Chambers, Cassel Catching On Fast

You always hear a lot about the relationship between a quarterback and his receivers, that it takes time for them to feel each other out, to build timing and chemistry. In just three short weeks, Matt Cassel and Chris Chambers seem well on their way to dispelling that line of thought, so how long does it take to build that kind of rapport?

"It does take years to really generate that chemistry like a Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning or a Peyton Manning and (Marvin) Harrison," said Chambers. "If you really want to get it down to a 'T' and be an excellent quarterback/receiver tandem, it does take some years, but right now we have beat the curve a little bit, and hopefully we can keep continuing that and build a great relationship."

Chambers and Cassel aren't just beating the curve, they're smashing it. In his first three games as a Chief, Chambers has quickly become the downfield threat the franchise has sorely needed for a long time, catching two touchdowns and racking up 249 yards, including 119 against the Steelers Sunday.

A large part of that rapport between receiver and quarterback is trust, and you can include the offensive coordinator in that circle. A good sign that Cassel, Chambers and Todd Haley not only can work with each other, but trust each other, was the 47-yard, fourth-quarter bomb against the Steelers that led to a touchdown. Chambers ran a double move as Cassel pump-faked, Chambers cut up field, and Cassel floated it to him.

"(The Steelers) jumped an in-cut," said Cassel. "That safety jumped an in-cut earlier in the game, and it was almost picked off, and (Chambers) did a great job of breaking it up, and he said 'Hey, this guy's jumping down on that in-cut, let's run and in-go,' and we made the adjustment on the sideline. Coach Haley does a great job of responding, implementing it in the game, putting it together on the sideline, and we called it late in the game and it was a big play for us."

It might be more miraculous that Cassel, and more importantly Haley, had enough faith in Chambers' evaluation to tweak a play after having spent just three weeks around each other, than it is the Chiefs actually beat the defending Super Bowl Champions Sunday. Think about it. This player, whom you barely know, and don't have a prior working relationship with, says you ought to change one of your plays, and you just do it, and in a crucial spot in the game nonetheless.

"Chris, being a veteran guy, that speaks to his professionalism," said Cassel. "He's able to communicate what he's seeing on the field, and that really helps us offensively, especially from a quarterback standpoint, because you can't see everything all the time, and for us to have that communication, it really helps elevate our game."

"I think, without a doubt, in my experiences the better feedback you can get from your players who are on the field and out there and know exactly what's happening to them, the better," said Haley. "Some players over time are much better at that than others. You kind of find your way with each player individually."

"There are a lot of instances over the years where a player said something during the game and then you go watch the tape and it's the total opposite. It's just one of those things; some have a better feel of what's going on. Chris has been around this league for a while and speaks very thoughtfully during the game and I think that's a big bonus when you have somebody like that. When you can take advantage of that it obviously helps the cause."

Haley and Cassel's trust in Chambers could be a good sign of things to come, and perhaps a sign that the Chiefs can move on without suspended star Dwayne Bowe.

While fans are relishing the fact that the Chiefs are 2-0 without Larry Johnson, they're also 1-0 during Bowe's suspension. Perhaps a correlation can't be drawn, but if it's possible the loss of the two biggest egos on the team has benefitted team chemistry, then maybe there is something to the Chiefs being undefeated without Bowe and LJ in uniform. Top Stories