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Matt Cassel Postgame Comments

Posted Jan 2, 2011

Opening Statement: “Well, obviously that is not the way you want to end the season, but it is what it is. The Raiders came out [and beat us]. Our hats go off to them. Their coaches did a great job. Their players did a good job. They dominated us all day long. Again, that’s what happened today. There’s no other way to put that. We’re moving forward. This game is behind us now. We talked about it in there. It was the last game of the season. Would we have liked for it to have ended a little bit differently? Of course we would have. But, we’ve got bigger things to look forward to and we’ve got a playoff game to get ready for this week.”

 

How did you find out Charlie Weis was leaving? “Coach told us the other day.”

What was your reaction? “In one regard, I’m happy for him because I know it’s best for his family. In the other regard, he’s a great coach and we’ve had good run this year. So, there are both sides of that. That’s really where we’re at with Coach Weis.”

With regards to Coach Weis leaving, as a quarterback, is it one of your roles to keep guys focused? “I think it’s a good point. I think coach did a great job of addressing the issue and I don’t think it was a distraction for us at all this week. We had a great week of practice. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out and have it go the way we wanted it to today.”

You got hit more today than in the last month and a half. Was there a reason for that? “No particular reason. Again, they (Oakland) played well today. They’re a big physical group. We knew that going in. They try to match you up on-on-one across the board and they were winning their one-on-one battles today.”

You mentioned that guys had something to look forward to. How much of that do you think had something to do with the way you played today? “I don’t really know. Again, we did not want to come out here and have this kind of performance to end the year. But, we do have a big playoff game coming up this week at home, which we’re excited about. We have to turn the page right now and get ready to go because this next season starts right away.”

As the leader, how do you go about gauging what this [loss] does to the guys’ confidence – the first loss at home, the way you lost – how do you go about judging that? “I spoke to the team right after the loss going into the locker room. All I said was, ‘Hey, they [the Oakland Raiders] would like to be in our position right now.’ They did a great job today. That doesn’t take away any of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year and the strides we’ve made as a team – offensively, defensively and special teams. I think we have to focus on that. We have to let this one go by, like we’ve done a number of times this year. We’ve rebounded from tough losses and we need to go out and do it again and get ready for the playoffs.”

You guys won four games last year. A lot of guys came into this season thinking, “Let’s make the playoffs.” You guys make the playoffs. How do you and the other leaders in the locker room make sure you say, “That goal is accomplished. Now, we have a whole new set of goals. Don’t be satisfied.” How do you do that? “I think the message, from a lot of leaders on the team, was, ‘This was a football game like the rest of them that we’ve played. We don’t want to make it bigger than what it should be. We need to continue to go out and execute, play our game, do what we’ve done all season, and we’ll be fine.’”

Was today the most uncomfortable you’ve felt in the pocket all year long? “I don’t really know how to answer that question right now until we go back and watch the film and see. Again, they did a great job of creating pressure today.”

Did you sense that they did something that you guys weren’t prepared for? “Not at all. They actually really didn’t do much that we weren’t prepared for. They like to mix it up a little bit on third down. But, first and second down, they did pretty much exactly what we thought [they would do] all day.”

Quarterbacks, fair or not, are judged more than anybody else by their playoff record. This will be your first playoff start. For you personally, are you excited, nervous? Do you look at it differently than Week 11, Week 12? “Not really. I think that’s the important part for me, as a quarterback, is that I don’t change my approach, stay consistent. I’m excited about it. It’ll be my first playoff start and for a lot of guys on this team it’ll be their first playoff game. It’ll be a lot of fun.”

The first interception, was that a bad decision on your part or were you just trying to make a play? “That was my fault. I was scrambling outside the pocket and I thought I could get it in there. I was trying to force something downfield. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I’ve got to do a better job of protecting the ball in that situation.”

Coach said you have a 24-hour rule. Is there a 24-minute rule for this game? “I hope so. Hopefully, it was a 10 minute rule for this game.”

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