Cassel Shines Bright

Sure it's just one meaningless preseason game. But Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Matt Cassel, left his tour of duty Friday night against the Arizona Cardinals with honor.

I can't remember a single player in the last decade that's had more pressure on him to perform for the Kansas City Chiefs. With mixed results in training camp, the embattled and classy quarterback brought his ‘A' game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Forget the final score because it doesn't matter. What matters is the fact the Chiefs starting quarterback left the game up 14-0 after completing five of six passes for 67 yards and a touchdown toss to running back, Peyton Hillis. And you want more statistics? He left the game against the Cardinals with a passer rating of 152.8.

The fact that Cassel left the game after two picture-perfect scoring drives that included multiple conversations on third down and a nifty quarterback sneak on fourth down, should calm the restless natives - who doubt his ability to lead this team.

Sure there are people, some of them tweeting from Arrowhead, who think his performance Friday night didn't mean anything and when the regular season starts - the Chiefs will be 0-0. It's true. But who cares.

I say why not look at the positives. Don't you think the kid deserves a break?

To me, the most impressive aspect about Cassel's night against the Cardinals was his composer and his confidence in the pocket. He made good decisions, took what the Cardinals defense was giving him and never displayed some of the inconsistencies and poor mechanics - that plagued him a year ago.

So who deserves the credit?

KC Chiefs QB Matt Cassel and RB Peyton Hillis were in sync Friday night versus the Cardinals.
US Presswire

Part of it has to go to his offensive line that was absolutely terrific Friday night. But so was the running back combination of Jamaal Charles, Shaun Draughn and the aforementioned Hillis. They were all dominating.

But for me, it was the steady hand of Offensive Coordinator, Brian Daboll. And much like Charlie Weis did two years ago when he arrived in Kansas City, he's firmly taken to the task of getting Cassel ready for the regular season.

And I'd say based on the fact Cassel struggled in the preseason two year ago, that Daboll has accelerated the learning curve.

In a week and half of training camp, Daboll has Cassel more adjusted to his offensive schemes than Weis did in the same time frame. And that's not a knock on Weis, because the Chiefs offense in 2012 is far better than the one he inherited two seasons ago.

But what is similar between both men is the fact they've allowed Cassel to change the play at the line of scrimmage. That was something forbidden a year ago under then head coach, Todd Haley. That change in philosophy - combined with better coaching - might just be the catalyst to Cassel's performance this year.

Again truth be told with no emotion involved this exhibition game doesn't mean a thing to many people. But nonetheless, it was important for Cassel to have a strong night. And he did just that.

So for now the Boo Birds, doubters and critics, can't say one negative thing about the one player, above all others on this Chiefs roster, who has the weight of the franchise on his shoulders.

Do you take any stock in Matt Cassel's performance Friday Night?

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