Cassel Needs A Big One … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

One wonders what might have happened had the Denver Broncos been a little bit more “on the ball” or pro-active back in February 2009.

The new head coach in the mile high city was Josh McDaniels, who came over from the New England Patriots where he had been offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Right about the same time McDaniels was hired in Denver, the Chiefs hired Scott Pioli away from the Patriots to become the team’s new general manager.

Both McDaniels and Pioli had an eye for one of the Patriots players that was going to be available – QB Matt Cassel.

On February 29, the deal came down between Pioli and the Patriots, not McDaniels and the Patriots.

The whole escapade was the first of a string of dominoes that would fall, so much so that for years to come the names McDaniels-Cassel-Jay Cutler-Kyle Orton-Tim Tebow will be linked. When he could not get Cassel, McDaniels dealt the returning starter with the Broncos in Cutler to the Chicago Bears for Orton and draft picks, and then used one of those picks to grab Tebow.

For the third time since the soap opera went down, Cassel will face McDaniels and the Broncos on Sunday at Invesco Field. Here are the numbers for Cassel and Orton for the first two games:











Matt Cassel










Kyle Orton










Last year’s first game between the teams was the worst performance of Cassel’s brief career as the starting quarterback of the Chiefs. He completed just 10 of 29 passes for 84 yards and a 14.6 passer rating. He was eventually pulled and was replaced by Brodie Croyle.

So this Sunday’s game is another benchmark for Cassel and his Kansas City dossier; it’s another opportunity to prove Pioli made the correct decision when he beat McDaniels to the punch and made the trade.

One guy who sounds like he’s increasingly pleased with Cassel’s performance this year is Charlie Weis and the offensive coordinator ticked off a few statistics from his quarterback that he feels shows improvement.

Touchdown/Interception Ratio: After eight games, Cassel has 12 touchdown passes and four interceptions, a 3 to 1 ratio. “Anyone who has a 3-1 ratio is doing something right,” Weis said. Last year, Cassel was 16/16 in TDs/INTs.

Sacks: In a half-season, Cassel has been sacked 11 times. “He’s one of the least sacked quarterbacks in the league,” said Weis. In the ’09 season, Cassel was sacked 42 times.

Giveaways: He has only the four interceptions and has not lost a fumble. “He’s not giving the other team the ball, that’s always big,” Weis said. Last year, Cassel threw 16 interceptions and lost 10 fumbles.

Against the Blitz: He’s the number one rated QB in the league in those situations, although he’s also seen the fewest plays against the blitz because the Chiefs rank among the league’s bottom teams on passing plays. Cassel’s passer rating is 111.53 against the blitz, completing 36 of 56 passes for eight TDs and two interceptions. He was sacked twice on the blitz.

In the ’09 season against the blitz, Cassel’spasser rating was 77.58. He completed 102 of 200 passes for nine TDs and four interceptions and he was sacked 24 times on the blitz.

“Taking care of the gootball, not getting sacked too much and when people are bringing the heat, he’s making them pay for it,” said Weis. “Those are three critical areas and you sit there and see he’s moving in the right direction.”

Weis also said that anybody expecting Cassel to dominate the offensive attack just doesn’t understand the offensive weapons on the Chiefs roster.

“With Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles for us to sit there and throw it 50 times a game, I’d be pretty stupid,” Weis said. “Every team has their own way of doing things. For us right here, we like to run the football. We like to throw it too, but the bottom line is you use the people you have and utilize their abilities.”


Broncos leading tackler and defensive co-captain LB D.J. Williams was arrested by Denver police early Friday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Operating a Hummer, Williams was pulled over at 2:50 a.m. Friday near the corner of Broadway and Ninth Avenue in downtown Denver. He spent several hours at a police detox facility and was then released in the custody of his attorney.

Williams is scheduled to be arraigned next month on two charges: driving under the influence and driving at night without headlights.

This is strike two against Williams, who was arrested on a DUI charge in 2005. He’s sure to face NFL discipline of some kind, although that will not come before Sunday’s game against the Chiefs. However, that does not mean that he cannot be disciplined by the team and held out of Sunday’s game

That charge in ’05 came on an early Friday morning of the week before the Broncos were to play the Chiefs on Monday Night Football in September of that season.

“It’s disappointing,” said Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels. “The behavior and the fact that we’re two days away from a game … it’s very disappointing to me and to my organization.”

According to the Denver District Attorney’s office, a second guilty charge on an alcohol related offense means a mandatory 10-day jail sentence, although the judge can change that to home detention.


Maybe the Chiefs won’t have to worry about snowsuits after all. The National Weather Service has thrown down a new forecast for Denver this weekend. Here’s what they say:

  • Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. South southeast wind between 3 and 6 mph.
  • Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 44. North northwest wind around 8 mph.

NFL – fined Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco $20,000 for violating the league uniform policy; Jets LB Bart Scott $20,000 for violating the league uniform policy; Panthers LB Jon Beason $10,000 for unnecessary roughness; Ravens DT Haloti Ngata $10,000 for a late hit; Lions LB Julian Peterson $7,5000 for a late hit; Giants S Kenny Phillips $5,000 for a facemask penalty

JAGUARS – placed DE Aaron Kampman on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season.

TITANS – it appears that Kerry Collins will start at QB this Sunday against the Dolphins. Vince Young has an ankle injury and may be available to play.

3 Responses to “Cassel Needs A Big One … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 13, 2010  - Edward says:

    AGreed Cassel needs to play better against his old OC. I also agree with Weis as well. I think early in preseason and first couple games of the season we came out trying to pass too much when it was clear that the running backs are elite compared to receiver which are close to average. Until we add more receiving weapons or until guys like Bowe and Tucker can become more consistent playmakers we need to lean on the run game to setup the pass. Now next yr if we’re able to add a guy like Sims-Walker from the Jags then we can air it out a lil bit until then we need to stick with what works and where majority of the talent is right now which is in the run game.

  • November 13, 2010  - Edward says:

    And to Weis’s point about Cassel improvement its clear cut he’s getting better and benefiting from having a dedicated OC. Also everyone said the talent level at receiver is better than last yr so he should put up better numbers and give the guy credit he’s doing that. As we continue to add more talent at the receiver position Cassel numbers will continue to soar.

  • November 14, 2010  - el cid says:

    Gosh Edward, I think Cassel is what he is. Nothing wrong with that but doubt he will ever “soar”. More like plod forward at a steady pace. He is not very accurate and that is not improving. An improved WR corps would help but the Chiefs will be a dominately running team as long as Cassel is the starter. Besides when you throw the ball 4 things can happen and 3 are bad, Rockne.

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