Tom Brady may have broken news that Matt Cassel is starting for the Vikings

Matt-Cassel-VikingsThe New England Patriots are the most stubborn team in the NFL when it comes to providing information about injuries. Bill Belichick infuriates writers and reporters with his refusal to give progress updates, thus leaving them with nothing to write about. So what do you do when you’re on a team with a coach that doesn’t allow you to talk about your bumps and bruises? Talk about other people’s, of course.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder suffered a rib injury during a loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. His status for this weekend’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is uncertain. Tom Brady may have cleared it up for us on Wednesday.

Brady was discussing the performance of his former backup, Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer, when he brought up Matt Cassel. Cassel is Ponder’s backup in Minnesota, so there’s a good chance he told Brady he’s expecting to get the start this weekend.

The Patriots may be good for nothing when it comes to injury information about their own team, but don’t ever say they’re useless.

Eric Winston rips Chiefs fans for cheering Matt Cassel’s injury

Chiefs fans went to extreme measures on Sunday to voice their unhappiness with the team, and at least one player is calling them out for it.

Not only did a group of fans purchase an airplane to fly over Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday with an anti-Scott Pioli and anti-Matt Cassel message, but many fans in the stadium cheered when Cassel got hurt during the team’s 9-6 loss to the Ravens.

Cassel was hit hard by the Ravens on a fourth-quarter pass to Jamaal Charles. He appeared quite woozy and was rolling on the ground, and he was replaced by backup Brady Quinn after the play.

Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston went on a rant for the ages to call out Chiefs fans for the poor display.

Here’s what he said via Arrowhead Pride:

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Matt Cassel reportedly booed at All-Star celebrity softball game in Kansas City

As the NFL quarterback in the city of Kansas City, Matt Cassell is kind of a local celebrity. It only made sense to invite the Chiefs signal-caller to compete in the 2012 All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball game at Kauffman Stadium. The fans, however, may have preferred it if he stayed home.

According to Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World, fans booed Cassel during pregame introductions but gave him a “polite applause” when he came to the plate to hit. Considering it was supposed to be a friendly softball game, that’s rough if it’s true.

Cassel supposedly wasn’t the only celebrity to hear boos throughout the evening, as fans also voiced their displeasure with Kansas basketball coach Bill Self. The difference with those boos is that they were rivalry boos, presumably coming from the Mizzou fans in attendance.

After the success he had filling in for Tom Brady with New England, Chiefs fans have expected much more from Cassel than what they’ve gotten over the past three years. Cassel had a decent year in 2010 when he threw 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions, but overall he has not lived up to the six-year, $63 million deal the Chiefs gave him. It sounds like that’s how the fans at Kauffman Stadium felt on Sunday as well.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Cassel Played Worse Than Tim Tebow Against the Lions

One of the things that really bothers me about sports fans and pundits is the tendency to overreact. It’s embarrassing how little foresight people have. Go back and read the headlines from week one this season. Joe Flacco was considered a quarterback who had taken that next step towards being elite after his Ravens beat the Steelers 35-7. Pittsburgh’s defense was called old and done. Fast forward six weeks, and Flacco is considered a guy who can’t get it done, and the Steelers are being called the best team in the AFC. It’s pure comedy the way people react and overreact to one week’s events.

In the case of Tim Tebow, the overreaction is even more exaggerated because he’s such a widely loved and widely mocked figure. His win over the Dolphins in week seven was blown out of proportion. If you truly examine the game, you’ll see an offense that struggled to produce for three and a half quarters. You’ll see a team that needed an onside kick and strip sack in overtime in order to win. Tim Tebow delivered for about five minutes but played poorly for around 55. Most people only looked at the team’s comeback and ignored how much the Broncos struggled most of the game.

If he had that much difficulty against the Dolphins, you could see he was going to have a tough time against Detroit. The Lions have one of the most disruptive defenses in the NFL. Both Del and I had Detroit covering the spread, and Del locked them as a Top 3 pick. We just knew it would be a bad situation for Tebow — how could you not?

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Matt Cassel Fought Through Appendectomy to Lead Chiefs in St. Louis

Matt Cassel may have been a disappointment for the Chiefs last year, but the sixth year quarterback is earning his pay this season. Cassel has played turnover-free football, throwing for 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions all season. In fact, Cassel had gone 163 pass attempts without interception until Kevin Dockery picked him off in the first quarter of Sunday’s clash with the Rams.

Cassel did not look his best against the Rams but he played well enough to win against a pretty good defense. He went 15/29 for 189 yards, one touchdown and one interception against St. Louis. Cassel also carried six times for 17 yards including a 13-yard run to pick up a key first down. The numbers certainly were not spectacular but it was Cassel’s accomplishment that stood out; the former Patriot was playing for the first time since undergoing surgery to remove his appendix on December 7th.

After missing last weekend’s critical contest in San Diego and being limited in practice all week, Cassel did not know how his conditioning would be for the game. He even said he didn’t do much in pregame warmups to conserve energy for the game.

Cassel may not be an MVP candidate or even the best offensive playmaker on his team (Jamaal Charles is, thank you), but Cassel deserves recognition for his steady season and for playing through pain. Even though it was a laparoscopic procedure, it’s impressive that Cassel could come back from surgery so quickly to lead his team to victory on Sunday.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Tom Gannam

Here’s a Phrase You’ll Never Read Nor Hear Again

Seneca Wallace passes to Joshua Cribbs for a 65-yard touchdown.”

As the $20 million man — known to many as Jake Delhomme — sits and nurses an ankle injury, his replacement has actually put together a big first half and built a lead for the Browns.  I know Joshua Cribbs can be explosive at times, but I never thought I’d hear that he caught a long bomb from Seneca Wallace and took it to the house.  There’s a first time for everything.

As I’m posting this the Browns lead the Chiefs 14-10 at halftime, so there’s time to turn it around.  But it’s worth noting that Wallace is outplaying Matt Cassel.  The Chiefs’ passing game needs to make some adjustments or it could be a longer season than expected.  They were able to beat the Chargers because of defense and special teams.  So far, Cassel isn’t showing he’s going to be able to earn his paycheck.  If he doesn’t turn it around in the second half this afternoon and ends up with a stat line similar to last week’s, the pressure will really start to build.

So Was the Matt Cassel/Mike Vrabel Trade an Inside Job or What?

I think it’s been pretty firmly established that the Patriots, especially under Bill Belichick, are one of the shrewdest organizations in the NFL. They’ve been known to pull off great deals and bring players in for below market value. Keeping in mind that their GM Scott Pioli left for Kansas City and that he could have been the “brains” behind many intelligent moves, how is it that the Chiefs only gave up the 34th overall pick in the draft to acquire QB Matt Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel? I’ve been searching and searching for the answer and I’ve heard many possible responses, most of which sounded bogus. For instance, I’m not buying that the Patriots value an early second round pick more than they do a mid-first round pick. Something more plausible is that Vrabel actually brought down the value of the trade and that the Pats were just looking to dump his salary.

Maybe the best explanation for what appears to be a fleecing by the Chiefs, especially now that we’ve heard the Bucs and Broncos were working on a three-way deal that would have sent the Pats a 1st and 3rd round pick, is that Belichick already had a deal in place with Pioli before anyone else stepped up. Peter King at SI says nobody offered a first-round pick for Cassel this offseason, so Belichick in turn asked for an early second from KC and received it. It wasn’t until after that point that the other teams came calling with their more appealing packages. Also, because Cassel was only signed through the upcoming season, teams could have been afraid to give away too much for someone they might only have one season which also makes sense. Well, I’m going to trust for the moment that this was a fair deal. If someone has any better ideas as to what’s going on here, I’m all ears.