Introducing the new face of the Kansas City Chiefs

It would be one of the greatest understatements of a 2009 NFL season preview to point out the fact that football fans in the state of Missouri have had a tough go of it the last couple years.

Did you realize that the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams have COMBINED for 11 wins in the last 2 years?  For you math majors out there, that computes to an average of 3.75 wins for each of these teams in the 2007 & 2008 seasons.

Fortunately for fans of these not-so-lovable losers, the NFL has a way of being very forgiving to teams at the bottom of the standings.  Rare is the franchise that maintains its place long in this league, for better or (in the case of the Missouri teams) for worse. 

That’s not to say that future success is a given, however.  Major personnel changes are ultimately essential to the process as opportunities emerge for new blood to wash away the blunders of the past. 

And in Kansas City at least, fans of the Chiefs are hoping that their new quarterback, Matt Cassel, will take full advantage of the opening that has been provided to him to resurrect the team from the dead. 

By now, you should know his story – vaunted high school recruit, career college backup at USC, and caddy to multiple Super Bowl champion and future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady before stepping in to lead the New England Patriots to an 11-5 record after Brady’s season-ending knee injury in game one of the 2008 season.

With Brady fully healed and firmly in control of the starting job of the Patriots for years to come, Cassel was acquired by Scott Pioli (new Chiefs general manager and former Patriots vice president of personnel) during the off-season and rewarded with a huge contract to shake the Chiefs’ recent doldrums and lead them back to the playoffs.

Personally, I don’t think it will be long before he does just that.  And starting today, as the Chiefs break training camp on the new season, Cassel has the eyes of the NFL on him as he takes the reins of the franchise.

The Matt Cassel era begins in Kansas City

The Matt Cassel era begins in Kansas City

Don Banks of SI.com was in River Falls, Wis. to witness the dawn of the Matt Cassel era and to sit down with the man of the moment for an interview after the morning practice session.  Banks, as steady an eye as there is reporting on the NFL, clearly is impressed by the confidence of Cassel while noting that he doesn’t exude “an ounce of cockiness”.

With the Chiefs’ schedule, an 8-8 record this season might be a stretch.  But that should not dampen the optimism for what Pioli and team are building in Kansas City.  In a quarterback-driven league, you simply cannot win without that position locked down.  And with Cassel in the fold, it looks the Chiefs have got their man.

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~ by acm213 on August 1, 2009.

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