Tuesday, February 2, 2010
When you take a look at Matt Cassel's 2008 stats and you factor in the appointment of Charlie Weis as Chiefs' OC, you realize that Kansas City is faced with a paradox: Charlie Weis loves to employ the spread offense which frequently has at least 3, but often 4 or 5 receivers on the field at a time. But Cassel struggles in multiple receiver sets where its tougher to read defenses and throw the ball downfield. (With the stats above, receivers are counted as anyone who lines up out wide or in the slot; thus, running backs and tight ends flexed out are counted as receivers).
So what should the Chiefs do? Forcing Cassel into the spread could be like fitting a square peg into a round hole. I thought about the Chiefs possibly utilizing Cassel more in the shotgun which would give him a little more time to avoid the rush and a better look at the defensive alignment. However, that idea was put to rest once I saw these stats:
Cassel's metrics show him as an average passer when in the traditional offensive formation: under center and with only 2 wide receivers. However, when forced to perform in the Todd Haley-friendly (and soon to be Weis-friendly) shotgun-spread formations, Cassel enters JaMarcus Russell-territory. No one expected Cassel to do as well in Kansas City as he did in New England but not even his biggest critics expected his passer rating to drop 20 points. Perhaps he and Weis can come up with some sort of a compromise as to what kind of offense they are both comfortable running and Cassel can show why he was worth $63 million. Or perhaps it was just the "Patriots system" that made Cassel and now he is just showing why he was a 7th round pick.
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