Thursday, September 11, 2008

Matt Cassel- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I had the misfortune of owning Tom Brady in one of my Fantasy Leagues (I'm the defending champ no less and I didn't exactly get to many sympathy calls that day to say the least). My backup is an underrated sleeper in my opinion, Matt Schaub. As much as I like Schaub I'm not pinning my whole FF season on him.
The obvious pickup-replacement. Matt Cassel. Let's review and see what we're getting.


Cassel still gets to throw to Randy Moss and Wes Welker, who combined for 220 receptions, over 2600 yards and 31 TD's. Not a bad duo to toss the old pigskin to.
Belichek is an eff-you type of coach. Last year he ran up the score and played for the eff-you TD. This year he sends for two QB replacements (CHris Simms and Tim Rattay) who get to Boston and then says eff-you, doesnt try them out or even have them take a physical. You dont think Belichek wants to show the world that he was the Man and not Brady all these years (Belichek is 48-52 as a Head Coach without the G.O.A.T.)? You dont he wants to have an offense score like crazy with a guy who couldnt even start for his college team? If you think otherwise, you haven't been paying attention the last 5 years.
Cassel also looked relatively good against a horrid D last week in KC.


Well, Cassel couldn't even start for his College squad. How many NFL starting QB's didn't start in College? One. Mr. Cassel. Ouch. (don't give me the Brady didn't start at Michigan. That's a myth. Brady started for two full seasons. His Senior year he split time with Henson, the Golden Boy. He set numerous records for a Michigan QB and even his Senior year when he split time, he still managed to show us a glimpse of the future with his 369 yard 4 TD performance in an OT win against Alabama in the Orange Bowl).

Welker was an afterthought on the Miami Dolphins. That doesn't mean he didn't have a great season last year and didn't play big time (you could make the case if it wasn't for The Catch, he was the Super Bowl MVP). It does mean, Brady had a lot to do with his success, but physically and mentally.


Cassel barely made the team this year. It came down to a last minute call between he and Matt Gutierrez for the backup QB spot. Not exactly the Montana-Young battle.
He looked horrible in the preseason. One announcer said during a game he couldn't believe he was still on an NFL squad. SI's Don Banks reported he was being cut. This isn't years ago folks, this is a month ago.

Randy Moss has shown (with Minny and Dante and his two season with the Raiders) if he doesn't get along with the Qb and he doesn't get the ball often, he will shut it down. Don't think for a second belichek isn't concerned and on top of this. It's easy to stay focused when you're breaking all time records with the GOAT throwing you the rock. It's another, when you're QB couldn't start over Matt Leinart in college.

TPC's take

I think the easy schedule really helps here. I think Belichek is a good coach who became a great coach because of Brady. His record over 100 games proves me right. If the schedule was a bit harder, I would say the Pats wouldn't even be a .500 team. Unfortunately, they have the easiest schedule in the NFL this season and Belichek won't lose to inferior squads.
I think Cassel will have a modestly succesful season. I'm thinking around 20 TD's in a much more ball controlled offense than the run and gun from last season. I think Morris becomes a must pickup as he will carry a much larger load this season.

I picked up Cassel because the outside chance that Belichek tries to throw another eff-you type dagger up there is very intriguing and the upside is there and there weren't that many other better options. I'm just not sold on it.


Anonymous said...

"I think the easy schedule really helps here."
"I think Belichek is a good coach who became a great coach because of Brady."
"I think Cassel will have a modestly succesful season. I'm thinking around 20 TD's in a much more ball controlled offense than the run and gun from last season."

Wrong Again
Wraong Still

Firstly, everyone says the N.E.P. have the easiest schedule. Why do people say this? Based on last year. Two of the teams they play twice are MUCH improved. The schedule raters do not look at anything besides prior year and TPCHU is a follower. The Jets and Bills are above average teams.

Belichek is a great coach. Some of his games were so fun to watch, like when they played Indy, because he was such a good coach. The record that TPCHU and others throw out is misleading. Why? It always takes a coach a while to put together a good team so year one means nothing. See Bill Parcells.

Brady is awesome though and a good QB is very valuable. This team will slowly fall apart. Cassel is a joke and even though Belichek will know how he will be gameplanned against, he won't make the throws & looks he needs to make. He will not last. 4 Games Tops. Bill put the team together based around Brady. The never got a premier RB and will now pay for some errors. When the O-Line starts giving up sacks and Moss doesn't get the ball people will start pointing fingers. Fear will keep them in-line but do not expect much from this group.

ThePeoplesChamp said...

Wait. 48-52. 100 Games. ONE HUNDRED GAMES is almost 6 full seasons in the NFL.

It doesnt take any great coach 6 years to put a good team together.
1999 Pete Carrol was the Head Coach. He went 8-8. Essentially the same team the next year, Belicheck went 5-11.
They were 0-2 in 2001 when Brady took over and led the SAME TEAM to an 11-3 record and a SB win. Belicheck was 5-13 with that team before Brady took over.

With Cleveland he took a 3-13 team in 1990, went 6-10 in 91, 7-9 in 92, 7-9 in 93, 11-5 in 94, and back to a 5-11 record in 95. There weren't make chants of GENIUS back in those days.

Parcells first year as a NYG Coach he went 3-12-1. In 84 he took the team to 9-7 and two years later to a SB. He had only one losing season after that first one.
With the Jets he took over a 1-15 team and the next year went 9-7, the following year 12-4.
With NE, Parcells took a 2-14 team and within 2 years he was in the SB. Belichek had one winning season out of 6 without Brady. There is plenty of evidence that shows Belicheck was not a great, or even good coach until Brady took over.
If Belicheck is such a good coach why do you expect Cassel to fail?

Let's look at NE's schedule.
They play Miami twice. NYJ twice. Buffalo twice. You want to say the JETS and Bills are much improved fine. The Dolphins are still awful.
They play at SF(awful). At San Diego (good matchup). Denver at home (good matchup). At St. Louis (horrible team. Maybe the worst in the NFL this season). At Indy. Home against Pitt (good matchup).
They close the season at Seattle, Oakland, and home against Arizona and Buffalo. At best they have 4 really tough games, and 4 other decent games. Explain otherwise.

AT TPC you get the hard facts, not some BS you thought of while playing with your XBOX.

Anonymous said...

"With Cleveland he took a 3-13 team in 1990, went 6-10 in 91, 7-9 in 92, 7-9 in 93, 11-5 in 94, and back to a 5-11 record in 95. There weren't make chants of GENIUS back in those days."

Cleveland Sucks and is a crap organization.

Let's look at NE's schedule.
Miami (1)
@ ST Louis
@ Seattle
@ Oakland

NYJ (2)
Miami (1)
Buffalo (2)

@ Indy
@ S.D.
Buffalo (1)

This is an avergae schedule @ worst.

My point was a great coach & Great QB build Dynasties.A great coach & good QB can go far.A great Coach and a terrible QB who has barely played since high school will go no where

ThePeoplesChamp said...


That's what I like top see. More facts, less hyperbole (although I still disagree on Billy).

I can understand peoples fascination with the Bills and Jets after 1 week, but how do you consider that Miami Dolphin team an average game?
I dont see that.
I like Arizona this year as my sleeper team in the NFC, so I'll go with you there.
Either way, that's an easy schedule compared top Jax, SD, Den, Tenn, Indy and Pitt- the other class teams of the AFC.

You know what's interesting? Those same Cleveland Browns "crap franchise" was 41-21-1 the 4 years preceeding when Belichik took over.

And my error. Bill was 42-58 without Brady, not 48-52 as I erred earlier.

Anonymous said...

In the remaining games the N.E. patriots will go 7-8 at best and I can see them going as low as 4-12. You think they will be ..500

Miami at home will be ok this year. If they get their run game going and Chad handles the offense ok I think they can jump to a .500 team.

Time will tell

Anonymous said...

*Edit*You think they will be above 500

Anonymous said...

First before I make my point, I'd like to say that your report is obviously biased, as mine will be too. There is no such thing as an unbiased report.
Matt Cassel hasn't started since High School. Great point, but take a look at the QB's he's studies behind...OK? Carson Palmer, a great College QB and a stud in the NFL. Matt Leinart, another good college quarterback, but has sadly not blossomed in the NFL yet (though I believe he has the potential to be a good QB). Then, Tom Brady. As I recall, Brady came in nearly unknown and took over for a loved NE player Drew Bledsoe. I'm not sure how many people actually had confidence in him, but he pulled it out and saved the season.
I'm not saying Matt Cassel is a Brady-type player, but he's certainly not terrible. He's had lots of time to study from great quarterbacks and I believe he'll play as a good replacement (but not close) to Brady.
Yes, the Pats do have a moderately easy schedule, but they are also facing rising teams and huge powers in the NFL. I predict Pats to go 11-5, or 10-6, still not a bad team. The Pats do NOT revolve around Brady. I say Maroney has a very succesful season, maybe 1,580 yards. While Cassel throws for about 2,350 and 20 tds and 11 interceptions. With your point about Belichick (spelled right, btw), he has obviously progressed as a coach and inherited a moderately talented NEP team and turned them into 3 time super bowl champs.
Mind you, I'm a hardcore Cardinals fan, and my favorite team in the AFC is the Bengals (unfortunately), not the Pats.

ThePeoplesChamp said...

Interesting points, but I think you might be a little off.

1- Brady was a stud at Michigan. He held all time Michigan records while he was there. He led the team to a great OT win in the Orange Bowl vs. Alabama where he threw for over 350 yards and 4 TD's. Maybe the average NFL fan didnt know him, but he had a resume. Cassel has nothing. Just a month ago he was on the verge of being cut.
Belichik is being smart. He's giving the guy every chance to succeed because he has to. He has no alternatives. NE plays a complicated offense andit would take a replacement a few weeks to learnit. With that being said I wouldnt be surprised to Cassel having moderate success. In fact I'm rooting for it because I picked him up in my FF league. The evidence however points the other way.
2- Brady is the system. The Patriots were a predominant passing team because of Brady and his cast. It will be a different offense now. It has to be.
2- Maroney. I dont see any evidence pointing to Maroney having that type of season you suggest. In fact, in games where he and Morris both play, Morris was at worst in a running back committee. I dont see more than 1000 yards unless Morris goes down.
3- On Belichik- The truth is, I think he is a great coach. I think any coach that wins multiple rings has to be a great coach. However, I dont think he is the greatest coach of all time or close to it because of the facts I pointed out. Similar to Phil Jackson. Jackson is a great coach when he has great players. He's not a Pat Riley who has taken teams with mediocre talent very deep )the Knicks)but then again, it takes great coaching to continue to get great players motivated to play. Look at the Yanks this year. Everyone has been saying Torre was a stooge and now he's going to the postseason and the Yanks are sitting home.

Anonymous said...

For Maroney's stats, I just found the average of both his seasons, and then x2.