  and everybody else!

So now I ask the question if not Cassel then who? Who’s your quaterback that would have gotten us to the playoffs in 2009, to the AFC Championship in 2010, and having Chiefs fans thinking  Indy or bust this season?  At the start of week six there were 17 starting quaterbacks that had been aquired by draft, free agncey, or by trade since 2009:

  1. Matthew Stafford- 1st 2009 draft
  2. Mark Sanchez- 5th 2009 draft
  3. Josh Freeman- 17th 2009 draft
  4. Mike Vick-  Levenworth
  5. Sam Bradford- 1st 2010 draft
  6. Tim Teabow- 25th 2010 draft
  7. Colt McCoy- 85th 2010 draft
  8. Jason Campbell- trade
  9. Ryan Fitzpatrick- free agent
  10. Cam Newtown- 1st 2011 draft
  11. Blaine Gabbert- 9th 2011 draft
  12. Andy Dalton- 35th 2011 draft
  13. Donovan McNabb- trade
  14. Matt Hasselbeck- free agent
  15. Kevin Kolb- trade
  16. Tarvaris Jackson- free agent
  17. Matt Moore- free agent

The Chiefs couldn’t have drafted Stafford, Bradford, Newtown or Gabbert unless they had traded up in that year’s draft.  So out of the 13 remaining quaterbacks that the Chiefs could have aquired since 2009, where’s the misstake?  Which quaterback is the one that can get this team to the promise land?  Which player is that “franchise” quaterback?  There is really only one player that jumps out to me with great upside, and that’s Kansas City native Josh Freeman.

Josh Freeman is a leader of a young team in Tampa Bay, who also brought in a new regime that year.  The differnce between the two teams isn’t just the playoff appereacne by the Chiefs, but the Bucs taking a chance on a young quaterback, and giving him the keys to the car his rookie year.  Since Freeman has entered the NFL, he has led all quaterbacks with the most 4th quater comebacks victories.

Realistically, we can’t just pick out all the great players that were drafted and say the Chiefs should have picked that player instead of another. If that where the case we could be talking about how to find our second franchise quaterback after the retiring of Dan Marino instead of the bust that is Todd Blacklidge.  The only other time the Chiefs have botched the search for a franchise quaterback, other than Cassel, is in the 2011 draft.  In round three the Chiefs selected linebacker Justin Houston, who many believed to had first round talent.  While at Georgia, Justin Houston was accused of taking plays off, and also tested positive at the combine for drugs.

So why is this so important in our franchise quaterback search?  Just five picks later the New England Patriots selected Arkansas quaterback Ryan Mallett.  Mallett, like Houston, dropped in the draft with questionable decision making and questions of drug and alcohol use.  But why did the squeaky clean Chiefs take a chance the least of the two  franchise changing postions?  If you where going to take that chance, why not do it on a quaterback that has all the fixings?  Why not have a good soild young prospect sitting a waiting for the time Cassel goes down or Mallett wins the job?

Once again Cassel haters, if not Matt Cassel then who?  Who has been out there since 2009 that is better than our Pro Bowl quaterback?  Maybe even more importantly stop blaming the quaterback, and start looking at the whole franchise  and ask the question why the Chiefs aren’t getting any better.

The Chiefs have now won two games in a row.  With the injruy to Jason Campbell in Oakland, the Chiefs could be 3-3 if they manage to stop the run, and a good chance to turn this year around!  Can’t wait till Sunday!



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