Answer Bob: 1/11/11

Love the date for Tuesday. Hope I’m around for the next one 2/22/22. Maybe the Chiefs will have won a game in the playoffs by then. On to your posts.


Tenand6 says: Bob, did this game change your evaluation of Matt Cassel? It was interesting to see who stepped up today and those who have played better in lesser games against lesser opponents. Eric Berry had his share of big plays. Jamaal Charles is so much fun to watch. I need to see the game again to get a better sense of it all. The Chiefs need to be better up the middle, IMHO. QB, Center, NT, ILB. And, who can forget RT and WR?

Thanks for all the great game summaries and commentary. Lots to think about with personnel and coaching changes ahead. It was a really great year. Your web site made it that much better. Will be looking forward to your assessment of the team and what we need going forward.

Bob says: Thanks for your kind comments about the site and our coverage of the season. There’s plenty of time to come in the next few weeks and we’ll have plenty of thoughts on evaluations on the season. But as to some of your immediate questions, I don’t think we can ignore Cassel’s performance against Baltimore when we consider his future, or lack of same. I also don’t think it’s a time to overreact. These are the growing pains of a quarterback. The fact that he did not raise the level of his game is a concern that can’t be ignored.


Husteak says: I think the truth is somewhere in the middle … Cassel isn’t as good as the people saying “he’s a star…should have made the pro-bowl” think … and, he isn’t as bad as the people saying “he sucks…we need a new QB” think. The truth is somewhere in the middle, as El Cid suggests. He will need a GREAT team around him to take us deep into the playoffs. We will need a GREAT team around him to go to the playoffs every year. Cassel just isn’t a Manning/Brady /Brees/Rivers… He just isn’t that good. It’s time to face the facts Chiefs fans. What say you Bob?

Bob says: I think anybody that was running around trying to compare Cassel with the best quarterbacks in the league was dreaming. There’s no doubt he improved in the ’10 season and elevated himself out of the bottom 25 percent of starting quarterbacks, to the top half of the passers, somewhere from No. 12 through No. 16. There’s no doubt he needs help, especially with more talented receivers and blockers to play with. I don’t think Cassel will ever be considered for the title of best player in the league, but he doesn’t have to be to lead a team into the Super Bowl.


el cid says: Usually I agree with you, Bob, not so much today. This was the playoffs, a one shot affair for most teams. Unfortunately, this could have been written every time the Chiefs played a team with a winning record or the AFC West. I know it is painting with a broad brush but just how good is the entire organization? Take away the toughness of the schedule, Haley’s inability to get along with coaches and players or controlling himself during games, and all the gaps in talent, and is this rebuild working? I could go either way. Followed the falcons/aints when in those areas and it was all about the future. Archie Manning never, NEVER had enough guys around him to say he was any good. As long as Haley can win 10 games a year and the playoffs, I guess we will all stand around in wonderment. But is this team moving forward, not so sure. Sort of like following the ROYALs, it always about next year which never shows up.

Bob says: Ouch, that’s quite a statement el cid in comparing the Chiefs plight with that of the Royals. I understand the frustration and impatience with the project. Now let me depress you some more – the Chiefs could be a better team in ’11 than ’10 and not win as many games or the division. This year’s team was without a doubt helped by a schedule that wasn’t particularly tough and no injuries. That’s not going to happen again. Right now, the entire organization is not good, not great, but not a disaster. There appears to be a plan in place, and they are trying to work the plan. They are going to build through the draft, sign a few free agents here or there. They were not going to be able to plug all the holes in one year. They screwed the pooch in the ’09 Draft and at second glance, they might have overspent on McCluster and Arenas in the second round, considering their contributions and their diminutive status that makes overuse a major problem. From 2009 to 2010, the Chiefs moved forward. It may not be as big a step as they think or fans want to believe, but the arrow is pointing up. Whether they can do it again from 2010 to 2011 is a major question mark.


Flyboy26 says: Hey Bob, you were a bit too lenient in your grade for pass defense. That grade should have also been an “F”.

Bob says: Here’s what I wrote in the Report Card after the game with the Ravens:

PASS DEFENSE: D – Flacco was unflappable even though he saw some pressure from the Chiefs defense, specifically OLB Tamba Hali who had two sacks and caused a fumble. But Flacco hit 73.5 percent of his passes and did not throw an interception, finishing with a 115.4 passer rating. The Chiefs tried numerous coverages to try and slow down TE Todd Heap but nothing worked and he caught 10 passes for 108 yards.

I gave the Chiefs a D rather than an F based entirely on the play of Hali. Since he was one of the few Chiefs players that answered the bell and lifted the production of their game for the circumstances of the playoffs, I didn’t want to throw that away without some recognition.


zbschiefs says: Hi Bob, thanks for your great coverage of Chiefs football. You may have already addressed this in a post somewhere, but my question has to do with Tamba Hali and the QB. I normally try not to become too frustrated with calls by the officials because I know good teams should usually win even if calls don’t go their way. Numerous times this season though I noticed that Hali was illegally blocked (blatant and non-blatant holds, facemasks, tackles by the facemask in the Ravens game) and it was rarely called by the officials. Are the lack of penalties in Hali/Chiefs favor because of a league effort to protect the QB? I noticed when KC played the Colts, Hali was held and it rarely got called. Are the officials and the league trying to protect the health of big-time players like Manning and others and that is why pass rushers can be hindered? Thanks!

Bob says: Zach, there’s no doubt the league is and has been for several years now done everything it can to keep the quarterback off the ground. They are the glamour boys of the business and fans want to see the top guys playing. They want Peyton Manning and not Curtis Painter in Indianapolis. They want Philip Rivers in San Diego and not Billy Volek, etc. Offensive holding in pass protection is not something that gets called at even 10 percent of the rate that it happens. It’s especially visible with pass rushers like Hali, who get on the outside shoulder of the tackle and bend towards the quarterback. That should be easy to see for the zebras and it is, but they are not going to call it on a regular basis. In the ’10 regular season, the Chiefs were called for 27 offensive holding calls. Unfortunately, that stat is not broken down between run and pass plays or even holding on a punt or kickoff return. But that’s 27 times in 1,063 plays, or 2.5% of the plays.

8 Responses to “Answer Bob: 1/11/11”

  • January 12, 2011  - KC_Guy says:

    The next date you should love even more is 11/11/11! That one even avoids the confusion caused by your weird inverted order of month and day …

  • January 12, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Looking at just for a second the last 2 games we played and noticing how our offensive line was put under alot of pressure by 2 great defenses (Oakland & Baltimore) I keep WONDERING if our offensive line is really as good as everyone keeps telling us????? Go back and look at your tapes of those 2 games and you will see a MUCH DIFFERENT MATT CASSEL than you did in the other games. Our offensive line is not as good as most of you think it is.

  • January 12, 2011  - Don says:

    Something I just was wondering. One of the sticking points in the new CBA is revenue sharing. The players get X% vs the owners who get Y%. How does the % amount change? What I mean is if Joe Player gets a 30 mil contract how is the % changed? Does the salary cap go up? is that how the players get more? Keep up the good work Bob!

  • January 12, 2011  - jim says:

    With a better OLine and WR’s, Cassell will improve his performance. He is NOT, at least presently, capable of raising the level of play of those around him. In other words, he just doesn’t have “IT” – yet (?).

    Gutsy performance coming back from surgery, running down a D back, etc.,but that doesn’t equate to the leadershop it takes to inspire those around him to raise their level of play – unfortunately. Unless, of course, the level of play IS maxed and there’s nothing left. Interesting, huh?

  • January 12, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Wow Bob, you’ll answer any question…even when it’s a meandering rant full of unsubstantiated claims and nonsensical comparisons (Royals?!?).
    I have seats on the 25, 1st row upper deck, on the Chiefs sideline. This year’s Chiefs are vastly improved. Factually by a 6 game win differential.
    I also observed a more organized productive sideline with more communication this year. Except for Mr. Charlie not getting some plays called on time, the game management was much improved. We could tell that every 4th down attempt was preplanned.
    To say the Chiefs did not move forward in 2010 is just not credible.
    AFC West Champs! The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!

  • January 12, 2011  - Nate says:

    Bob I agree with cychief24 about elcid’s rant. the truth is the chiefs have gone from a 2 win season to a 10 win season in 2 years. That didn’t happen with smoke and mirrors and you are making way too much about next years schedule. First of all the Chiefs have always have tremendous success against nfc teams in Arrowhead, so the nfc north and the packers and vikings at home are very winnable. And we play the last place lions on the road. And as a number of head coaches have said its not who you play it’s when you play them.
    All teams have injuries and streaks when they are playing well and times they are not. And every year is different some teams are much better some fall back. WHEN YOU COMPARE THIS YEARS TEAM AGAINST NEXT YEARS SCHEDULE, YOU ARE COMPARING APPLES TO ORANGES! Example: the following players were not here 1 year ago. Tomas Jones, Ryan Lilja,
    Casey Weigman, Shawn Smith, Eric Berry, Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, Tony Moieki, and Kendrick Lewis. Yes the schedule is tougher but the chiefs will add several players thru free agency and the draft that will make them better.

  • January 12, 2011  - bhive01 says:


    That is the question. With a better supporting cast will Cassel improve to greatness or disappear into oblivion. I think the kid’s got guts and heart, I just hope that the rest of the package is there too. We paid for it afterall.

  • January 12, 2011  - Flyboy26 says:

    Thanks Bob, for all you add to the Chiefs’ fans enjoyment and understanding of football. Just to let you know, it wasn’t my intent to discredit Hali in any way by my grade of the defense. If he subscribes or reads your site, I want him to know that I appreciate everything that he has done and voted for him to be in the Pro Bowl. I sincerely hope that he will be given a contract that he deserves by the Chiefs. I also want to clarify that I feel that most of the defense gave their all, but were not given the right scheme against the Ravens. They also lack a couple of players, and more experience. I believe that next year, with the improvement of all players, the defense will be in the top five.

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