Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli thinks Matt Cassel is a franchise quarterback.
Josh McDaniels, head coach of the Denver Broncos, seems to think Cassel is enough of a franchise quarterback to drive away the one he already had.
So what exactly can we expect from Cassel?
Even with all of the similarities to Tom Brady—he was drafted late, has been allowed to sit and develop, and was taught by a very good QB (Brady by Drew Bledsoe)—Cassel will almost certainly not become another three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
I think the best comparison for Matt Cassel is another former late-round draft pick well known to Kansas City Chiefs fans, Trent Green.
I mean no disrespect by this, as Green was a great quarterback in Kansas City for quite some time. In fact, no QB, not even Peyton Manning, threw for more yards than Green between 2003 and 2005.
The key to Green's success will be the same as Cassel's—the system. For the coach, it’s all about putting the players in a position to succeed. For the quarterback, it’s about making the right reads and making accurate throws.
The similarities between Cassel and Green are striking actually, both statistically and in style of play.
Last year Cassel threw for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions; Green, in his first year as a starter, threw for 3,441 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Cassel completed about 63 percent of his passes last year, while Green completed about 62 percent of his passes during his time in KC.
Neither Cassel nor Green have a particularly strong arm, and throwing the deep ball is a little iffy sometimes, but it was the short to mid-range throws where Green, like Cassel, excelled.
Green worked very hard in the film room before games, and Cassel is the same type of player.
"When [Matt] is done working out, he's upstairs bugging us," head coach Todd Haley said. "He's making drawings, coming up with ideas, wanting to talk football all the time."
This is the kind of hard worker I want at quarterback; he is a very heady player who puts in his due diligence in the film room. Being prepared maximizes your team's chances of winning a game, and Matt Cassel clearly will be doing just that.
Putting in the overtime hours with an offensive guru like Todd Haley can only improve his game and understanding of his new offense.
He has already shown the necessary leadership in New England last year and displayed his natural passing ability as well, becoming only the fifth QB in NFL history to throw for 400 yards in back-to-back games.
For Cassel to be successful in Kansas City, he doesn't need to be the next Len Dawson, or Tom Brady, and he doesn't need to be a "franchise quarterback."
All he needs to do is work hard and play smart; that's the recipe for being a good quarterback in this league.
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