Q&A: Matt Cassel On Mandatory Mini-Camp

On mini-camp to this point:

“It’s going well.  We’re out there on the field playing football and we’re trying to get better each and every day.  We’ve got the whole team out here in attendance.  So, it’s good to see everybody back.  It’s good to have (LB) (Mike) Vrabel here and (G) Brian Waters.  And it’s good.  We’re building chemistry, we’re building rapport.  And, everybody’s working hard and that’s the main thing you want to see.”

If the Chiefs are starting to work like a well-oiled machine:

“I think so.  We’ve had great attendance this whole off-season, especially during the workout program.  Guys have taken great pride in getting after their workout, being there each and every day, giving 110 percent, doing their running and it’s paid off.  We’re losing weight, we’re getting faster, we’re getting in shape and it’s just given us a better opportunity to do our job when we get out there on the field.”

If he expects to be the starting quarterback:

“I do.  I go out there each and every day with that focus that I’m the starter.  And like I said, competition brings out the best in everybody.  There are other quarterbacks here and they’re competing as well and they should.  They should come at me as hard as they can and I should come at them and that’s going to make us all better.”

On his desire to have a long-term contract done before the season:

“There’s no doubt.  You always love the fact that you have some stability and this, to me, isn’t a one-year deal.  I want to come here and I want to build this team and work toward the common goal of getting better and making playoffs and winning championships.  That’s what we strive to do in this.  I’m looking about going out there and competing to the best of my ability but I think the fact of the matter is all that stuff all takes care of itself once it’s said and done.”

If this is his best chance he’s ever had in his career to win a job:

“Are you kidding me? Against Brady last year? They totally gave me a shot. They were like ‘it was me – Brady,’ juggling it (laughs).”

His thoughts on locker-neighbor Mike Vrabel:

“Oh, Mike’s one of the best.  I’ve got a lot of respect for him, obviously, as a player.  But, not only that, he’s a great leader, he’s a great friend.  It’s great to have him here and he’s got a presence about himself and not only that, but a lot of people don’t understand how smart Mike is.  He brings a lot to the table in terms of going out and being able to run the defense, get you in the right calls and do that.  So, I’m really excited to see him out here and the banter is definitely starting to pick up because Mike can talk.  In practice, games, you name it, you know Mike Vrabel is on the field, that’s for sure.”

If he plans to make Kansas City his home now or wait for a long-term contract:

“My wife and I are settled here.  I love Kansas City, the people have been wonderful.  A lot of people were telling me it’s a real small town and I was like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.  They’ve got great places to eat and everything,’ so it’s been great.”

Good to hear him continue to talk and act like this team’s starting quarterback.  As I said earlier, it’s nice for Todd Haley to talk about open competition, but it’s pretty clear there is nothing open about the quarterback position.  He also did a great job side stepping the question about making his home in Kansas City.  Compliment the city top to bottom, but stay non-commital when it comes to settling down long term.  The proof will be in the pudding, but early on you have to like what Matt Cassel has brought to the table.

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