While most fans are bantering about or clamoring for the Buccaneers to trade for the hottest flavor of the month that is Matt Cassel, buyers should beware. Cassel was aided by his receiving corps more then some actually realize. The Patriots as a team had the third most YAC yards of any NFL team in 2008. with a combined total of 2,154 YAC yards. The two teams ahead of the Cassel lead Patriot’s were the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals with 2,398 & 2,294 respectively. The NFL average for YAC yards by team was 1,633. Cassel benefited by more then 521 more YAC yards above the league average.
In the fifteen games Cassel started in 2008, he attempted 516 passes completing 327 of them for 3,693 yards. It should be noted that his receivers helped him more in the way of propelling him up fanatical fans wish list then he did himself. While it takes more then just an accurate throw for a receiver to gain yards after the catch in the case of Cassel his receivers accounted for 58% of his total yards.
Warner threw for 4,875 his receivers accounted for 2,294 YAC yards which works out to be 47% of his total yards. Brees threw for 5,069 yards and his receivers accounted for 2,398 yards or 47%. As you can clearly see Cassel still had his receivers account for 11% more of his total yards as the two that are above him in team YAC yards. So it further illustrates that Cassel had more help then Warner or Bress in obtaining his numbers.
Could Cassel turn out to be the next Scott Mitchell or the next Tom Brady? If I was a betting man I would lean to the side of him turning out to be more of a Scott Mitchell then a franchise caliber quarterback that many are saying he will be.
Mitchell was aided by Mark Clayton and Mark Duper with the Miami Dolphins in a very similar fashion as Cassel has been aided by the likes of Randy Moss and Wes Welker.
Below is the list of YAC yards by team.