this occurred after session one of OTAs
Q: Talk about Coach Haley’s approach with the players this off-season?
MATT CASSEL: “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.”
Q: What is the biggest challenge of coming in here and trying to figure out where this team is at?
CASSEL: “That is why we are out here right now. We are trying to figure out what we have. We have to build on our strengths and work on our weaknesses and try and get better each and every day. We will get to where we need to be.”
Q: How important are these voluntary workouts?
CASSEL: “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.”
Q: Are the practices similar to what you did in New England?
CASSEL: “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.”
Q: Do you feel like this is your football team yet?
CASSEL: “I am going in with that mentality that I am the starter. I go out there with that mentality each and every day that opening day I will be the starter and we will be ready to rock and roll.”
Q: Is it nerve racking to be in a new place?
CASSEL: “It is new surroundings for me and all the new guys that come into this locker room, rookie and veterans included. You meet new people. It’s a new playbook, so you just dive right in and try to get a handle on it.”
Q: Was TE Tony Gonzalez someone you were looking forward to playing with?
CASSEL: “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 (Scott) 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.”
Q: Is your relationship with your teammates strengthening?
CASSEL: “That is what we are doing this time of year. We are trying to build relationships, trying to work on strengths and weaknesses and getting some of the chemistry together.”
Q: What do you have to do to get your mind ready to potentially be the starting quarterback for the Chiefs this season?
CASSEL: “It is about perseverance and overcoming adversity. One of the things I always say is, ‘expect nothing, earn everything.’ It happens a lot in the NFL. You have to step up when you get your opportunity and I was able to get an opportunity last year and I showed a lot of people I could play, including myself. I am just happy to put myself in a position where I can continue to do what I love which is play football. I am blessed and I am fortunate to have that opportunity because I believed in myself and I surrounded myself with people who believed in me. ”
Q: Does it concern you that you have not signed a long-term contract, yet?
CASSEL: “I really leave that up to my agent, Scott (Pioli) 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.”