Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/14/12
Motivation can be achieved many ways. Sometimes a chip on the shoulder can provide the motivation that a player needs to have a fantastic season.

When an organization shows a concern that they want a player to perform better, the media and public are usually standing in line to voice their concern as well.

This brings pressure to the player to do just that.
This has to be the case for Kansas City’s quarterback, Matt Cassel. For the last four years Cassel has been the Chiefs' No. 1 option at quarterback after coming to Kansas City in 2009 from New England.

Not only did GM Scott Pioli leave the land of clam chowder, for the land of sloppy-sauced BBQ, he used a second-round pick to insure that Cassel was also escaping the shadows of Belichick and Brady.
However, after three years it appears the Chiefs may be looking for more of a spark at the quarterback spot. Last March, Kansas City owner Clark Hunt openly talked with CNBC’s Sports Biz about the possibility of acquiring former Colts quarterback, Super Bowl winner, and all around famous ad man, Peyton Manning. It was also reported that the Chiefs had offered Manning a contract before any other teams had.
“He’s one of the greatest players in the history of the league,” Hunt said. “He’s also an incredible person. We feel really good about the team we have in Kansas City going into the 2012 season, but we’ll look for any opportunity to improve and, of course, that includes Peyton Manning.” 
Peyton obviously did not want to play in Kansas City, a team he has beaten twice in the playoffs previously. Manning was already being wined and dined by Kansas City Chiefs nemesis, John Elway. Manning must enjoy playing for NFL teams with mascots that are horses, because as we know, the former Colt is now a Bronco.
Digesting this news had to be bitter sweet for Matt Cassel. Sweet that he still had a hold on a starting NFL quarterback position, but bitter that the Chiefs were open about finding a replacement with the talents Manning processes. Locally the news did not sit well with Kansas City fans either, frustrated that the Chiefs did not land Manning, led to the booing of Cassel at a celebrity softball game hosted at Kauffman Stadium this summer for the MLB All-Star Game.

Cassel also had a hard time staying healthy in 2011, and while he played 15 games a season the previous three years, he only made it through nine games in 2011.
Cassel has shown that he could be really solid at times, and in 2010 took the Chiefs to the playoffs with a 10-6 record, compiling a 27:7 touchdown to interception ratio with a 93.0 quarterback rating. He was an alternate replacement for the AFC Pro Bowl team as well. This was also the only year in Kansas City that Cassel had “one” play-caller the entire season, that being Charlie Weis.
During the 2009 and 2011 seasons, Cassel spent many games arguing with hot head, volatile head coach Todd Haley. Haley frequently got plays into Cassel extremely late. Offensive play-calling duties were spread among several other coaches, with Bill Muir calling run plays, and Haley pass plays and even quarterback coach Jim Zorn adding his input as well. Can you say a headache for the quarterback?
Haley was canned three quarters through the 2011 season. Romeo Crennel took the reins and now the Chiefs' coaching staff are all on the same page. For the 2012 season Brian Daboll has been brought in from Miami to run the offense, and having any sort of solidarity and consistency from his coordinator should help Cassel.
The sting of knowing that Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli have had eyes for other quarterbacks has to add pressure to Cassel. Yet that same pressure can act as motivation. The Chiefs have a solid running attack with a healthy Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis. Cassel will also have a promising young Jonathan Baldwin at receiver. Not to mention a top 10 defense led by Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali. 
Cassel would love nothing more than to prove the media, fans, and even his bosses, wrong by having the best season of his career in 2012. If he can somehow stop the hated Broncos and Manning from winning the AFC West, Cassel won’t have to worry about job security in 2013.

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