It's clear that the responsibility of an NFL team's success falls on the shoulders of its coaching staff and front office. However, it's the quarterback who most often becomes the lightning rod for unmet expectations, which every team wishing their team could have a Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. A quick look at the number of teams falling over themselves to get Peyton Manning this offseason tells you all you need to know about quarterback hopes around the league.
But not every team is going to have an All-Pro at quarterback and that means that teams must learn to live with what they have. For the Chiefs, Matt Cassel has been a consummate pro and leader since the day he arrived and even went to the Pro Bowl his last full season in 2010, something many fans likely forget. Yet recently, fans booed Cassel at the charity softball game during MLB All-Star break festivities in Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium and, in general, give a lot of heat to Cassel.
Yet it's something that the former New England quarterback says he understands and he's learned to take it in stride.
"I'm going to be the same guy each and every day," Cassel said recently. "I'm going to give you 110 percent of what I have, and some people like it, some people won't. You know what? I'm going to give it my all."
As for his head coach, Romeo Crennel doesn't understand the lack of respect for Cassel given the way he carries himself.
"I don't know why everybody beats up on the guy, other than the fact we haven't won the way everybody wants us to win," Crennel said. "But he did take us to a playoff game. I've said before that we have to develop Matt's consistency. I think we are going to have an opportunity to do that this year."
Cassel was out last year for nearly half the season with a hand injury, so it will be interesting to see how he comes back amidst the pressure yet armed with better weapons than he's ever had.