In Matt Cassel’s 3 years in Kansas City, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. He completed 58.2% of his passes, for an average of 6.9 YPA and a pristine 27:7 TD:INT ratio in 2010 for the division winning Chiefs, but has had 26 touchdowns to 25 interceptions combined for the last place Chiefs in his other 2 seasons. However, he still has the support of his GM Scott Pioli. Pioli today called him a “really good quarterback” and compared him to Len Dawson who he called “the greatest quarterback in the history of the franchise.”
Pioli’s support for Cassel makes a lot of sense. Pioli’s first major move upon become GM of the Chiefs was to give up a 2nd round pick and a 60 million dollar contract to get Matt Cassel, who was fresh off a solid season as Tom Brady’s injury replacement in New England. Doing so made his job security is essentially tied to Cassel’s performance. Another year in 2012 like the one Cassel had in 2009 and 2011 and Pioli, and thus Cassel, could be gone after the season.
The Chiefs have done everything they can to make sure Cassel can succeed. Pioli drafted a receiver in the 1st round last year, Jonathan Baldwin, after bringing in another receiver, Steve Breaston, through free agency. He also spent 2 of his team’s first 3 picks on offensive linemen this year and added a new starting right tackle (Eric Winston), a new power running back (Peyton Hillis), and a new power blocking tight end (Kevin Boss) through free agency this year in an effort to lead the league in rushing again, which they did the last time Cassel was successful. With a healthy Jamaal Charles, they have the capability to do that and they could win a still mediocre AFC West. If they don’t, it could be curtains for Pioli and Cassel.