Monday, October 22, 2012

Cassel or Quinn: Here's My Take

My goal today is to breakdown a series of reasons why Matt Cassel's  game against the Ravens needs to be his last of the season. I am in no way saying Quinn is the answer long term, but i do believe at the very least he will give us a chance to try to salvage the season. I'm going breakdown how the fumbles and interceptions by Cassel aren't a fluke, but it is a product of his inability to play the Qb position from a mental standpoint. Its well documented how much he's struggled this season. His 14 turnovers contributes to him having the worst quarterback rating among starters in the league this season. While all 14 turnovers cannot be attributed to Matt Cassel alone; however, most are a direct result of his inability to play the quarterback position efficiently. Lets talk about some things all Chiefs fans know about him. He stares down his receivers, holds on to the ball too long, lacks pocket presence, and doesn't have the field vision to find open receivers. When you're not a gifted passer physically (arm strength and accuracy), you have to excel in the mental aspects of the game. Unless Charles has another Jim Brown like day like the one in New Orleans (where he had over 200 yards rushing and 90 yards receiving), this team will continue to struggle to win games with Cassel starting as quarterback. How many of you really think Charles can have 10 more games like that this season?

The game plan against the Falcons to let Cassel spread the ball around was a good idea against a team we knew we had to score points against to win. We just had a quarterback who didn't have the physical or mental tools to execute this game plan.

 Lets take a look at Week 1 against the Falcons. I'm going to start in the 2nd half after we missed the field goal. The team goes down 27-17. Cassel begins his streak of 3 turnovers. Lets look at the first of his three turnovers. On 3rd and 15 with 4:14 left in 3rd quarter.

If you look at the play Dex is open in the middle of the field. Cassel becomes shy about making the throw and hesitates. This leads to a sack fumble by Abraham. He pats the ball a couple times like he always does instead of stepping up in the pocket, planting his back foot, and delivering the football. Lets look at it from the pocket view.


From this view you can see if Cassel just climbs the pocket and gets the ball over the linebacker and underneath the safety, this is a easy completion. Instead he doesn't feel the pressure, hesitates, and Abraham gets a sack fumble. Once again if you don't have all the physical tools to play the quarterback position, you must be able to compensate mentally. Lack of pocket presence is one of the weaknesses Cassel displays frequently, which leads to him taking unnecessary sacks. As fans we often blame this on the offensive line. Now I see why Haley had so many sideline tirades with this guy. Just throw the freaking ball !!! Lets look at the next turnover that basically puts the game away.


 On this next play a ball tipped in the air led to the 2nd turnover of the game.  Lets visit the pocket view again. The play is 2 and 9 with 1:25 left in 3rd quarter. Currently the Chiefs are down 34-17
Despite having the defender riding on Moeaki's back, Cassel still tries to force the ball in very tight coverage. What you don't see is in the 2nd half of the game the Falcons brought their coverage up seeing that Cassel only settled for short and medium range throws across the middle of the field in the 1st half. Cassel never adjusted to the coverage which led to many of these turnovers. The entire time in his drop he never once scans the field. Instead he makes up his mind that no matter what he's going to throw this ball to Moeaki. That is dangerous attitude to have in playing the quarterback position. Defensive players see this on film and they will begin to sit on those kinds of routes.


Lets take a look at the same play pre-snap.  As you see in the yellow bracket, the corner is giving Bowe a 8 yard cushion off the line of scrimmage. Also look at how both linebackers are stacked in middle of the field. As a quarterback seeing this, Cassel should automatically work the ball outside the numbers. Instead, as seen in the previous image, he stares down Moeaki and throws the pick. Now lets see does Bowe get open on the route?


 As you can see, Bowe is indeed open. If  Cassel was better at pre-snap read, he would have found Bowe open on the come back route. As stated previously, the corner gave Bowe the cushion pre-snap which should have alerted Cassel where he needed to go with the football. Instead he chooses to force the throw to Moeaki in tight coverage and the ball gets tipped in the air for an interception.


I can go on and on with more clips of how Cassel's lack of mental skills in playing the quarterback position is just as much of a detriment to this team as his lack of arm strength and accuracy. My point in saying all this is that we'll continue to get more of the same if we march Cassel out there on Oct. 29th against the Raiders. Just think all of these mental errors are coming from a guy who is going into his 5th season as a NFL starting quarterback.

 I'd rather take a chance with Quinn right now because at the very least you have upside in both his physical and mental abilities. Quinn possesses the stronger arm to make some of the throws Cassel just can't make. He also delivers the ball more quickly which resulted in zero sacks against the Bucs - - an aspect that was overlooked in that game. Additionally, he spreads the ball around which led to eight different receivers catching balls in that game. Despite the lackluster numbers he had in touchdowns and passing yards, I felt that had more to do with Daboll's play calling and use of personnel rather than Quinn's play at quarterback. I feel if we had featured guys like Bowe, Baldwin, Breaston, and Mcluster instead of Maneri and Eachus, Quinn could have put up bigger numbers. Daboll should have been more aggressive in his play-calling by attacking 32nd rank pass defense in the league. We took only one shot down the field to Baldwin. Most of the day Bowe and Baldwin routes were limited to 5 to 10 yards down the field. To reiterate I am in know way endorsing Quinn as the quarterback of the future. However, I do feel with Brady Quinn starting at quarterback and with more aggressive playing calling this will increase the Chiefs chances of winning this season.

Well there's my thoughts. Who do you guys think should start going forward ?

Hit me up on twitter let me know your thoughts @joedice2001

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