Welcome to Week 3 of Four Questions. As we’ve talked about during the offseason thus far, the Lions had some needs. Things like a run game and a pass rush. So in order to nourish those needs, the Lions went out and signed the newest not Colin Kaepernick in Matt Cassel.
I hate this signing. The first reason is because yeah, he’s not Colin Kaepernick. I’m not going to get into a political with anyone here. If you think this has anything to do with disrespect for the military or the flag, you’ve made your position that you just don’t care about the real reason clear. But again, it’s not about that.
What this is about is the fact that if Matthew Stafford goes down for a game or two in December, are you really ready to give the reins to Jake Rudock, who threw a pick-six in his first ever NFL drive? Or are you ready to hand those games to a 35-year-old quarterback that has started 13 games combined in the last four years? Let’s not forget Cassel completed just 58.4 percent of his passes, threw 15 interceptions and had a passer rating of 68.1 in those games.
Don’t tell me Kaepernick is just not that good. Don’t tell me he doesn’t fit the system either. The biggest mistake in the Kaeperick argument is that one half always thinks the other is arguing that Kaep is either the best quarterback in the world or that he’s a top five guy that should take a starting spot from anyone in the league. Nobody is saying that. What people are saying is that he’s better than nearly every single backup quarterback in the league and some of the starters.
You may also believe that Cassel is better than Kaepernick. If that is the case, that is an unconscionable reach. Cassel had a great 2010 season and nobody can take that away from him. He also filled in well for the Patriots when Tom Brady went down. Then again, so did Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo or frankly anyone else that the greatest coach in the history of sports put in there.
But since 2010, Cassel has gone 689-1,168 for 7,463 yards, 38 touchdowns and 45 interceptions. He completed 59 percent of his passes and had a rate of 72.7. In that time, Kaepernick went 1,011-1,692 for 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He completed 59.8% of his passes and had a rate of 88.9. Stop trying to make “Cassel is better” a thing.
Secondly, the Lions just didn’t need to do this. Yeah, I get it, Cassel has a background with Patricia, and Cassel can be a a lot of help in the film room. That’s all well and good, but, to me, it proposes a question: Why didn’t the Lions just hire Cassel to work on their coaching staff if that’s all he’s going to basically do?
Alright. I’ve had my rant. What’s done is done. Matt Cassel is a Lion now, which, of course, meant that I would have to travel back down south to get some answers on the guy. So I went to my cabin in the smoky mountains, grew my beard and fired up my corn cob pipe. I had Kyle Madson of Titans Wire over for a mountain lion hunt and here’s what he had to say about Cassel.
POD: What are your overall thoughts on Cassel time in Tennessee?
TW: “Of all the Titans quarterbacks, Cassel was certainly one of them. He did his job as a backup, but his abilities have diminished pretty dramatically. He was a quality backup from an experience standpoint though. It’s hard to ask for much more from an average QB in his mid-30s. The Titans offense didn’t fit him very well, and the adjustments they had to make when he was in the game made all their personnel worse.”
POD: What are his strengths?
TW: “He has a ton of experience. His ability to grasp an offense is probably his best skill. He can work as an additional coach in the QB room, basically. On the field, he can throw touch passes and some shorter throws in big windows.”
POD: What are his weaknesses?
TW: “His quarterbacking ability is pretty much gone. His numbers weren’t atrocious in his one start in Miami last year, but he threw at least two passes where the nose of the ball was pointing at the ground without being tipped. Extremely not ideal, IMO.”
POD: Why is Matt Cassel in Detroit? Why is Matt Cassel still hanging around the NFL? What does he bring to the table?
TW: “The Lions are lucky enough to have a starting quarterback who would play through a couple broken legs. Cassel will be that second QB coach type who can help in the QB room. As long as he’s not on the field—he’s terrific.”
Good stuff from Kyle, as always. I really appreciate him taking time out of his Disney World vacation to answer a few questions. Thank you very much to Kyle and everyone over at Titans Wire. Go check out their stuff if you’re looking for Titans info.