Q&A: Matt Cassel On First Day Of OTAs

The Kansas City Chiefs had their first OTAs under new coach Todd Haley today, following the session quarterback Matt Cassel met with the media.  Here are the highlights:

On Haley’s approach with the players:

“He is coming out with great enthusiasm and he is getting after us. That is what we need right now. He is pushing everybody to be the best that they can be and he is coming out with an attitude. He is trying to get everyone to come out with an attitude and expect to win and play hard for 60 minutes.”

And the importance of voluntary workouts:

“It’s huge for us and its huge for this team. We have had great attendance up to this point. If we can continue to build on that and continue to have guys buy in, it just helps us in the long run.”

On these practices being similar to those in New England:

“It feels familiar, but at the same time I think it is a combination of both. The format is very similar. I don’t know how all teams work in terms of OTAs and practice this time of year, but they are all very similar I can imagine. We are out there and Coach Haley is doing it his way and he is working really hard to get this team to buy in and have an attitude when we go on the field.”

If he was looking forward to playing with Tony Gonzalez:

“Tony is a great player, one of the best tight ends to ever play the game. He is a guy that I have a tremendous respect for. I am sure he is going to go in and help Atlanta. I don’t make the decisions around here. Coach Haley and Pioli decided to go a different direction and I put my trust in them. We are going to move on. We will be successful if we just keep working.”

Any concern that a long-term contract has not been reached:

“I really leave that up to my agent, Scott and everybody else that handles that type of thing. For me it is just really about coming in here, learning the playbook and getting better each and every day and concentrating on football. I think the rest of it takes care of itself.”

It almost seems Cassel is speaking for all Chiefs fans when he says he’s putting his trust in Haley and Pioli.  No one wanted to see Tony Gonzalez traded — not the starting quarterback or fans — but the new regime has a plan and we are all hoping their plan is going to work out.  And when he gives the standard answer regarding his contract, what he really means is: “I’m getting $14 million dollars even if I don’t sign a new deal, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be OK.”

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