Following Chiefs practice today, Matt Cassel met with the media. Here are the highlights:
On Lance Long:
“He works tremendously hard. He’s out there every single day, he stays after practice and he gives 110 percent. He’s always working on something and he’s coachable and he’s extremely tough. There’s not a lot that you don’t like about him.”
Do you appreciate that he’s taken kind of an unusual route, he has a different story?
“There’s no doubt. Lance has had to work for everything he’s got. Through his hard work it’s paid off and now he’s playing and he’s doing a great job for us. I definitely appreciate that coming from the background that I did, and the more you’re in the NFL, the more you meet people on a daily basis that have an amazing story on how they got here and he’s definitely one of them.”
On Dwayne Bowe not being around:
“It gives these other guys an opportunity to step up. Unfortunately, we’d love to have Dwayne here, but he’s not going to be here the next four weeks. These guys have been working hard all year and it just gives them another opportunity to step up and show that they can make plays and help this offense.”
On the Pittsburgh defense:
“I think that they have a lot of veteran players on that team that have played together for a long period of time and I think they all know the scheme, they’re very sound in what they do, their coverages – they all know where they’re supposed to go. Their spot-drops are perfect. It’s consistently a great defense year-in and year-out because of a number of reasons, not only because of the players that they have, but they know how to play within that system.”
Do you have to force them to loosen up a little bit on the line of scrimmage and to open up some running lanes?
“You’ve got to try to run the ball on them. You can’t be one-dimensional against a team like this because you become one-dimensional and they’ll kill you. So we have to have a balanced attack and we also have to capitalize on the big plays when they give us opportunities because they’re not going to give us many, but when they do, we have to try to make some.”
You saw this defense last year (with New England), what was your reaction when that game was over? How do you work your way through it with all they do it, and then they throw new stuff at you, is it all mental?
“As a QB, this is definitely one of the toughest teams that you have to prepare for because of all the looks and the different personnel groups. You really just have to hone in and concentrate and everybody has to be on their game in order to beat this team. From an offensive standpoint you have to make big plays, like I said, you have to be able to take advantage of those opportunities.”
On Jamaal Charles:
“He does such a great job when he gets the ball in his hands about making plays and making that one guy miss. Like you saw on that sweep pass, he has that big-play ability where makes one guy miss and now he can go the distance. That’s something that we’re excited about.”