Q: When a team plays as bad as Jacksonville did on Monday night, do coaching staffs like to avoid watching tape on that kind of performance?
CASSEL: “I think as coaches what normally happens in a game like that is you come and try to make the corrections and you try to move on as quickly as possible. I don’t know what the circumstances are down there but that is normally what we have done in the past.”
Q: How about your view of them? Do you see less of that and more footage from their other games?
CASSEL: “Well we are watching tape right now on Jacksonville. Obviously the game didn’t go exactly how they wanted the other night but I think that they are a good defense and a physical defense and we are going to have to bring our A game on Sunday.”
Q: Is it important to you how you are viewed by the fan base?
CASSEL: “Of course as a player you want to do your best for the fans and you want to be liked by the fans of course. I think that we have a passionate fan base here in Kansas City and they want to win. They are passionate about football which is great. I will say one thing and that is that I will always give them 110 percent effort and I am always going to go out there and try to execute my job to the best of my ability. Hopefully we win a lot of ball games and then I think everybody is happy.”
Q: Are you happy that the league is monitoring hard hits closer than ever?
CASSEL: “I know it is an issue. I think as players we all realize that we play a violent game and every time you go out on the field there is a chance of injury. But I also know that safety is very important and that they are taking precautions to make sure that players are taken care of.”
Q: Do you think the heavy fines were deserved this week? Do you think it will change the way these guys play?
CASSEL: “I don’t know that. I am not on that side of the ball and it would be hard for me as a player to change the way that I have been playing for a long period of time or coaches to change how they have been coaching for a long period of time. At the same time, football is football and I am sure guys are going to go out and give 100 percent effort and things are going to happen regardless whether the rule has changed.”
Q: Did you ever play defense? Where you a head-hunter?
CASSEL: “I did in high school. I was a safety. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a head-hunter. I always hoped to run behind the guy, grab his jersey and pull him down as quickly as possible.”
Q: Coaches don’t teach vicious hits like these recently in practice. Why do you think it happens?
CASSEL: “Sometimes I think it is just a reactive thing by the defensive back where he is going up trying to make a play on the ball or he sees impact and all the sudden this guys makes a movement towards the ball that might be a little different and then unfortunately the hit becomes a little bit more vicious than it was actually intended.”
Q: Without mentioning names, have you ever had the feeling that someone had tried to hurt you?
CASSEL: “No, not really. I feel like they are trying to hurt me every time they tackle me. Nothing cheap, nothing like that, no.”
Q: Do you cringe when you see those types of hits? Do you make an effort to look away?
CASSEL: “I think that nobody wants to see somebody get hurt and nobody wants to see anybody leave the field because of injury. I think there are times, like anybody else, I am sitting there watching and you cringe a little bit and you go, ‘gosh that was ugly.’ At the same time, we all recognize that we play this sport and there are going to be times where that happens.”
Q: Do you feel like you showed the fans that you are more capable of being a solid passing team?
CASSEL: “Well I think that we had a great outing and we are making progress. At the same time I feel like throughout the course of the year we have decided to play certain ways and sometimes it was to take care of the ball and other times the game plan dictated what we were trying to do in terms of how we went about our operation offensively. We stuck to the game plan this week and we were effective.”
Q: Are you where you want to be rushing the football? You are the number one team in the league.
CASSEL: “Any time you are leading the NFL I think you are where you want to be in terms of rushing the football. I think it is a complement to the guys up front and it starts with the offensive line and their mentality coming out week in and week out being physical. It starts with the tight ends and the receivers and everyone else doing their job blocking and running backs running. Me carrying out my fake is probably the most important part (laughing). No, we are doing a great job running the ball and hopefully that continues.”
Q: How important was it to see WR
CASSEL: “It was great to see Dwayne come back. I know things didn’t go exactly how we wanted in Indy but I told him before, that is football and we are going to be counting on him throughout the course of the year. For him to come out and show that he wasn’t bugged by it or anything like that, I was happy to see it.”
Q: How conscience are you of where you put the ball so your receivers don’t take a vicious hit like some of the hits this past weekend?
CASSEL: “As a quarterback you never want to hang any of these guys out to dry and sometimes maybe you don’t see that guy break on the ball as quickly as he did or the safety coming over the top and it just happens to be that you throw a ball in there and a guy gets hit. But you never want to do it, you are always apologizing after the fact.”
Q: Do you rely on those high school playing days as a defender to lay a block to free up your running back on certain plays?
CASSEL: “That was pretty vicious wasn’t it? No, I watched the film and I think I just caught him at a bad angle. It just looked bad the way he fell. I got lucky I think because he didn’t see me coming.” (Referring to a block on a rush during the Houston game).
Q: Do you recall when you were hit the hardest?
CASSEL: “I think I have taken a few hits but one that I remember was Albert Haynesworth last year when he landed on me. He is a big man and it knocked the breath out of me so that kind of scared me for a second.”
Q: Jacksonville’s pass defense is not very good. Do you see an opportunity there in the passing game?
CASSEL: “As I said before, they are a big physical group and we have to get ready for a battle. At the same time there has been big plays made on them but for us we just have to go in there and stick to the game plan. If opportunities come up hopefully we take advantage of them.”
Q: Did you guys have a lighter workout today or a mentally intense workout?
CASSEL: “Physically you are just not doing all the banging but the intensity picks up I think. We try to pick the te