There are a million things going against Matt Cassel being an elite quarterback.
He never sniffed the field at USC as a quarterback. He was drafted in the seventh round. He’s never won a playoff game. He’s got the arm strength of a Little League pitcher. He can never seem to get past his first progression.
The list could go on. To save all of us time, let’s just establish the chips are stacked against him.
The 2008 and 2010 seasons were about as good as Cassel will get. In those years he was surrounded by weapons, not asked to do much, with a strong offensive coordinator to guide him along.
Sound familiar? It should, because that’s exactly the situation he finds himself in as the 2012 season begins to take shape.
Talent-wise, Cassel will never be on the level of Drew Brees or Tom Brady. It’s just a fact of life. Birds fly, Dontari Poe shouldn’t try to and Matt Cassel will never be able to put the Chiefs on his back.
But he won’t ever have to. The Chiefs have so many weapons to share the load you can hear Trent Dilfer’s jealousy clear from Bristol, because Cassel is going to have a career year managing the heck out of this offense with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as the true mastermind.
Daboll, who made Matt Moore a halfway-decent quarterback with the Dolphins in 2011, won’t fall asleep in the press box. Perhaps more importantly, he’s not a Todd Haley puppet like Bill Muir was. Most importantly, the guy is a genius when it comes to matchups and exploiting them.
Throughout the Haley era, it felt like the Sideline Hobo didn’t trust Cassel enough to let him off an incredibly short rope. Whether that mistrust was earned by Cassel is a topic that could take up a few Britannica volumes, the point is it seems Daboll has a better trust in Cassel.
Whether that’s because Daboll has a better grasp of Cassel’s weaknesses and can work around them or Cassel has legitimately improved has yet to be seen.
An offensive coordinator isn't much good without weapons to employ, and the Chiefs are chock full of them.
A ground game led by Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis, a receiving corps of the Killa B's with Bowe, Baldwin and Breaston, and an offensive line that looks to be the strongest it's been in years will no doubt help.
Much more than Larry Johnson, Bobby Wade and Barry Richardson did, that's for sure. What a difference three years makes.
It’s not exactly shooting for the stars, but it’s a heck of a lot better than where he’s been the last few seasons.
And if he returns to 2008/2010 form with Daboll’s help, it could be just enough to make the Chiefs pretty dadgum good.
Super Bowl good.