New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel addresses the media during his locker room interview at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, October 2, 2008.
Q: What do you see out of San Francisco's defense?
MC: They are a very experienced defense especially in the secondary with [Nate] Clements, [Walt] Harris, [Michael] Lewis and [Mark] Roman. They are all very experienced. They have a lot of team speed on defense. [Patrick] Willis definitely adds to that and Takeo Spikes. They are a physical group with a lot of experience.
Q: How much did the bye week benefit you with getting more comfortable with the offense?
MC: It's good anytime you can get out there and work on things that maybe you are a little bit deficient in and also build on those things you have done well on. It is always good to have that week and we were able to utilize it.
Q: After seeing the New Orleans Saints have success passing the ball against the San Francisco 49ers, do you think you will be able to throw some deep passes against them?
MC: We hope so. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to do so but you never know going into a game. You never know from week to week how one team is going to attack you versus another team. We are going in with the game plan that we have and hopefully we will get some opportunities.
Q: Do you feel you need to get wide receiver Randy Moss more involved in the offense?
MC: You would always like to get Randy [Moss] involved. I don't really have much to do with that other then the fact that I go through my reads and I let the coaches game plan and do the things to get Randy the ball.
Q: What are you doing to build chemistry with wide receiver Randy Moss?
MC: Just continue to work hard. It will happen. We are growing together and our chemistry is growing together. We will be fine.
Q: How important is it to have all of your running backs, back this week?
MC: It is great with Laurence [Maroney] back. The running backs have done a great job all year. They continue to do that and they give us a big lift. It is great to have Laurence back this week and it will continue to help us on offense.
Q: Do you always look to establish the running game first?
MC: You are going to have to ask coach on that one. I don't call the plays.
Q: What kind of versatility does having all the running backs give you?
MC: It just gives us one or two more weapons when you get out there. Whether it be running the ball or throwing the ball, all those guys are capable of doing both.
Q: Is there a temptation to just throw the ball up whenever throwing wide receiver Randy Moss the ball because he has the capability to make plays on his own?
MC: No, not as a young quarterback. You have to go through your reads and you have to make smart decisions because if you start forcing it in to double coverage you will get into bad habits and that is when bad plays happen. As much as you would like to get the ball to him [Randy Moss] as much as possible, you still have to be smart with the football especially as a guy in there trying to make the right decisions with the ball.
Q: What type of things have you guys been working on to improve in the last week?
MC: I don't really want to go into specifics but we have been working on a number of different things. I personally have been in the film room a lot and working on mechanic things. We are continuing to grow, build and get better.
Q: How much do you look forward to getting more games and experience under your belt?
MC: I always look forward to playing. We come in here and we work so hard during the week and throughout the off-season to get out there on Sundays and play. The more I get out there and the more experience I get the more comfortable I will become.
Q: How much team bonding do you think will take place on this trip to the West Coast?
MC: Team bonding? I don't know if we are going to get in a circle and sing 'Kumbaya' or anything like that. We are going out there and we are going to play football. That is what we are here to do and hopefully we will build a lot of chemistry on the way.
Q: Being a California native [Northridge, Calif.] how much do you look forward to the trip there?
MC: I am looking forward to it but for us it's a business trip. I don't think I am really going to get to experience the California scene or spend as much time with my family as I would like to.
Q: How different is it now with the spotlight on you as the starting quarterback?
MC: It is a lot different especially in this regard [media attention] and then when you go out in practice you have to have a different level of focus because everyday you have to go out and be on top of it 100 percent. The team now relies on you to be the guy that leads them into good situations.
Q: What kind of pressure comes with that?
MC: As much as you put on yourself. You prepare and hopefully you take the pressure off of yourself by the preparation you have.
Q: Do you feel you haven't been able to build chemistry with Benjamin Watson with him being limited by injury?
MC: I wouldn't say you lose chemistry with anybody - you build chemistry. For me, I drop back and if somebody is open I am going to throw him the ball. That is really what it is. You can work on routes all day in practice but in the game what it comes down to is if somebody is open or not. You kind of go through your progressions and go through it that way.
Q: Wide receiver Randy Moss said yesterday that he has seen you develop over the past two games. What do you think you have improved on?
MC: I have developed a lot in a number of different areas. Most of it I think is feeling the game speed, continuing to see different looks and continuing to feel how different teams are going to attack you. From there, you build on that and really start to study how those teams are attacking you, where you need to go with the ball and how to improve.
Q: How do you feel your confidence is building so far?
MC: I believe in myself. I have never really had a lack of confidence. It is just getting out there and performing with those guys. I am a strong believer in 'I wouldn't be in this position if the coaches and everybody else didn't have confidence in me as well.' That gives me a big boost.