Q: Coach said that a lot of players came in yesterday to get back to work to get the taste of losing out of their mouths, were you one of them?
CASSEL: “I come in every Tuesday and you see a lot of guys come in. Anytime you can get ahead on your opponent watching film, get a little workout in and a little sweat going it is good. We got a good head start yesterday and we got the first day of practice out of the way (today).”
Q: How do you balance the game plan to accommodate your strengths but still take advantage of their weaknesses?
CASSEL: “I think that comes down to the coaching staff. They go and look at the film and try to decide week in and week out what is best suited for our team and how we want to attack them. Obviously we want to play to our strengths but at the same time we want to take advantage of a situation that may be advantageous for our offense.”
Q: At this point in your career how much do you go to coaches and tell them when you see something you think you can take advantage of and are you comfortable doing that?
CASSEL: “Absolutely. At this point there are things that I see and there are things that I am comfortable with in terms of plays that I have run for a long time. I might say, ‘hey, is there any opportunity that we can get this in the game plan this week?’ They always have an open ear to that, but at the end of the day, ultimately it comes down to the coaches’ decision of whether or not they can put it in the game plan.”
Q: Is your number one mandate as a quarterback to not turn the ball over?
CASSEL: “Absolutely as a quarterback. Especially going into this Indianapolis game last week, we knew that we wanted to run the ball and we wanted to be physical. We wanted to take care of the ball and that was something we preached all week long. At the end of the day though we didn’t make enough plays and I think one thing we really are trying to concentrate on this week as an offensive unit is third down. I think that is an area that we have to get better at. I think we were one of 10 on third downs. You have to be able to convert and stay on the field, keep the defense off the field and maintain drives. That is an area offensively that we definitely need to continue to get better at.”
Q: Can ball security be taken too far to where you worry about it and play too conservative?
CASSEL: “I don’t think so. I think it is something that we tried to make an effort this off-season that if something is not there, let’s throw the ball away, let’s not take sacks, let’s not put ourselves in third and long situations. I think it was an emphasis last week especially against a team like Indianapolis with DEs (Dwight) Freeney and (Robert) Mathis). We didn’t want them to overshadow the game by getting ourselves in situations that were not good for us offensively.”
Q: Is there more pressure on you guys to score touchdowns since you have struggled in that area on the road? Or is it just about winning games?
CASSEL: “I think it always comes down to just winning the game. That is our goal each and every week. I think as an offense we had some opportunities to score points and we didn’t take advantage of that. Sometimes that happens but at the end of the day, our goal is to score more points than our opponent and we are just going to keep working hard to do that.”
Q: Are you aware of the lack of touchdowns?
CASSEL: “Every time we go into the Red Zone we are trying to score points, we try to score seven particularly and you never want to settle for three points but at the same time you just have to keep working hard. That is what we are going to do this week and hopefully we put more in the end zone.”
Q: Can you talk about Houston’s defense a little more? What is your concern about their defense?
CASSEL: “They are a big, physical group. Their front seven is physical. S Bernard Pollard also comes into the box a lot. He is a big physical safety. DE Mario Williams is an outstanding defensive end. In terms of what we have to prepare for, we have to prepare for a big, physical game. We can’t go in there timid; we can’t put our toe in the water as Coach likes to say. We have to go in there and be ready for a battle.”