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Matt Cassel Conference Call Transcript

New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel addresses the New York media during his conference call on Tuesday, November 11, 2008.

On what defensive changes has he seen from the Jets since Week 2...
There are not a lot of changes systematically. There're just playing very well right now. They're playing with a lot of aggression and energy. They've been very opportunistic. They continue to get turnover opportunities because they make those turnover opportunities. (They have) nine interceptions and nine fumble recoveries on the season, and four of them have been returned for touchdowns.

On how his play has changed over the weeks...
You continue to get more comfortable with the guys that you're playing with. You continue to understand, just from playing and getting used to that game speed that you're never really ever prepared for until you get out there and start to play.

On whether he will be a free agent after the season...
Yes I will.

On becoming a starter prior to being a free agent...
All you can ask for in this game is an opportunity. The fact that I got the opportunity is definitely a blessing. Unfortunately it came at the expense of the MVP (Tom Brady) of last season. Nobody ever wants to see that happen to such a great guy who's a close friend of yours. At the same time, it does happen in this game because it's a violent game. I feel very blessed and lucky to have the opportunity to get out there and play. That's all you can ask for as a young guy trying to make it in this league.

On whether there are passes he would trust himself to make now that he would not have in Week 2...
As you go forward in the season you start to learn more about your team. You learn more about your offense. Collectively, as group, we're playing better now than what we did earlier in the season. We just have to continue to grow and work on those things that we have to make improvements and build on those things that we've done well.

On why the Patriots are good plugging guys in and still having success...
Coach (Bill) Belichick and the rest of the coaching staff does a great job week-in and week-out getting us prepared. I truly believe that everybody is as prepared as we can be going into that game because the coaching staff works so hard. They are diligent in what they do. They prepare us at all cost to be ready come game time.

On how he feels about the running game...
We just have to continue to push forward. We've had some outstanding production from Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Those guys have stepped in and filled that role. We've definitely had some injuries at that position, but guys are stepping up. That's all you can ask for. When you get an opportunity to step up and try to continue to work hard and get that done.

On his chemistry with WR Randy Moss...
We're getting better as an offense and that's all I can ask for. With Randy, you always want to get him the ball as much as you can. There are a lot of guys getting opened right now. Wes (Welker) is doing a great job. Jabar (Gaffney) is doing a great job. Sam Aiken had a few catches last week. You just have to continue to distribute the ball based on your read.

On whether he is getting more confident running the offense...
I've always been confident in what I'm doing out there. We continue to expand on the offense. When I first got in there we took it a little slow week-in and week-out as the game plan changes. There is definitely more of a comfort level. You grow into the role and you understand what your leadership role is and how you want to go and attack different defenses. You get a better understanding for what your output needs to be week-in and week-out.

On how he stayed prepared being a backup quarterback...
Everyday that I go out there I draw off of something that Tom (Brady) has taught me through the last three years of playing with him, this is my fourth. He is such a great leader and the way that he works. His work ethic speaks for itself. Obviously his performance speaks for itself. I try to come in as a young guy and try to emulate everything he did. Some of that has rubbed off. There are characteristics of my game that are different from his. I am still growing as a quarterback and maturing. There are things that I take away from him all the time. I still talk to him all the time about things that he would have seen or done that I did differently in the game, that I can change and get better at.

On preparing for a short week...
You go out and approach the game. It's a short week. You have to cram. It's like cramming for a little midterm. You try to get the game plan in and get it ready. Then you have to go out there and perform on short notice. We'll be ready to go. Right now it's all about getting the game plan down.

On how is Brady...
He's in great spirits. He's just healing and getting better. I don't know what his status is right now or what his plans are, but every time I talk to him he seems in good spirits.

On whether Brady is still watching film...
I believe he is more into the rehab aspect of it and trying to get better.

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