Watching the latest Kansas City Chiefs game, I thought of what Mary Schottenheimer use to say. That is there were a handful of significant plays in a football game. Whatever team was successful in the majority of those plays would win the game. Taking this thought out, there are moments that can make a player’s career. Last Sunday, we witnessed one of those moments. Mark that date down, Sunday December 19, 2010 is when Matt Cassel became the unquestioned leader of the Chiefs. His performance, while not perfect, inspired and motivated the team. Coming back quickly after an appendectomy, he showed the toughness and leadership that Scott Pioli often cites when discussing Matt Cassel. He got hit hard and bounced back up. He scrambled, seemingly oblivious to his body. Such a performance demands respect and he has mine.
Now, this does not mean that his flaws have gone away. They have not. He is still the efficient game manager with an average arm, at best. However, he is a leader. That is a huge deal. Thinking about Cassel, I am reminded of another Chiefs quarterback, Elvis Grbac. Comparing the two, Cassel never saw the day when his arm is a good as Grbac’s. Grbac had all the physical tools to be a very good quarterback. The difference between the two is between the ears. Grbac did not inspire his teammates and he became unraveled when he tried to run a two minute drill. Cassel is still growing mentally in the game. He still is a quarterback that needs talent around him. He can’t take a bunch of average receivers and make them look good. Given the talent around him, upgrade the offensive line a bit and add a certain free agent available after the 2011 season (cough, Larry Fitzgerald, cough) and this offense could compete for a Super Bowl. Of course, work needs to be done on defense as well. However, we have an exciting young core of players. It’s built primarily on two drafts. The 2008 Carl Peterson/Herm Edwards draft (Dorsey, Albert, Flowers, Charles, Carr) and the 2010 Pioli/Haley draft (Berry, McCluster, Arenas, Asamoah, Moeaki, Lewis). Given a good, not great 2011 draft netting say, three good or better starters and we have a very bright future.
Draft Tek notes: A new five round sim has just be released. You can get to it from here, plus I will be opening a thread on the AA forums. Feedback is always appreciated. I am moving the QB priority code down (less important) though I still think we are likely to draft a development QB in rounds 4-7. Question for fellow Addicts. Draft Tek distinguishes among three types of wide receivers. They are feature wide receivers (think #1 receiver), speed wide receiver and possession wide receiver. Currently, I have them coded 3,9,6 respectively. So, the simulation will grab a feature receiver well before looking at any speed receivers. My internal debate is about setting the codes so we are open to a speed receiver and feature receiver equally.