Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One More Thing

Growing up a Chiefs fan I was brain washed into believing you could

win championships with average qb's and great defenses. (Thanks

coach Schottenhiemer). This may have been true in the days of smash

mouth football but those days are long behind us. In today's NFL the

passing game is more vital than ever. If the Chiefs are serious

about contending and winning then they need to be equally serious

about the quality of player at the most important position on the

field.

I have watched guys named Krieg, Deberg and Gannon under center in

Kansas City and these were some of the better players we have had at

the position. Other notable names from my favorite Chiefs teams

include Vlasic, Bono and Elvis Flipping Grbac! The only time I ever

watched the Chiefs advance in the playoffs and actually contend for

a Lombardi trophy was when the great Joe Montana was wearing Red and

Gold.

Eight of the last ten Super Bowl winners started quarterbacks who

had played every down of their careers with only one team. The

Chiefs have a long history of acquiring other teams backups or aging

starters. This is not a successful formula. I know that truly great

quarterbacks are not something you can just grab off the streets. I

also know that you don't get them from the other 31 teams. They just

don't let the really great ones go. If Bill Belichick thought that

Matt Cassel was somebody he could win a Super Bowl with then Cassel

would still be a New England Patriot.

Kansas City has young, talented play makers on offense. Dwayne Bowe,

Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki are going to be exciting to watch for

a long time. I do not believe we have the right guy playing

quarterback. I will listen to you  tell me how great Cassel is

because he was selected to the Pro Bowl. I will also remind you that

Aaron Rodgers, who out played every quarterback not named Brady, was

not selected. I realize Rodgers would have missed the game due to

the Super Bowl, but he was not even chosen. Pro Bowl voting means

nothing.

In the final game of the season with a chance to clinch the third

seed in the AFC playoffs Matt Cassel played what would be his worst

game of the season to that point. At home against rival Oakland

Cassel made bad decisions, held the ball too long and took a

beating. By the end of the game Cassel was literally laying down

before the defense got to him. Check the film. It was at this point

that I knew we would be in trouble against Baltimore.

The playoffs are where the great players separate themselves from

the pretenders. Home field is the perfect stage to do just that.

Cassel somehow threw for less yards and more interceptions against

the Ravens than he did the prior week against the Raiders. At the

end of the day Cassel posted a 20.4 rating, actually better than the

Oakland game, and raised a lot of questions about handling the

pressure of his current job and contract.

In 2005 the defensively starved Chiefs took Derrick Johnson and let

Aaron Rodgers continue his slide to Green Bay. In 2008, still hoping

to improve that defense, we select Glenn Dorsey and Joe Flacco later

becomes a Baltimore Raven. In 2009 we passed on Mark Sanchez and

Josh Freeman to select Tyson Jackson. We may avoid JaMarcus Russell

with this approach but we will never find a great quarterback

 if we continue to settle for guys that other teams have already

decided they don't want. Pioli needs to change one more thing in

Kansas City, the most important position on the field.

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