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Q&A with Matt Cassel 10/27

Posted Oct 27, 2010

Highlights

OPENING STATEMENT: “It was a great win for us, we are excited about it. I think that we played a complimentary game in all phases. The defense came up and had a huge score for us and stopped them when we needed to stop them. Our special teams made some great plays with the turnover and LS Thomas Gafford recovering the fumble. Offensively I thought we played pretty consistent throughout the day. It started with the run game and the offensive line did a great job for us and we were able to establish the run early and continue that throughout the course of the game. I think that carried over into the second half as we started to get the passing game going a little bit. We had a lot of guys make big plays for us so as we move forward we are trying to make a lot of progress here. We have the Buffalo Bills coming into town and we know that their record might not reflect how good of a team this is and how explosive they are and we know that it is going to be a challenge for us offensively because we are going to have to go out and score a lot of points because we know that their offense up to this point has scored a lot of points.”

 

Q: Are you a much different quarterback than the quarterback Chan Gailey worked with last year?

CASSEL: “I think I have. I have a lot of respect for coach Gailey in just the brief period of time that I was able to spend with him. I liked him as a coach and I thought he was a very good coach but at the same time as a player I think that I have matured a lot. I have grown in the system and this being my second year in Kansas City I have kind of adjusted to my surroundings a little bit better. Obviously we are a much different offense than what we were last year.”

Q: If you guys want to get to where you want to be, you have to win home games like this upcoming game correct?

CASSEL: “Absolutely. We have to take advantage of having homefield advantage. We are playing in front of our home crowd and we have to get excited and take advantage of every opportunity we get to play here at Arrowhead. We do have the home crowd here and the excitement is here and the defense gets to hear the roar of that crowd every time they are on the field.”

Q: Would it be easy to overlook this team?

CASSEL: “Like I said before, this is a good team coming in and they have played a lot of good opponents throughout the course of this year. We have to come ready to play and coach has done a good job this week conveying that message to the team that this is a game that we can’t be complacent and we can’t think that we have arrived. While we are 4-2, this team is going to come in here ready to play and they showed it last week against a great team in Baltimore going down there into that type of atmosphere and going into overtime. This is a team that we have to really be up and ready to go and I am sure we will be.”

Q: How has offensive coordinator Charlie Weis helped this offense?

CASSEL: “Well I think Charlie and the rest of the coaching staff along with Coach Haley have all done a tremendous job with this offense this year. As you can see, we have made progress from the beginning of camp to where we are now and I think that we are just continuing to work hard and make progress as players and as an offensive unit.”

Q: You have the number one rushing offense in the league against the worst rushing defense in the league, is establishing the run a priority this weekend?

CASSEL: “I think that is a priority each and every week. You have seen us week in and week out, we are a team that wants to establish the run and we have done a pretty good job of that so far and we are the number one rushing team in the NFL so if we can keep that going, that will work to our advantage.”

Q: What is the biggest change in the offensive line this season? Why have they been able to gel so quickly?

CASSEL: “It is a veteran group to start, especially those interior guys with C Casey Wiegmann who comes out each and every day and never complains. He is the ultimate warrior and he leads by example. Then you have G Brian Waters who is the same type of guy who comes to work each and every day with his hard hat on as well as Ryan Lilja. These guys have come in and they work well together, they understand the offense and I think from that everyone is feeding off them and they have done a great job for us.”

Q: When your coach goes for it on fourth down, do you ever think it is an unusual call or do you just kind of go with it?

CASSEL: “I think you take it as a challenge as an offensive unit and if coach gives us his confidence and says, ‘ok, we are going for it on fourth down,’ then it is our job as an offensive unit to go out there and get a first down and convert. There have been plenty of times this season where it has worked in our favor. During the Houston game I think we went on two fourth downs and converted both of them, one being a touchdown pass. Whenever those situations come up he lets us know ahead of time and we just go out there and try and execute the plays to the best of our ability.”

Q: Do you think it is just a feel thing for him or do you think that he knows something that other NFL coaches might not know?

CASSEL: “I think he has talked about it and I think it is a process by him. As players, when you are out there and you here it is four-down territory then you just know that you have an extra down to get a first down and it is time to do our job.”

Q: How do you know when you get into four-down territory?

CASSEL: “They let me know in the helmet and I just let the guys know in the huddle. ‘Hey, guys we are in four-down territory,’ so that just lets them know if we might be running it on first and second down because we might have an extra down here. There has been plenty of times where that has changed as well.”

Q: Do you ever think about just taking the points in some of those situations?

CASSEL: “I don’t really question authority. Again, it is our job as an offense if he is going to put the trust in us to keep us out there on fourth down then it is our job to go out there and convert the fourth down.”

Q: You said sometimes it changes. Does that mean it changes if you were to pick up seven or eight yards on first or second down?

CASSEL: “I think it is all dictated by the position that you are in. If for some reason we are in fourth and nine, that might change just based on the situation.”

Q: We saw some fist pumping out of you. Are you feeling more emotional and expressing yourself a little more? Why the expressiveness out on the field?

CASSEL: “Just excited. I am excited about guys making plays; I am excited about where we are as a team. Also, I think with as much hard work as we have put in week in and week out I think you have to have fun on Sunday’s because that is what it is all about. It is about being able to express yourself and show people that you are having fun. That is what it is all about, being able to enjoy the moment.”

Q: Are you having more fun this year as a team?

CASSEL: “I would say so, yeah. I think a lot of it is that you have a lot of fun when you are winning. Right now we are and we are 4-2 and we have won some games and that is always a lot of fun. But we know that there is a lot more work to be done.”

Q: Do you try to put the fact that you are 4-2 out of your mind and just do your job?

CASSEL: “I think doing our job every day. We understand where we are right now but we also understand that we have 10 more of these games left and anything can change. There is so much more football left to be played and none of us are content. You can see on Monday when we come in, the whole team is in here. Tuesday we have a bunch of guys in here working hard on their day off trying to get their bodies back ready to go. This team has to come in here with a tremendous amount of focus. We understand where we are right now but we also understand where we want to get to but right now it is a good start and that is all it is.”

Q: Did your offensive lineman get on you about the scrum last week because they are working hard to protect you?

CASSEL: “That is a good point. I think the only reason why I act out sometimes is because hopefully they are going to protect me. I was testing them is really what I was doing. Just want to see if they are going to be there for me in times of need (laughing).”

Q: What on defense can make Buffalo dangerous?

CASSEL: “You look at their defense and I think the thing that stands out to me is that their cornerback is their secondary. They have experienced guys with CB Drayton Florence and CB Terrence McGee is coming back this week off of injury and both of those guys are very experienced corners. They do a great job in man-to-man coverage and contesting routes all the time. They also have their safety, (Jairus) Byrd last year had nine interceptions so we know that he is a guy that will always be around the ball and S Donte Whitner is also a first-round pick who has done a good job for them and a good job covering down on the tight end. From that standpoint we have our work cut out for us and they have an active front that shows a variety of different looks that we just have to be prepared for. We are going to have to do our homework this week.”

Q: Are you getting more and more confident that everyone is going to be where they are supposed to be on the offensive side of the football?

CASSEL: “Absolutely. I think every week we get to spend out there on the field and have days of practice and then go in on game day and execute, I think my confidence grows, I think the receivers confidence grows and we are also getting a chance to work on it in the game and see it against different coverages. I think that anytime you can get those repetitions and see that we are having success and know where you want to go with the ball it raises your confidence level and I think your play gets better, as well.”

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