Sam Howell Among 5 Rookies to Stand Out in Preseason Week 1
In the video above, Matt Cassel discusses the rookies who stood out to him the most in the first week of the preseason. The former NFL quarterback touches on some of the more impressive rookie QBs, including Washington’s Sam Howell and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett.
Cassel also highlights some of the players who help the quarterbacks by making plays, including Aidan Hutchinson, the former Michigan Wolverine pass rusher who now finds himself in the Motor City after getting drafted by the Lions No. 2 overall. He was also impressed with the performance of Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Charles Cross.
Lastly, Cassel highlights Pickett’s teammate, George Pickens, the former UGA receiver who finished with three catches and a touchdown last week against Seattle. Cassel believes Pickens will be an important factor in the Steelers’ offense this season.
This Patriots Offensive Coordinator Situation Isn’t New
Dear Mac Jones, Matt Cassel knows what you’re going through…
Jones is entering his second season for the New England Patriots, and has two first-time offensive coordinators vying for the position managing and calling plays for his offense.
During Cassel’s tenure with the Patriots, he was in a similar situation. His coordinator, Charlie Weis, left to take the head coaching position at Notre Dame. Who took over? Josh McDaniels. That move certainly worked out in hindsight for the Patriots, but at the time, there were a lot of voices in that room.
Cassel shares his thoughts on how the situation may play out for Jones and this season’s Patriots.
Brissett Has to Be ‘Eager’ to Get Reps With 1st Team
Jacoby Brissett didn’t get any reps in the Cleveland Browns preseason game, but the Browns’ presumptive Week 1 starting quarterback needs to be eager to get those reps according to The 33rd Team’s Matt Cassel—who knows exactly what it’s like to be in an unclear QB battle.
Cassel, a longtime backup in both college and the NFL worked his way into a starting role a few years into his NFL career. In 2014, while with the Minnesota Vikings, Cassel entered the offseason as the presumptive starter but then the team drafted Teddy Bridgewater. Every day was a grind to get extra work with the first team and prove yourself to the coaching staff.
In Cleveland, Deshaun Watson is the clear franchise quarterback after signing a historic, fully-guaranteed contract, but he will be suspended for an extended amount of time at some point following the NFL’s appeal of his six-game suspension. Brissett has been named the starter, but did not play in the Browns first preseason game. Watson struggled.
In the video above, Cassel lays out the ins and outs of how reps can be divvied up in training camp and preseason games. He also talks about the psychological approach quarterbacks must take to the situation.
What Goes Into a Quarterback Battle for the Starting Job? | The Meeting Room
Battling for the starting quarterback job in the NFL is a grind. There might not be a tougher challenge, both mentally and physically, in the NFL than battling for that coveted spot under center.
Learning the Playbook
I fought for the starting job as a rookie, and I’ve fought for the job as a vet. I’ve even fought for the job against rookies as a vet. Each scenario with each team presents a new battle and new expectations that come with being the starting quarterback. We all know it’s the most mentally-demanding position in football, and only part of that is mastering the playbook. The starting quarterback has to manage the pressure placed on his shoulders-a pressure that only amplifies if the team has a young rookie quarterback waiting in the wings.
A starting quarterback has to prove their mastery of the system they are in. You HAVE to know your protection schemes, hot routes and outlets-your ways to get out of trouble-otherwise, defenses are going to test you and come after you over and over again. It’s so much more than just picking the ball up and throwing it.
Rookies often struggle with this, which is why so many of them get blitzed heavily by opposing defenses. Opponents are going to make you prove you know your system and can exploit what they are doing, otherwise, they will exploit you, and they will not hesitate.
Dealing with competition
When I was in Minnesota with Mike Zimmer and Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner, not only did I have to learn Turner’s offense, a demanding task in and of itself, but that year the team drafted Teddy Bridgewater in the first round. While I knew the playbook and was comfortable with the scheme, a young quarterback right behind me added more pressure to get everything right.
The coaches would come to me and say “Hey, Teddy’s going to get reps with the ones today,” and I had to just bite my tongue and keep at it. It’s a daily grind-one that you mentally have to rise up for every time you step onto the field. If you didn’t perform well that day, there’s that young guy right behind you hungry for an opportunity to play.
You don’t take days off in a competition. You can’t afford bad days. Every day you have to go out there completely focused, compete and earn your job. Your talent and effort get picked up on by teammates. The quarterback is oftentimes a leader in the locker room as well. Teammates feed off of energy and the confidence you have in yourself.
As a quarterback, you have to juggle your teammates, pressure from coaches and front office members and fan expectations before even throwing a pass in a game. Proving you can handle all of these different variables and respond positively in the offseason is critical in a quarterback battle and just might earn you the starting job.