Will the presence of Charlie Weis make Matt Cassel a better fantasy option?
Notre Dame fans expected Weis to be the second coming of Knute Rockne when the former Patriots' offensive coordinator first arrived in South Bend in 2005, and he tried little to dissuade them. Remember the "schematic advantage" the Irish would have over their opponents?
Well, five years later, Weis is back in the NFL, having turned out to be more Gerry Faust than Rockne. (Okay, that's harsh. How about more Bob Davie than Rockne?)
Weis proved to be a lot better playcaller than a head coach, and his Notre Dame teams showed little interest in playing defense. Pundits also criticized his ability to relate to college kids. And how many of those shortcoming will hamper him in his new job as offensive coordinator of the Chiefs?
Absolutely none of them.
If anything, Weis is back in a role to which he is more suited, because there's no denying that the man knows his Xs and Os -- and he's got three Super Bowl rings to prove it. It was Weis who orchestrated New England's winning drive in Super Bowl XXXVI to beat the heavily favored Rams and launch the Patriots' dynasty.
Unless or until Cassel matches Brady's three NFL championships, no one is going to confuse the two. Cassel blew hot and cold in 2009, throwing multiple interceptions five times, but also throwing multiple touchdowns in six other games. In all, he showed enough promise in his first two seasons as a starter to warrant a fantasy look for 2010.
And while Cassel is learning a new offense for the third time in three years -- actually the fourth time in three years considering that Chan Gailey was released shortly before the 2009 opener - the transition does not figure to pose much of a problem.
Coach Todd Haley wound up calling the plays in Kansas City last season, and Weis figures to run a very similar offense. In fact, Weis and Haley have worked together before in the NFL and are familiar enough with each other that the transition should not be dramatic.