Matt Cassel went 5-of-6 and helped the Chiefs score on their opening drive.
Cassel was informed by the Kansas City Chiefs in the spring that they were seeking to sign Peyton Manning. Later in the offseason, Cassel shows up to Kauffman Stadium for the Legends & Celebrities All-Star Game, only to get booed by the home crowd. It was not a pleasant offseason for Cassel, and the season could not come any sooner for him.
Fast forward to August 10, the day of Kansas City's first preseason game in 2012. Cassel was getting ready to take the field for the first time in nine months. He wanted to show to his coaches and teammates, as well as his fans, that he had fully recovered from his injury while being able to lead a football team. Cassel went on to do just that from the get-go.
On the first play of the game following the opening kickoff, Cassel found Dexter McCluster for a seven-yard gain. Cassel was responsible for a conversion on third down and fourth down on the opening drive of the game. The drive capped off with an 11-yard touchdown pass to newly acquired running back Peyton Hillis.
The fist pumps and optimism returned. Cassel completed 5-of-6 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. There was no booing from fans Friday night as the Chiefs won their first preseason game since September 2, 2010 when the Chiefs beat the Packers, 17-13. Cassel won only one preseason game under former head coach Todd Haley in three years and has the same amount of preseason wins under his new head coach, Romeo Crennel.
Cassel looked comfortable in Brian Daboll's offense. Crennel has to be pleased with what he saw in Cassel. While serving as the interim head coach following the departure of Haley, Crennel did not have a chance to see Cassel and worked with Kyle Orton to end the 2011 season.
Fans gained some reassurance after watching Cassel play well in the first two offensive drives Friday night. Cassel has not been a fan favorite in Kansas City since the Chiefs traded for him in 2009. Is 2012 a turn of events for Cassel? If so, he is off to a good start and looks to carry that over to next Saturday, August 18, when the Chiefs visit the St. Louis Rams for Week 2 of the preseason.
On top of a preseason win, according to KMBC News, rumors are flying around that Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe signed his franchise tender Friday afternoon, making Cassel's Friday even better, if these rumors hold true. The Chiefs have yet to confirm Bowe signing his tender.
Cassel hopes to have Bowe working under Daboll's offense soon to create a strong chemistry before the Chiefs hold their September 9 regular-season opener against the Atlanta Falcons at Arrowhead Stadium.