Training Camp Q&A: Matt Cassel 8/2


Before the Chiefs second day of training camp practices, Matt Cassel met with the media.  Here are the highlights:

On the first day of practice yesterday:

“The first day was great.  We got out there and it was good to be back out there on the field playing football.   It was very competitive; we had some very competitive periods. We are just getting back into the swing of things.”

On Todd Haley saying he has to tell Cassel to shut up sometimes because he talks so much:

“There is no doubt.  I am one of those people who is not very patient, so I try to get out there and get into his ear as much as I can with any input that I can give him.  If he needs to tell me to shut up sometimes but that is fine, I just need to keep coming at him.”

Is that part of being a leader?

“Probably a little bit more-so than it has in the past. It is definitely a different role when you are a started and you feel like you have seen a few things.  Maybe you want something installed and you are just talking.  That is just the relationship that I have with Coach Haley.”

On his new long-term contract:

“I am honored and humbled by the commitment that they have made to me.  Obviously I am excited to be here for the long term and it is a commitment by me to the Chiefs organization, the community and I am happy to have it.  I got that out of the way and now I can concentrate on football.”

If it was a distraction getting the contract done:

“It definitely was because throughout the entire off-season you have to deal with whether it is going to be a one-year deal, a long-term deal and now to have that all behind me and my family, we can move forward and I can concentrate on football.  That is what I am here to do.”

And the pressure that comes with it:

“No, there is no pressure that comes with the contract.  The pressure is put on you each and every week that you play this game.  Every week you have different pressures that come with what team you are going to play and what defense.  Contract is not the pressure, it is the weekly preparation and getting your team ready to win ball games.”

The chemistry with Dwayne Bowe:

“It is going well for the first day.  So far so good.  He is working really hard out there and he is running some really good routes.  We have more time to work on some more things and it’s a process like anything else.  We are going to continue to make sure the process builds and hopefully by the time we get out there and start games we will be ready to roll.”

Len Dawson: “What would you pay to wear No. 16?

“Give me a number.  That 16 jersey is special.  It is in retirement for a reason.  You have obviously done such great things in your career so I’m not touching that jersey.  There is too much that goes along with it.  Big, big shoes to fill if you wear that.”

Is there enough talent around you?

“There is no doubt.  We have great players at each and every position that can compete and can play.  It is not going to be about that, it is going to be about whether we can execute the plays that we are given and mesh as a team.  We’ve got the players, we’ve got the offensive line, the receivers, the tight ends, the running backs, we have everybody that we need to have to win ball games in this league.  Now it is about going out and executing, finishing games in the fourth quarter and doing what we need to do because we can be a very good team.  It is up to us whether or not we are going to make it happen.”

On his relationship with Larry Johnson:

“We are starting to develop a relationship and build on that relationship.  I have a lot of respect for him as a player.   I didn’t know much about him as a person but since I have been here I really appreciate the fact that he has welcomed me with open arms and been such a good guy.  To watch him work, I have a tremendous respect for how he works and how he comes in prepared each and every day.”

How about Len Dawson with the best Q&A moment in years?!  The only thing that would have made that back-and-forth better is if they would have agreed on a number for Cassel to change from 7 to 16.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It is going to be a ton of fun hearing Dawson analyze Cassel’s development from the booth this season.

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