Peter King of SI.com visited the Kansas City Chiefs for his training camp report a while back and in his column he has some very interesting quotes regarding QB Matt Cassel and former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley.
Other than Bill Belichick, Cassel only ever played under Haley as an NFL player. One could argue the Cassel’s two best seasons in the NFL were when Haley had the least control over him; his first season in NE and his 2010 Pro Bowl season in which he was working with Charlie Weis.
King doesn’t have any quotes of Cassel bashing Haley but he does have one where Cassel seems to indicate that life is much better under Brian Daboll.
“I like how he lets me play the quarterback position,” Cassel said. “I’m not afraid to give my opinion, or to change the play. Some other times, I’ve been afraid to do that. But [Daboll] says, ‘You’re the quarterback. If you see something different out there, you’ve got to act on it.’ ”
Hmmm. If that wasn’t intriguing enough, one Chiefs player (anonymously) came right out and said he thought Haley’s ways were impacting Cassel.
But there’s little doubt these players are breathing easier with a coach they like and respect more than Todd Haley. “It had to happen,” one player said of Haley leaving and Romeo Crennel replacing him. “Players were afraid of speaking up. The environment just wasn’t healthy. I think it really wore on Matt.”
Cassel has been excellent so far in the preseason. As King points out, he has completed 75% of his throw thus far in the preseason. More importantly, the KC offense has been finding the endzone, something they had a hard time doing while Haley was the head coach.
It is way too soon to predict how Cassel will perform once the games start counting but the early returns of the Daboll offense are encouraging.
What do you think, Addicts? Was Haley holding Cassel back?