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Insider: Matt Cassel is Steve Bono

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By PFW staff

The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

• "You know who (Chiefs QB) Matt Cassel is — he is Steve Bono. He played in San Francisco behind (Joe) Montana and Steve Young. Any quarterback can look good when (he) is throwing to Jerry Rice and John Taylor. (Bono) parlayed that year that Young got hurt into a big contract with — who else — the Kansas City Chiefs. He went to the same team, but he was not throwing to the same players. It's just like Cassel. He was throwing to Super Bowl-caliber talent in New England — (Randy) Moss and (Wes) Welker, not a hodgepodge of guys. When (Cassel) got to a team where he had to make plays happen, he couldn't do it. He has not shown me that he is worth $60 million. I'm interested to see what kind of magic (offensive coordinator) Charlie Weis can work."

• "The Texans are running right through the Colts. That was their whole mantra in training camp — be physical and pound the Colts. And that is what they are doing. Arian Foster is running right over them. They are putting the ball in his hands."

• "When I watched (Vladimir) Ducasse at the Senior Bowl, he was getting his (butt) whipped. The Jets are struggling at that left guard spot. It don't matter if Ducasse or (Matt) Slauson winds up playing — they are going to get attacked inside."

• "Mario Williams is a man. You better be prepared to double him at all times. I have not seen anyone throwing blockers around like that since Reggie White. Wow."

• "(Panthers S) Sherrod Martin has really come on in Carolina. He has begun to figure it out. The Panthers have done a great job of finding defensive backs through the draft — Chris Gamble, Richard Marshall, Charles Godfrey. When you look at that team, what really stands out is how well they have built through the draft. They are young now. What you have to worry about with a young team is the leadership — will guys step up and become leaders?" 

• "I don't care how smart you are, at some point Father Time starts to catch up with you. Your energy level is not the same when you are 69 as it is when you are 59. I'm not surprised at all by Bill Parcells (stepping down). It's always been a young man's game."

• "When you see how fast the Patriots got on top of Cincinnati, you can't help but wonder if (the Patriots) still have Mike Zimmer's signals. You would be surprised, but a lot of these (coordinators) do not change them from stop to stop. The Patriots jump out fast early and drain the clock."

• "The Bears have had four defensive coordinators in four years — (Ron) Rivera, (Bob) Babich, Lovie (Smith) and (Rod) Marinelli. They have had four defensive line coaches and four linebacker coaches. It went from Hardy Nickerson to Bob Babich to Lloyd Lee back to Babich. The line was at its best when (Vikings DL coach) Karl Dunbar was there. If it's not broke, don't fix it. You can only pass the buck so many times before everyone realizes where the problem lies."

• "Most teams could not overcome playing with their third quarterback. The Steelers are one of the few that could. They did not give Dennis Dixon too much. They are relying on their running game. That line is still strong. As long as Dick LeBeau is calling the defense, they will be a competitive football team. He is the MVP of that team."  

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