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Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Pressure point: Chiefs

By Bill Williamson

NFC pressure points: West | North | South | East
AFC pressure points: West | North | South | East

Examining who faces the most challenging season for the Chiefs and why.

I wish I could be creative here and point the finger at someone other than Matt Cassel in Kansas City.

I just can’t.

No one is facing more of a pressure situation in Kansas City than Cassel heading into the 2012 season. Sure, Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli (who traded for Cassel three years ago) will feel the heat if Cassel fails in 2012. But Pioli probably will not be fired if Cassel fails in 2012. Pioli probably will be given an opportunity to replace Cassel.

However, if Cassel fails this season, he probably will lose his job. Hence, the immense pressure.

The Chiefs showed confidence in Cassel this offseason when they built around him in free agency and the draft instead of replacing him. Kansas City has put together a strong team, one that appears to have few holes. It is set up to make a playoff run.

But Cassel has to lead it there. Again, it’s all on him. The pieces are there. If Cassel doesn’t seize the moment, he’ll pay for it by losing his job.