The League

Doug Farrar

Doug Farrar

A staff writer

All About the System


Between new GM Scott Pioli and new head coach Todd Haley, I'd say that Cassel is actually in the perfect environment to make a real go of it. In his time working with Bill Belichick in New England, Pioli got a front-row view of Cassel's strengths and weaknesses. And when he helped the Cardinals to the Super Bowl last year as Arizona's offensive coordinator, Haley ran an extremely productive attack with a lot of shotgun sets. This is where Cassel will thrive.

In 2008, Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner threw 598 regular-season passes. 412 of them were in a shotgun formation. That's 69.8 percent of his attempts, which would have been high for just about any other quarterback -- except for Cassel. Of Cassel's 516 attempts in 2008, 405 came from the shotgun -- an astonishing 78 percent. Both the Cardinals and Patriots are used to shotgun, three-wide sets with three receivers, and Kansas City's use of the Pistol formation, with quarterback Tyler Thigpen last season, gave tight end Tony Gonzalez unprecedented opportunities that he could very well see again.

There are times when players go from system to system and lose whatever it was that made them great. Matt Cassel is fortunate in that he's going to a system that perfectly fits what he's done before. He would have been a question mark in a power offense, but Kansas City will take to the air, and they have the right quarterback for the job.

By Doug Farrar  |  March 2, 2009; 6:27 AM ET  | Category:  Arizona Cardinals , Doug Farrar , Kansas City Chiefs , New England Patriots Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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