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Matt Cassel's Pocket Presence

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsFan37, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    First, I'm a big fan of the guy and have been since his first TC. He's got a great arm, has shown good accuracy (and poor accuracy, too, like anyone, but at least he's shown he can throw with touch and timing). It all looks good for him.

    Except every time he takes the field, someone gets in there and knocks him loopy. I've been thinking, well, pocket presence can only be learned in live-fire training. If he gets out there for more than a half-game a season with the starting OL, he'll figure it out.

    So then I read this article by my favorite sports journalist about how the lack of pocket presence is the reason David Carr is on the street. I'd like to know what other folks think. Is pocket presence instinctive and Cassel lacks that sixth sense, or is it something he can learn, or is it simply too early to tell? Or am I making too much of an occasional sack?

    I know Patchick's radar went off when this thread hit the mill, she's been a Cassel fan for a while. I'd like to hear her thoughts. Anyone else?
     
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think it's apples and oranges as Carr has been a starter forever whereas Cassel has barely ever played. With all his college play and, now, however many years in the NFL it looks like he'll never learn it. But Cassel, who knows.

    Kind of like a kid who's trying to learn 2 times 2 for the first time vs. one who has been trying for a year and still doesn't get it. I'd put my money on the kid who's trying for the first time.
     
  3. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ding! What was that? Did somebody mention Matt Cassel??? :)

    I know what you mean about the pocket presence, and I guess I'm with BF on this...we don't really have a clue at this point, but I'm betting the potential is there.

    To me Cassel doesn't look nervous or tentative on the field like some backup QBs, or confused a la Rohan Davey. He looks confident but overexuberant. What I see is a football player who almost never actually gets to play football, so when he gets in the game he tends to be a little too pumped and tries to do too much. I'd rather see that than a guy who looks overmatched by the game -- I'm optimistic that Cassel could settle into a groove if the need arose.
     
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How could Cassell be nervous. He's never played a real college or pro game. It takes pressure to be nervous. No one has any idea how he will react in a real game.
     
  5. theONLYJerseypatsfan

    theONLYJerseypatsfan On the Game Day Roster

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    Hopefully we will have enough blowouts this year where Brady can be pulled early allowing Cassell to get a little time on the field during the regular season.......

    My wife and I saw him play the whole game (besides one series where troy brown was QB) last year when the pats played the giants in pre season....he was pretty good considering Bam Childress was the best WR out there at the time....he got rocked on one play and came right back for throw a TD pass right into traffic
     
  6. theONLYJerseypatsfan

    theONLYJerseypatsfan On the Game Day Roster

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    Its also fun to see the Pats version on Micheal Vick whenever he takes off :rocker:
     
  7. Cramden

    Cramden On the Game Day Roster

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    Speaking of Cassel, this is the second day this week that I've heard it mentioned on Sirius Radio that the Raider's have an interest in him. This morning it was Randy Cross and a caller from Oakland saying that Cassel would be a good fit for the Raiders and he could potentially be had in a Matt Schaub-like deal (minus the swapping of firsts of course). I think it was Pat Kirwan who was speculating on this exact scenario earlier in the week. They also mentioned that if something doesn't happen this year that Cassel will be a HOT commodity in 2008.
     
  8. theONLYJerseypatsfan

    theONLYJerseypatsfan On the Game Day Roster

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    Everytime there is a trade like the Schaub trade reporters try to scurry to find anything that would closely resemble that news.......but what do you expect....it is the down time for the offseason as far as news goes....
     
  9. SkiHound

    SkiHound Rookie

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    Cassel needs some time on the field to develop and gain exposure. He looks like he could be a very solid QB. I agree that I think he ends up being traded, if not this year then very likely next. Cassel needs a chance to prove himself and he's not likely to get it with the Pats. And from the Pats perspective it's a way to turn a guy with a very limited role into more immediate help. I must say I kind of like having Cassel on the bench, however. If Brady went down I think it would be very interesting to see how effectively Cassel could step in.
     
  10. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    Tony Eason was the quickest to react to pocket breakdowns.
     
  11. Cramden

    Cramden On the Game Day Roster

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    One other reason that there 'may' be something more than just speculation going on here is that Lane Kiffin coached Cassel at USC. First joining the Trojans as a wr coach in 2001 and then in Cassel's senior year as the passing game coordinator.

    How would Cassel look throwing to Randy Moss, Jerry Porter and Calvin Johnson?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  12. Don Kipines

    Don Kipines On the Game Day Roster

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    Cassel does indeed look a little oblivious in the pocket. At least once per appearance in the preseason you get a play where some lineman comes unblocked and you literally have time to count his steps out out loud... one... two... three... WHAM!!! And the next thing you see is Cassel twisting his helmet back into place, so that the face part is actually over his face. Next after that is him clapping and shouting out a bunch of rah-rah stuff to the gusy drifting back to the huddle, saying things like, "Alright, that was sweet! Great job, guys! Let's get it back, now!"

    He's okay, but the contrast between Brady and a mortal quarterback like Cassel is really jarring. Whenever I see that guy on the field, I think, there but for the grace of God...
     
  13. DW Toys

    DW Toys In the Starting Line-Up

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    O.K. Cousins I have one for you. It's a little complicated, but it's Friday. It's there to ponder.
    Great breakfast this morning. Hot Finish pancake with syrup and raspberries with hot coffee and flavored creamer. Started with some O.J.
    You are right cousin. Cassel might be a big-buck casualty in 2008. He is a CA. guy. If we can invest in this trade it would be interesting. Follow this scenario.
    Al Davis doesn't want this first round draft choice. It's a reward for ineptitude, not excellence. He needs a QB and Walter is not the answer. The QB must be mobile at least for the first part of 2007 until the "O" line solidifies and jells under Kiffin. Kinda works with Matt.
    Davis also knows that he needs to restock with more than just a QB if he can.
    The need O and D line help and more.
    Cassels position with the Pats now becomes a valuable commodity. Do we need to pay the big bucks for a QB no matter how well liked to stay here and we hope he never plays? Or do we see what the opportunities are out there? We also have a few players beside Cassel that may never see the light of day as a starter here and perhaps we can become more flexible in our draft and roster by making this type of trade.
    Can Cassel be replaced? Of course. Remember, when Brady came in as the starter all Charlie wanted him to do was manage the game, not win it until the calvary came. Under the Patriots coaching staff you can get a guy like even a Harrington or a Tim Couch (remember him) or a rookie with some coolness like a Zabranski from Boise St. Just manage the team.
    The Deal:
    We trade Cassel and our two first round choices plus OT O'Callaghan (also a CA guy) and DE Hill, for the Raiders S Michael Huff (Ah yes! With one year experience under his belt and under contract for two more!) and the Raiders #1 pick and their third round pick.
    Now we don't stop there. Me-Thinks that Romeo wants Russell or at the least, the Vikings. We trade up to #3 or #7 and pick up either teams 2nd rounder in 2007 and 2008. We draft Willis (or Landry but you have Huff), or maybe C. Johnson. You pick up a Harrington or a Carr even for a Brady back up. (why not!!!). Now you have a high second rounder and pick up say a Blaylock G/T out of Texas, pick up an RB like a Chris Henry in the third....AND....we still have a high first day left over for 2008.
    So in this wild optimistic deal we lose Cassel, Hill, O'Callaghan and two numbers one gambles.... for Huff, Blaylock, Henry, Willis and an extra 2 in 2008.
    Have fun with this!
    DW Toys
     
  14. Krazy Koz

    Krazy Koz On the Game Day Roster

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    I was watched some crap show on espn one day when we were in the playoffs this last season and Jason Taylor was on there breaking down the footwork and pocket presence of our own Tom Brady. Taylor was talking about it being instinctual and how Brady has what Taylor refered to as phonebooth footwork. Meaning he is able to move in any direction just a few steps in order to create the small amount of space he needs and then throw the ball. so, my best guess is that pocket presence is something both instinctual, but also learned with experience.
     
  15. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    First off, I think Tom nailed the reason why Carr hasn't had much interest. You cannot blame all his woes on Oline performance. God helps those who help themselves, as we saw here when Tommy replaced Drew behind our Oline. And in the process that often morphs into better line play by guys who now believe their QB isn't also hanging them out to dry.

    I think you can teach better pocket presence, but only to players who have some good basic instincts and a willingness/drive (or the capacity) to work on improving all the little things like footwork and release and film study that can maximize those instincts. One of Carr's problems was said to be his unwillingness to work more with the coaching staff and his teamates in an organized fashion because he preferred to do any extra work on his own at home in order to spend more time with his young family. And even if he were to change his attitude at this juncture to save his career as a starter, the dye may be cast because of the beatings he's taken over an extended period. As some here have suggested he might not only benefit from but really require the equivalent of a do over with a year of intense behind the scenes coaching and no game time. I'm not sure a team will be willing to dedicate a roster spot or substantial chunk of cap to that effort, nor would his ego necessarily be open to such a move to since he's already pocketed over $30M as a starting NFL QB.

    As for Matt, it tends to take him a series to get his bearings, but that is to be expected seeing as BB is not the type of HC to pull a starter even in a blowout until we're about down to run out the clock or take a knee time. The one time he got the chance to play extensively in the regular season, he did pretty well against a motivated top 5 1st string Miami unit determined to crack .500 on the last day of their season. I think with several talented WR's on the roster and 5 games on tap we will see more of and from Matt this pre season playing with some higher quality talent and really being asked to run something closer to a potential first team offense as these guys assimilate.

    I think he will be a pretty hot commodity in 2008. But whether we choose to capitalize on that depends on whether BB is able to locate a suitable developmental replacement this year. Otherwise we are back in the veteran/journeyman backup market which at least in the past BB didn't want to have to pay for or be at the mercy of. I think it's inherently better to be grooming a young player with starter potential than relying on a guy who has already proven to be nothing more than a servicable short term backup.

    There is no way he is traded in 2007 because he is the only other QB on the roster of a team that runs a very complex read and react offense and he will have his hands full in camp throwing to more WR's than Brady can handle as the 2007 roster gets sorted out.

    BTW he has been coaching up Charlie's new freshman QB phenom from California this off season.
     
  16. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    That sounds right to me. Personally, I'd hate to lose the guy right now.
    It's one of those things where we'll only know with time and Cassel hasn't had the time, so we don't know. But everything else looks positive.
    Two things I'd like to know: do you have some more of that O.J. and do you dream in technicolor? :)
    That's how I remember it. Exactly. But I'm more than happy to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. He has yet to wear out his first set of game spikes.
    Good point. I'd argue it's more like apples and apple seeds, we have to see if he comes to fruition. (ouch)
    It was too long since there was a thread about him. ;)
     
  17. PatsFanInVa

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    He's no Michael Bishop, that's for sure. Or Kliff Kingsbury. Or Rohan Davey...

    Look, we just don't know about this guy until we are totally "doomed" for a season. Then we get a miracle, or we don't.

    (And that's if we don't keep around an old NFL vet guy.)

    Love what I've seen, don't get me wrong. Just don't think we'll see much more. The day we do means we are very, very nervous.

    PFnV
     
  18. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Gosh, isn't it striking ... how respectful and appreciative the tone of this thread is about Matt ...
    contrasted with the fear and skepticism his name usually evokes?




    Remember back about 3 offseasons ago?
    Brady had his big contract, but wasn't quite the demigod yet.
    He was reported to have worked all winter and spring
    on learning when and how to g l i d e step ... and sideslip ... in the pocket - just as Taylor described.
    He got it ... and now you see him do it effectively every possession.
    (The next offseason, Brady worked on his long ball.)

    Cassel, though, still relies on his athletic wheels to turn into Michael Mexico
    whenever he feels the hot breath of the D.
    That's just his style, i guess, using whatever God guv 'im.
    If he also were to invest an offseason in the slippery skill ...
    his value might rise still higher.
     
  19. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Instead of starting a stupid thread I'll keep it here. Cassel or Losman? I think I'd take Cassel,experienced or not.
     
  20. AirForcePatFan

    AirForcePatFan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    For a guy who was a backup in college, and now in the pros, he is not bad... I watched him play last year in Atlanta, he didn't make a complete fool of himself, but managed.. To me, Matt has a lot of upside, jsut still needs some work around the edges...
     

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