- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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We have our first AFC West quarterback Ron Jaworski’s top 30 NFL quarterback rankings. He is counting down from 30.
Tuesday, Jaworski revealed that Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel is the 22nd best quarterback in the league. It is not a surprise that he is the lowest rated quarterback in the division. I agree with that assessment.
I do think the Chiefs can win with Cassel, and so does Jaworski. Despite the fairly low ranking, Jaworski was complimentary of Cassel. He thinks he can be successful (like he was in 2010) with a strong running game, and by taking advantage of play-action situations. With Jamaal Charles healthy and Peyton Hillis on the roster, I think we can see another successful season by Cassel.
Here are some thoughts from Jaworski on Cassel: “My 22nd-rated quarterback is Matt Cassel. Remember, two years ago, Cassel led the Chiefs to the AFC West title. He was outstanding that year, with 27 touchdowns and only seven picks. His 2011 season was cut short by injury, but his passing profile remain the same.
“Cassel is at his best in a managed offense that features run personnel, run formations and the play-action pass game. Play-action primarily gives the quarterback 'either-or' defined reads. Cassel is very good in that scenario. ... Cassel throws the ball better to the inside -- digs, hooks and throws like that -- than he does to the outside. That’s the way it is with quarterbacks with limited arm strength.
“In addition, the deep throws often come on first down. Play-action is almost always featured. As is six- or seven-man pass-protection schemes. ... You give Matt Cassel a solid run game, a good offensive line, room in the pocket to deliver the football comfortably, and he can be a very efficient NFL starter. That’s what he is. He’s a function of the team around him. And he needs those pieces in place working effectively.”
5dEric D. Williams