Former Chiefs QB Matt Cassel reflects on his tenure in Kansas City

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The Kansas City Chiefs have had several impactful quarterbacks come through the franchise, leaving their unique legacy. The tenure of former starting quarterback Matt Cassel may not have received the desired results, but it still had fleeting moments of success.

Recently Cassel appeared as a guest on the “Upon Further Review” podcast with Zach Brook discussed his trade to Kansas City, his Pro Bowl season, and thoughts on the team’s recent offseason movement.

”As that offseason started to go, I got franchised by the New England Patriots because Tom (Brady) had a little this, that and the other with his knee, you know, some, some concerns,” said Cassel recalling the 2009 offseason. “But then, as we started to see that Tom was going to be healthy. I figured I was going to get traded. And I didn’t really anticipate it being the Kansas City Chiefs, to be honest with you, even though Scott Pioli, who I had a relationship with from New England, went there.

“But when it all, actually all was said and done, I got a phone call from Bill (Belichick). And he said, ‘Matt, I want to thank you for what you did, you know, I’ve got a lot of respect for you. But we did trade you to the Kansas City Chiefs.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, here’s the next chapter at the same time. There’s a lot that goes into, when you get traded, you’re now the franchise guy, and you’re moving to a brand new city again, you have to build that relationships, that rapport with your team that’s looking at you as the figurehead.’ And there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with it, especially when you go to a struggling team in the prior years. We’re in a rebuilding process. So I knew it was going to be a difficult task to turn this thing around and get it going in the right direction.”

Cassel played four seasons in Kansas City, posting a disappointing 19-28 record during his span as a starter. He did have one successful season in 2010, leading the team to a division title, earning the lone Pro Bowl selection of his career.

”It was incredible, a remarkable accomplishment. You know, I set a goal early on that year that I wanted to, you know, win double-digit games, make the playoffs, you know, go as far as possible,” Cassel said. “Obviously, the ultimate goal is always to do that. But after the first year that we had there, we were on the struggle bus, we won four games. I said, ‘Let’s get into double digits, let’s make playoffs win the AFC West.’ And that’s what we’re able to do.

“And then, to get the honor of going to the Pro Bowl was just icing on the cake. And it was something that I kind of sat there, and I was just like, ‘I just got a phone call to go the Pro Bowl. I hugged my wife, and you know, a lot of hard work went into it, and it’s obviously not all me.’

Cassel showed pride and appreciation for his fellow Chiefs teammates, who helped him accomplish his personal and team goals.

“I had a lot of great help along the way with you know, all my teammates Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe went to the Pro Bowl that year; he was incredible,” Cassel said. “My offensive line did a great job. So I give credit to those guys. But I got to go and be at the pinnacle of, you know, pro sports, which is sitting there next to Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, and Drew Brees and Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and all these guys, Matt Ryan was there. You get to hang out with your peers, you know, and that, to me, was a special moment, I’ll never forget, I flew my family out, my brothers, my sister, her my wife’s family just to be there and experience it because it’s so unique, you know, to be there amongst greatness. And so I always will covet that moment for sure.”

The 14-year veteran has served as an NFL analyst since returning to the league after the 2018 season. Cassel shared his thoughts on the transactions made by Chiefs general manager Brett Veach heading into the new year, expressing optimism for the rebuilt offensive line.

”I love that. I mean, with Fisher and Schwartz, you know, at the end of the year being out and moving on from them, but then going and getting Orlando Brown Jr. From the Ravens,” Cassel said. “That was huge. Bringing in Joe Thuney from the Patriots. I mean, that’s really what they need to do is fortify that line. Because if they protect Patrick Mahomes, I mean, we all know, what a special player he is, and then not only that he’s surrounded by guys like Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, I mean, they were able to get (Demarcus) Robinson and resign him as well. So they’re gonna have all the weapons that they had at their disposal last year. Now, if they can sure up that offensive line, keep that offensive line healthy. I mean, they’re going to be just as explosive and exciting of a team to watch as they have been in the past.”

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