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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

With Brady gone, Patriot fans turn to Matt Cassel

Published: September 12, 2008
Section: Sports

It has been 111 games since we last saw the New England Patriots start a game without Tom Brady as the starting quarterback. Following this past Sunday’s devastating injury to Brady, Patriots fans are going to get used to Brady’s replacement. This man is Matt Cassel. So let’s meet Matt Cassel.

Perhaps Patriots fans will let out a collective groan when they learn that this is Cassel’s first start at quarterback since High School. It’s not his fault really. As a communications major at USC, he backed up two Heisman Trophy winners: Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. His entire pro career has been spent backing up Tom Brady.

His numbers are spotty at best. He sports a 56.4% completion rating heading into this year, in addition to a 71.8 QB rating. Cassel nearly found himself cut by the team heading into this year. I’m not making you Patriots fans feel any better am I?

Cassel is a pretty good athlete. In 1994, he was a member of a Little League World Series team that won the U.S. Championship. Matt was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2004. His brother Jack is a pitcher for the Houston Astros and actually entered his game as an injury replacement mere hours after Matt replaced Brady last Sunday.

Simply put, this Sunday, the Patriots will be on the road to face the rival New York Jets. Instead of #12, a Super Bowl winner, at quarterback, they’ll have #16. Patriot fans can only hope that Cassel will give them 16 wins this season like Brady did last season.