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Old 02-21-2009, 05:30 AM   #1
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Klis: Cassel is McDaniels' best evidence

INDIANAPOLIS — If there was but one reason Josh McDaniels got the job as head coach of the Denver Broncos, it would be Matt Cassel.

An oversimplification, yes, but for all of McDaniels' credentials and characteristics, nothing on his résumé is more impressive than how he transformed an average-armed passer who had not started a football game since his senior year in high school into a quarterback who directed the New England Patriots to an 11-5 NFL record in 2008.

"I hope there's a million reasons why," McDaniels said. "That was one of them. It's a tribute to Matt Cassel what he was able to do this year. While you're coaching a team or a player, you don't ever think about it as far as what it can do for me down the road. You're just trying to do the best you can at that point in time."

Before last season, universal credit for the Pats' record-setting offense went to quarterback Tom Brady. When Brady suffered a season-ending injury in the first quarter of the first game of last season, and the Pats still scored 41 points against the Broncos in the Monday Night Nightmare in New England on Oct. 20, acclaim went to New England's system.

And those who teach it.

Indeed, Pat Bowlen wasn't the only NFL owner who started probing the mind of McDaniels, the Pats' wunderkind offensive coordinator. Had the Broncos not hired him first, McDaniels likely would have been head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, or maybe the St. Louis Rams.

Until Brady went down, Cassel had not started at quarterback since 1999 while at Chatsworth (Calif.) High School. He started one game in four seasons at USC — at tight end — and never threw a touchdown pass for the Trojans. And Cassel had never started anything more than a preseason game in his first four years with the Pats.

Not surprisingly, Cassel struggled early this season, but McDaniels figured out his quarterback was much more effective when his starting point was from the shotgun instead of under center.

In Cassel's first five games last season, he passed for 182 yards per game with three touchdown passes against four interceptions and 4.0 sacks a game. The Pats went 3-2.

In his final 11 games, he passed for 253 yards a game with 18 touchdowns against seven interceptions and 2.45 sacks a game. The Pats went 8-3.

It should be noted Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler has openly admitted he prefers starting a play from the shotgun.

http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_11750781
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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Is there a QB who doesn't prefer the shotgun?
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:58 AM   #3
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Is there a QB who doesn't prefer the shotgun?
Exactly, thats like a fat chick saying she likes food. It doesn't need to be said we all know it.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:13 AM   #4
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....and it does wonders for the running game.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:22 AM   #5
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....and it does wonders for the running game.
Lighten up francis

This won't be a total shotgun offense. But it will be used a lot more.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:24 AM   #6
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Didn't we use it a ton last year? Thought so.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:25 AM   #7
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Didn't we use it a ton last year? Thought so.
Didn't we also lose 7 RB's, thought so.

It was far more balanced at the start of the year. When the offense was most effective.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
This won't be a total shotgun offense. But it will be used a lot more.
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It was far more balanced at the start of the year. When the offense was most effective.
That was my point.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:10 AM   #9
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Is there a QB who doesn't prefer the shotgun?
Brian Griese. He hated it.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:16 AM   #10
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That was my point.
I know I just like using the phrase lighten up Francis!
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:30 AM   #11
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Brian Griese. He hated it.
True, but I'm not entirely sold that Griese is an actual quarterback. I'm still expecting him to hold a press conference one day and say "Gotcha!", and this career was one long, drawn out joke.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:58 AM   #12
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i'm not passing on Cutler for my Fantasy team this year!!! woot woot
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:26 PM   #13
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True, but I'm not entirely sold that Griese is an actual quarterback. I'm still expecting him to hold a press conference one day and say "Gotcha!", and this career was one long, drawn out joke.
That got me laughing !
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:36 PM   #14
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i'm not passing on Cutler for my Fantasy team this year!!! woot woot
i am really thinking about doing an all Broncos draft in one league just to see what happens.

our new RB or Hillis
Cutler
Marshall
Royal
Scheff
and i am going to make sure and get a real defense that isn't rebuilding
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:43 PM   #15
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i am really thinking about doing an all Broncos draft in one league just to see what happens.

our new RB or Hillis
Cutler
Marshall
Royal
Scheff
and i am going to make sure and get a real defense that isn't rebuilding
I had that exact lineup this past season, with the exception of Hillis (Jonathan Stewart and Ryan Grant were my Rbs). I won first place in my league.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #16
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Is there a QB who doesn't prefer the shotgun?
Steve Young and Joe Montana hated it according to Shanny
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:08 PM   #17
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I know I just like using the phrase lighten up Francis!
Oh, ok, Betty.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:43 PM   #18
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I had that exact lineup this past season, with the exception of Hillis (Jonathan Stewart and Ryan Grant were my Rbs). I won first place in my league.
Me too.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:51 PM   #19
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True, but I'm not entirely sold that Griese is an actual quarterback. I'm still expecting him to hold a press conference one day and say "Gotcha!", and this career was one long, drawn out joke.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:51 PM   #20
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Hell, Elway lived off the shotgun... great for a shovel pass to sammy winder, three yards and a cloud of dust...
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:16 PM   #21
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Jake Plummer could only pass from the bootleg.. so i think you could say he hated the shotgun.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:26 PM   #22
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Didn't we use it a ton last year? Thought so.
Same thing I was thinking.

I like using it generously... it just felt like we were already doing so.
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