Cassel and our offense
A few comments and observations of Cassel and our offense:
Most important observation of Cassel so far is his inability to go through his progression and process the information. There were several times that I noticed that our TE or third receiver would be open but Cassel would go through his first and second read and then he'd get jumpy and take off even though he had enough time to make the read and throw.
Our OL gives Cassel the chance to step up or slide but Cassel seems unwilling to do this and would rather take off. He goes through his first and second read and then immediately looks around to see where the DL are and gets nervous. His lack of pocket presence and poise in the pocket is troubling. He doesn't have the feel for what's going on around him and it is very noticeable that he is uncomfortable when he drops back. He seems to anticipate getting hit therefore he takes off when he doesn't even need to.
Even when Brady first took over for Bledsoe and he didn't have the experience, he was always poised and had remarkable pocket presence. Now I'm not expecting Cassel to be anywhere near Brady in his awareness, but he seems to lack any of it at all. This has to be the fact that this kid hasn't started a game since high school and has not developed this ability. I'm amazed that BB didn't take this into account when he named this kid Brady's backup.
Our offensive playcalling has also been a disappointment. It's extremely predictable. On a couple of pass replays, they showed the view from Cassel's POV so you saw his receivers go out into their routes. The thing that startled me was that ALL his receivers had their routes about the same depth. Spacing looked awful because the defenders plus all of our recievers where pretty much around the same depth. Why not send one deep, a couple intermediate and a dump-off guy? It would help our spacing. I'm not saying this happened every time but when they did show this type of replay, it's what I saw.
Also, Cassel needs to hit Moss on those gimme TDs. He missed him when Moss clearly would have scored had the ball been around him. Also there were two other times that Moss had a step and if Cassel had just thrown it in front of Moss, he would have given Randy a chance to try to get it. I'm sure they practice this but why is Cassel underthrowing Randy? He's shown that he's got arm strength. Rivers' deep balls for example gave his receivers a chance to make a play. Randy had to slow down for Cassels'. No one is expecting a perfect pass, but the long balls he threw at Randy were terrible.
Another thing, we need to stop with the "let's go to Vrabel" in the goal line plays. EVERYONE knows it's coming. Every time Vrabel's in the offense in goal line situations, they throw to him. WHen we had TOm and we were up, it was fun to see it. But now that we need to maximize all of our goal line plays, this play call was retarded. What I would do in goal line situations is either try to pound the ball in or have pass plays where we limit Cassel's decision making because he seems unable to function in pressure situations which goal line plays are.
I've still got hope. Those huge pass plays that we gave up on defense were toss-ups. The first catch was a one-handed hip catch and the second one ONeal was right there as well. Wheatley made a rookie mistake on his coverage and that PI on Hobbs was just unfortunate. What I'm discourage though is why our coaches have our DBS play so soft against WRs and our lack of a pass rush. We may have smaller DBs, but one thing they can do is run pretty well. Why not press the WRs and have our DBs try to run with them? Letting receivers have a ten yard sprint before our DBs can react seems like putting our DBs at such a disadvantage.
Our lack of pass rush, even when we blitz, is very alarming. I saw Bruschi blitz into the middle where pirouetted into a pile of OL (it was pretty comical). Our blitz packages are also unimaginative. They always get picked up and puts us at a disadvantage in coverage. With our OLB, Vrabel seems to have lost his first step and AD is used more in coverage. I love Rodney, but he was a liability in coverage tonight.
I hope there's a method to this madness, but tonight was pretty embarrassing.
Re: Cassel and our offense
Right on with your analysis.
No pass rush, soft DB coverages, and a QB that is a 3rd string NFL QB at best.
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