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Faith Shot Trust, then Trust Killed Credit
Posted By ChiefsWarpath.com On October 20, 2010 @ 11:12 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
The quarterback position has its origin in Scottish rugby, wherein backfield players, according to their customary distance behind the forwards, were designated “quarter back” (i.e. 1/4 of the way back), “half back,” and “full back.”
Dictionary.com defines an American Football Quarterback as the following: a back in football who usually lines up immediately behind the center and directs the offense of the team; the position played by this back; a person who leads or directs a group or activity. Webster’s Dictionary describes an American Football Quarterback as the following: an offensive back in football who usually lines up behind the center, calls the signals, and directs the offensive play of the team; one who directs and leads. Wikipedia explains that the quarterback receives the snap from the center on most plays. He then hands or tosses it to a running back, throws it to a receiver or runs with it himself. The quarterback is the leader of the offense and calls the plays that are signaled to him from the sidelines.
Matt Cassel doesn’t lead or direct, instead he looks confused. Examples of one who leads or directs in the NFL are John Elway, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Troy Aikman, Jim Kelly, Bret Favre, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Steve Young just to name a few.
Let’s quickly examine two quarterbacks who both had a pretty good year prior to being traded to another team the following year.
In 2008, the year before he was traded to Kansas City, Matt Cassel started in 15 games for the New England Patriots, completed 327 out of 516 passes with a 63.4% completion percentage. Also that year, Cassel passed for 3,693 yards, with 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. The following year (after the trade), Cassel passed for 2,924 yards with 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
In 2000, the year before he was traded to Baltimore, Elvis Grbac started in 15 games for the Kansas City Chiefs, completed 326 out of 547 passes with a 59.6% completion percentage. Also that year, Grbac passed for 4,169 with 28 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. The following year (after the trade), Elvis Grbac passed for 3,033 yards with 15 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. It was the last year Grbac played in the NFL.
In each case the following year was not as successful as the previous year. Matt Cassel in Kansas City and Elvis Grbac in Baltimore are very similar stories to me. I know that many may disagree with me on this subject, but the fact remains that they both stink. In my last article I discussed how the Chiefs have lost in the fourth quarter in almost every game against the Indianapolis Colts, and I stated that the Chiefs MUST prevent from losing the game in the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter is when good quarterbacks become great quarterbacks.
However, Cassel is an average quarterback with the potential to become a good quarterback. He is not capable of leading and directing the Chiefs to victory in the 4th quarter. For those that argue about his lack of a receiving corps/supporting cast, my response is that a good quarterback will work with what he has (i.e. Tom Brady). We’ve had great quarterbacks in Kansas City before, such as Joe Montanta, Trent Green, and Len Dawson. Therefore, we know what to look for in a true leader.
Roger Staubach had 23 fourth quarter comebacks in his career with the Dallas Cowboys. And how can we forget the week three game of the 1989 NFL season when the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Joe Montana, bruised and battered, sparks a tough fourth quarter comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles. With the score 18-10 in the Eagles favor going into the fourth quarter, Joe Montana threw four touchdown passes to win the game 38-28.
Or how about “The Drive?” The superb 98-yard drive John Elway engineered in the closing seconds of the 1986 American Football Conference Championship Game against the Cleveland Browns, which ranks as one of pro football’s most talked about performances in the clutch. With 5:32 to play, Elway directed and led his team to victory when it mattered the most…………..the fourth quarter.
Matt Cassel is NOT not the lead and direct type of player, and some adjustments need to be made. Notwithstanding, Dwayne Bowe’s dropped pass in the fourth quarter against the Colts defines his career. However, dropped passes by Bowe are not enough to help Cassells argument that he is the franchise quarterback that the Kansas City Chiefs need right now.
In this past Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, Cassel couldn’t move the ball in the fourth quarter. In addition to this, he was sacked on the last play of the game, unlike Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets. In that game, Sanchez managed to throw a pass to Santonio Holmes on the last play of regulation, in which a pass interference penalty was called against the Denver Broncos that gave the Jets the ball on the Broncos two-yard line. As a result of this, the Jets scored on the next play and went on to win the game 24-20. This does not mean that Sanchez is a better quarterback than Cassel, but at least Sanchez was capable enough to give his team a last chance effort to win. Some may call it luck, some may not, but whatever it’s called Cassel doesn’t have it. At 3:34 left in regulation, the Chiefs had the ball kicked to them with a 31-28 lead over the Texans. The Chiefs offense was forced to punt giving the Texans the ball with 2:30 left to play in the game.
Why were we forced to punt? On first and ten, Thomas Jones ran up the middle for four yards. On second and six, Cassell completed a pass to Mike Cox for another four yards. Then on third and two at the Chiefs own 41-yard line, Cassel threw an incomplete pass to tight end Tony Moeaki. Thus, the Chiefs were forced to punt. Cassel is not a bad quarterback, but he just can’t make the big play when it counts the most. He is the type of quarterback that does well at times, but he never finishes when it counts the most.
In the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts, Cassel was unable to lead and direct as well. The following is a list of what happened to the Chiefs during the fourth quarter of the game at Indianapolis: At 14:40 left in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs ran three plays for a gain of two yards. During that drive Cassel threw an incomplete pass to Dexter McCluster on third and eight. At 11:09 left in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs ran three plays for a gain of seven yards. During that drive Cassel threw an incomplete pass to Jamaal Charles on third and three. Does anybody notice the pattern here? At 4:02 left in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs ran the shotgun for twelve plays for a gain of 57 yards that ended with a missed 51-yard field goal by Ryan Succop. From this point forward Peyton Manning simply took a knee, and walked off the field a winner, while Matt Cassel walked off a loser as usual.
To Chiefs Nation, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. We drafted Brodie Croyle (in the 3rd round) out of Alabama in 2006 for a reason; and although at any given moment Croyle can break his clavicle while loading his dishwasher, I still say bring in “the kid.” Yes, he is winless as an NFL quarterback, but I think that the change will cause Matt Cassel to think about his future in the NFL and eventually force him to play like a leader. As unrealistic as it sounds, I want Matt Cassel to become great overnight; or go to the front office and ask to be traded.
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