If they plan to take the reigns atop a much-improved AFC West division in 2012, the Kansas City Chiefs know they'll need to throw the ball much more effectively than a year ago.
And after a 5-for-6, 67-yard performance in Friday's preseason opener where he tossed a touchdown pass to new addition Peyton Hillis, Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel has already blocked the 2011 season completely out of his memory.
"I don’t even want to talk about last year," Cassel told KCChiefs.com reporter Nick Toney after Friday's win. "Last year was last year. "
But while the small sample size from Kansas City's first preseason game is a great starting point, the 30-year-old quarterback still needs to regain the almost brash confidence that he showed in 2010 when he recorded 27 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions during a banner season. Because after a follow-up campaign where his quarterback rating inexplicably dropped by nearly 17 points, the 2012 season in Kansas City needs to be about keeping the star quarterback as comfortable as ever.
"I think I’m very comfortable," Cassel said. "We’ve had a very good camp so far and we’ve been working hard. I think the offensive line, the receivers, the running backs have embraced the challenge of learning this offense."
Head over to Arrowhead Pride for more Chiefs coverage, and be sure to stay right here with this StoryStream for more news from training camp. Also check out SB Nation's NFL hub for more pro football news heading into the season.