It happened suddenly and it happened completely. The boy wonder who was crowned king of the Patriots has gone down. It hurts, and everyone in Patriots country feels their own knees buckle when seeing Brady hit the turf. This is not the time to put down that finger that we have against the rest of the league. It is time for the next boy to see if he can rise to be king.
Our new boy wonder is named Matt Cassel. Not Kassel, Castle, or Cassell like so many papers this morning decided that was the proper spelling of his last name.
Has there ever been anyone in the history of the NFL who has had more preparation to be a starting quarterback than Matt Cassel? He spent nearly a decade as a backup standing behind two great college quarterbacks, and one great pro quarterback. His football educational background is equivalent of someone who went to Harvard for his bachelor’s and just finished up his doctorate at Yale. We will soon find out how much on-the-job training you really need to be quarterback in the NFL. <o:p> </o:p>
Matt Cassel may never be Tom Brady, but in 2001, Tom Brady wasn’t exactly going to be the greatest thing that hit Foxborough until the CBS Sportsscene came to town.
There were a number of games that season where he threw for under 200 yards, and was called a game manager. Brady had an 86 yard disaster in Miami where he fumbled twice in a 30 – 10 loss to the Dolphins in Week 4. In Week 7, he had a 4 interception second half meltdown in a 31 – 20 loss to the Broncos. We can ask what if Brady had the receiving corps and offensive line from 2007 that he had in 2001? Well in 2008, Cassel does.
Matt Cassel may have similar games like those. It comes with the territory of being a new starting quarterback. This was a guy who showed hardly any poise and very little precision in preseason. But, on Sunday he was ready, he was accurate and most importantly did enough things right to keep this year’s Patriot undefeated season alive.
In the 2005 Draft, many experts covering Day 2 of the draft had no idea who Matt Cassel was, but they knew that if he was drafted by Bill Belichick and the Patriots there is probably something there that very few of us can see.
An injured quarterback turned a gloomy coach into a legend. Maybe this is the way that Bill Belichick gets the respect that he lost after Spygate back? It may not lead to a fourth crown in February, but a man named Cassel has just left the maid’s quarters and is now taking over the master bedroom. I’m looking forward to see what is in store at the Gillette Kingdom. I dedicate the wisdom of T.O. to Matt Cassel, “That’s my quarterback, that’s my teammate.”