It's over...it's over (Roy Orbison music fades). You glad it's over, think it's over, or just ready for game two?
Was it worth it, or did you turn off the TV? It started rough, but I wasn't totally disappointed. It's the first preseason game, and not every question will be answered, but be thankful for Dexter McCluster.
There was an enormous amount of anticipation for this first preseason game. More than I've seen in a very long time. Fans have a good feeling about the Chiefs. My heart was beating as if it was the first regular season game, but this morning I had to remind myself it wasn't.
Like waking up from a bad dream, it was just a dream. It didn't count!
Keep this in mind before you turn on the radio and listen to the talking heads, especially this week. This wasn't the final test, but more like a practice test. I've taken lots of practice tests and failed, but getting past the real one is what matters.
Breathe in and breathe out, because there's still more preseason to go.
The Atlanta Falcons are a great team. They're at the caliber the Chiefs want to be, so it was a good ability check for the Chiefs. I was looking for sync, flow and chemistry. Did the Chiefs fall short? I'd be fibbing if I said they met expectations, but after Atlanta put them on the ropes, I thought the Chiefs rebounded well. Obviously there's room to grow, but mistakes don't mean as much as the Chiefs learning from them.
If the Chiefs play flat against Tampa Bay then I could get uneasy.
Early in the first quarter I was very concerned. I'm a fan, so my first impression wasn't pleasant. Happy thoughts weren't in my vocabulary. I was on my knees saying dear Lord not again. I was spitting certain words just like the rest, but it's what I warned fans about when hearing the 10-6 and 11-5. I have hopes this season, but my faith in the Chiefs can't be built on a house of cards.
Hanging with the Chiefs is going to take something solid. If my trust in what the Chiefs will do stands on shaky ground then Friday night would have torn it all down. Tampa Bay may be a little better, but it could be much better. It might be another step back. I don't know, but stick with them.
On a very positive note the rookies gave me something to think about. The depth and the future talent look strong for the Chiefs. More is needed, especially up front, but I like what I see. There's a foundation instead of the bottomless pit I saw last season.
I can't say enough about Dexter McCluster and Jamaal Charles. Both showed they can seal the deal. I realized what they could, and they can get there in a hurry, but even without Thomas Jones the Chiefs look like a legitimate run team. Add Jones back into the mix and there's no telling how many yards the Chiefs could run.
A first down is a first down, but that brings me to Matt Cassel. The chunks might not come by way of Cassel and Dwayne Bowe. I'm just throwing it out there, because it may not be entirely on Cassel's shoulders. That could be a good thing.
I will say the player who needed to shine most Friday night was Cassel. I've watched him being on the other side of the autograph fence and he's a nice guy. Cassel's the last player to stop signing shirts, hats, and footballs. He works hard, not many out work him in the film room or in the off-season. He does everything a player who wants to be better does. That's why the coaches love him...but.
Can he play? When you lay it out there that's what it comes down to.
I'm on his side, but in honest, was there that defining moment for Cassel Friday night? No, there wasn't. There was Cassel looking timid and scared. You can't play like that. You can't over throw a Leonard Pope who's nearly seven foot tall.
Brodie Croyle did enough to keep the debate going on whose better. Croyle did it by playing against Atlanta first teamer's with second tier talent. Don't point too much to the interception by Croyle, because the receiver stopping had a lot to do with that. Until then Croyle looked good.
The monkey needed to loosen his grip on Cassel, but instead it got tighter. 610's Nick Wright will be fanning the flame even more now. Come Monday morning the Cassel talk will be even louder, but Cassel did little to stop it.
Cassel needs a fair shake, but Cassel, let's get moving!
The most important thing from game one preseason is the Chiefs did some good things, but have plenty to still work on. The good news is they have more practice tests ahead of them. Come game one of the regular season that's when it will matter ready or not.