Don't Count Cassel Out

Pete TreperinasCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2008

Tom Brady is out for the year, and some would say that the Patriots are screwed. After all, he was the MVP last year when the Pats went 16-0, and has pretty much been the reason for the team's success.

Matt Cassel, who will get his first start since he was a senior in high school, now has to be an offensive leader of the Patriots. The general consensus is that Cassel can't do it. Well this week in the Meadowlands, he gets to prove what his worth is. 

Coach Bill Belichick seems to have faith in Cassel, because the Patriots have yet to sign one of the washed-up ex-starters that have been hovering around the league. Cassel is their man, and I think he can do this. Matt Cassel is going to go into New York this week and show up that Favre guy. 

Of course, Cassel will need some help from his teammates. After all, the Patriots have a great group of receivers and a quality defense. Cassel looked good against the Chiefs, throwing for 152 and a touchdown, and it was a good team to start his career against, because the Jets are no cakewalk. 

Cassel never had a chance to play in college, because he went to USC. I guess a back-up is a back-up but when Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart (under Carroll, not Wisenhunt), and Tom Brady are the quarterbacks you get to watch everyday in practice, I would imagine that a lot of their good habits have rubbed off onto Cassel. This kid might be a player.

Regardless of if Cassel plays good or bad this week, one shouldn't pass full judgement onto him until he's had a couple of weeks to play. 

The Patriots were also blessed with the easiest schedule in the NFL this year, which will be helpful for a team that is in dire need of Cassel to perform.

So before everyone jumps on the Brett-wagon in the AFC East, let Cassel take some snaps, and he just might surprise us all.