“Don’t matter who did what to who at this point. Fact is, we went to war, and now there ain’t no going back. I mean, shit, it’s what war is, you know? Once you in it, you in it. If it’s a lie, then we fight on that lie. But we gotta fight.” - Slim Charles from “The Wire”
First of all, if you haven’t seen “The Wire” shame on you. It’s one of the best TV series of all time. Now, run out and rent all five seasons of it. It’s Merlin approved. OK, so what is the point of the quote? Football has generally been described as a form of warfare. George Carlin nailed that many years ago with his classic baseball versus football routine. The key part is “If it’s a lie, then we fight on that lie.” Chiefs fans, Scott Pioli has told us a lie and the Chiefs are going to fight on that lie.
The lie wasn’t explicitly stated, but implied. The lie is that Matt Cassel is a very good quarterback. When you hear Pioli talk about Cassel, it is clear how much admiration and respect he has for Cassel. Newly hired OC Brian Daboll talks about how much respect he has for Cassel. Would Dabo.l have been hired if he expressed a different opinion? I doubt it. Although the Chiefs have talked about competition for Cassel, it appears that the rest of the NFL heard a different message.
Kyle Orton came in last year and performed quite well. Despite the fact that in a fair competition, he would have a good chance of beating out Cassel, he proclaimed the Chiefs Cassel’s team and took a job holding the clipboard for Tony Romo. More than any other quarterback, Orton would have good insight into the team. I am not going to slam Pioli for every missed player. Chad Henne not talking to the Chiefs probably has more to do with his relationship with Brian Daboll in Miami. The Chiefs did submit a contact to Peyton Manning, but Manning wants to get paid a ton.
I can not blame Pioli for not matching Manning’s old contract.
Where does that leave us? Brady Quinn? Oh please, I would not consider him serious competition. Right now, my best hope is drafting Brandon Weeden in round two. The way QBs are flying up the draft board, he may not even be there. Tannehill is a huge reach in round one and he may fly up so high that he goes before the Chiefs pick. Where does that leave us? There is no serious competition for Cassel.
Can the Chiefs win with Cassel? Yes, but it’s a lot harder. By signing Boss and Hillis, the Chiefs are serving notice that we are going to be a run-first team. It’s all designed to work around Cassel’s weaknesses. We all know what they are. The inability to look off receivers, go through progressions and zip the ball into a tight window. You know, those ‘minor’ deficiencies that would lead any experienced NFL offensive mind to proclaim how much confidence he has for Cassel.
So far, Scott Pioli has had a decent free agent period. Not wrapping up Carr last year was a serious mistake. However, he was smart to pass on the contract demands of Carlson and Tolbert. Routt, Hillis and Boss were very smart signings. Players were brought in at very good value. That would be a huge signing and take care of a major need. Aubrayo Franklin would be a very nice signing. He is coming off a down year when he was playing out of position. He could flourish by moving back to NT and he is flying under the radar right now.
However, no matter what else Pioli does, the fact remains. Cassel is our lie and we are going to fight on that lie. Hang on, Addicts, it could be a bumpy ride.