Cassel Deals With Frustrations

From Arrowhead Stadium

Matt Cassel was frustrated.

There were 71 seconds to play in the first half and the Chiefs were trying to make something happen in a two-minute offensive drill before they went to the locker room.

A timeout was called with 1 minute, 11 seconds to play. After conferring on the sidelines with the coaches, Cassel called the play in the huddle and when the offense broke for the line of scrimmage somebody was in a spot they were not supposed to be. We don’t know who, because Cassel and head coach Todd Haley wouldn’t identify the player.

But Cassel signaled for another timeout. Only one problem: the offense is not allowed to call back-to-back timeouts. Instead, the Chiefs got slapped with a five-yard delay of game penalty. Two incompletions later, the ball was punted back to the Rams.

Frustration overwhelmed his common sense and knowledge of the rules.

“We had a formation problem, I was trying to get them set up and the clock was running down and little did I think about the fact we were coming off a timeout,” said Cassel. “I just have to do a better job in that situation.”

It was that kind of unusual day for the Chiefs quarterbacks. Cassel started, but then in the second quarter he gave way to Tyler Palko for one series. Then, Cassel went back in and finished up the half. Ricky Stanzi started the second half and played until late in the fourth quarter when Palko returned.

The changes went as they were scripted by head coach Todd Haley in the name of evaluating his players with roster moves looking in the next week.

“Tyler had not been in there with our core players,” said Haley. “We decided to give him a series with our core guys to get a good evaluation. It had nothing to do with Matt; of course he wants to play all the time and we got to get him ready too.”

Cassel is more than willing to live with the changes because he knows how important having those two backup QBs ready to go if needed.

“Coach Haley wants to do it a certain way and I think we are all on board with that,” Cassel said of the Chiefs approach. “We have to be more disciplined. We can’t have these penalties. That puts us in a tough spot, a lot of third and long situations. It’s hard to convert on third and long. We need to do a better job and stay out of those situations and be disciplined.

“I think it’s something that’s a great tool for these young guys that at any point they could be in the game. I think that was something he utilized today and Tyler went in there and got a series out of the blue. It was good and for me it’s about making sure those young guys get work and I’m ready to go back in.”

So unusual has this pre-season been that Cassel is now the only Chiefs quarterback that has not thrown a touchdown pass. Palko got his last week in Baltimore, and Stanzi connected on a pretty 32-yard scoring pass with TE Cody Slate.

What’s the take on Cassel’s play overall?

“I thought there were signs of progress,” said Haley. “In pressure he got out of a couple of sacks and made a play. That’s something we’ve been emphasizing and that was a good sign.”

But what wasn’t a good sign was Haley’s starting quarterback calling for an illegal timeout.

“That was disappointing,” said Haley. “We have to make sure everybody is aware of the rule and make sure something like that doesn’t happen.”

7 Responses to “Cassel Deals With Frustrations”

  • August 27, 2011  - aPauled says:

    Disappointing…to say the least. This is the NFL.

    Another ‘F’ for the #1 offense, not just for execution but for effort. Not sure if Bill Muir is in over his head calling plays plus coaching the O-Line…but neither is up to par even for a walk thru preseason game.

  • August 27, 2011  - el cid says:

    I fear this is a runoff from the Haley plan of conditioning and not preparing the first string to play against competition. I understand what he was doing, I think? But the rest of the NFL, apparently does not. It may pay off by the end of the season but, since, the games at the beginning count as much, I see a problem.

  • August 27, 2011  - Harold Cogle says:

    I hope I’m wrong but I think we are in real trouble. That’s what if feels like. I keep telling myself that it is just preseason and they aren’t really trying but that’s not true. They were really trying. I look around and I see all these other teams scoring and winning games in the preseason….we are not. I’m not as confident as I once was.

  • August 27, 2011  - Jimbo says:

    I hate to say this, but from my point of view last night Matt Cassel looked like the 3rd string QB. He was the most uncomfortable QB in the pocket he was forcing passes to the primary receiver while ignoring or not waiting for the #2, #3 and #4 receivers routes to develop.
    Go Chiefs.

  • August 27, 2011  - Justin says:

    It’s not just the offense. The first team D looked equally as pitiful.

    I’m with aPauled – I’m worried about Muir. In fact I am worried about Haley and his offensive approach. Does anyone else remember how many procedure/formation penalties we had last year? Too many (1 or 2 per game – EVERY GAME). To me, those types of penalties are signs of an ill prepared team…IE poorly coached. Low and behold we are having 1 or 2 a game in the preseason this year + the end of quarter double time-out debacle.
    Offense looks like a JV team playing against the Varsity.

  • August 27, 2011  - rickipoo says:

    Not sure but this could be a valid point. The Chiefs first two games come against former personel in Gailey and Cunningham. Gailey especially is somewhat familiar with Haley’s schemes.

    I’m sure Gailey will be motivated to impress the Arrowhead crowd. I would imagine Cunningham has a few chips on his shoulder and will have his defense motivated.

    Haley, Muir and Crennel are savoy and deeply experienced NFL competitors. They know the importance and techniques of gleaming information off of upcoming opponents. I imagine Haley and company are just being as vanilla as humanly possible, including all the interviews and press conferences. All in preparation for those first two games. Pre-season be damned, were not giving those crokes anything to go on.

    Understand, too, the stumbling block that this condensed and chaotic offseason has been especially for such a young and rapidly changing/developing team like the Chiefs. It could take this team a little more time than others to figure itself out. Hopefully SD and OAK will hold true to form and start slowly.

    But I expect the Chiefs to look like a completely different team after that first kick-off and all the crying now will be a distant memory.

  • August 28, 2011  - Russ says:

    I confer totally w\Vanilla. This team is so much better than what is seen. This approach is radical, but for discipline reasons, seems Haleyesque to me. I have reasoned on other sites, either TH is all smoke and mirrors, or he is the Biggest Fraud for a Coach I have seen in my life.

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