New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel addresses the media during his locker room interview on Thursday, October 23, 2008.
Q: Are you going to display your AFC Player of the Week award proudly on your mantle?
MC: I guess so.
Q: Do you feel like the game against the Denver Broncos was one of your better games?
MC: It was a good game. We won so I was excited about that.
Q: How will you be able to build off the success you had in that game?
MC: Hopefully, we can build off that game [vs. Denver Broncos]. Obviously, we were able to do a lot of things well. Offensively, we ran the ball well and our offensive line did a great job. We were able to execute and put a lot of points on the board. That is what you want to do week in and week out.
Q: How much did it help having so much success with the running game?
MC: Anytime we can get the running game going it is a plus for me and it makes my job a lot easier. It sets up so many other dimensions of the game plan. To be able to go run the ball consistently like we did is always a big boost.
Q: How helpful is it as a quarterback to have wide receivers like Randy Moss and Wes Welker who have the ability to gain a lot of yards after the catch?
MC: There is no doubt. When you can get the ball in those guys hands they are great athletes. That is what they are here to do - make plays and break tackles. Anytime you can get the ball in the receiver's hands with some space, you let their natural abilities take over.
Q: What was your reaction to being named AFC Offensive Player of the Week?
MC: I didn't even know until yesterday. Somebody told me and I was completely shocked to be completely honest. I really think it comes down to that the team played really well. It says a lot about us getting the running game going and the offensive line [playing well]. This game definitely comes down to 11 people playing together and I think that is really what it is [about]. It's more for the offensive side of the ball than anything else.
Q: Is that just the nature of the quarterback position? One week people are calling for you to be replaced and the next week you win AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
MC: That is part of it I guess. You have to take the good with the bad. As the quarterback, they are always looking at you, whether it is good or bad. This week, it obviously turned out on the plus side. Hopefully, we will continue that.
Q: What do you see out of the St. Louis Rams?
MC: They are playing great football right now. We are on a short week and we have done the best of our ability to catch up. They are a good team and we are preparing hard and getting ready.
Q: What do you see out of their defense?
MC: They have a great front four with [Leonard] Little and [Chris] Long. They have active linebackers with [Will] Witherspoon and [Chris] Draft. [Corey] Chavous is obviously an experienced safety. Their secondary is playing really well and their scheme has been really effective the last few weeks, and throughout the season really. We have our work cut out for us. We just have to prepare to the best of our ability.
Q: Are you still getting advice from quarterback Tom Brady?
MC: I talk to Tom [Brady] usually once or twice a week. I always lean on him for advice and he is always there for me.
Q: Is [Tom Brady] frustrated with how his knee rehab is going?
MC: We don't really talk about his injury situation much to be completely honest. It's more football-oriented. In terms of injuries or things like that, I think you'd probably be best suited if you went to him about that.
Q: What are some of the things Brady has said to you?
MC: He said, 'Just be yourself, don't try to do too much. Don't take the weight of the world on your shoulders. Just try to go out there and execute the offense and move forward and you'll get better week by week.'
Q: How difficult is it to take one positive performance, like the one you had last week, and translate it into another positive performance this week?
MC: From one week to the next, everything changes from who you're playing to the defense's scheme. You just try to build on the things that you did well and correct the things that you did poorly in the game; then, move forward from there and hopefully continue to get better and better and better as you move forward.
Q: Is there one particular area that you're really locked in on trying to get better at?
MC: There are a number of different areas. I don't really want to go into specifics, but there are constantly things that you have to work on. As long as anybody plays this game, you never master it because there are so many things that are always changing.
Q: There have been reports that Tom [Brady] had additional surgeries on his knee. What's your reaction to that?
MC: I really don't know. Like I said, the status of Tom [Brady] from an injury standpoint, all I know is that when I talked to him he's in high spirits and he sounds good and he says that he's recovering well.
Q: What can you guys do to try and limit the number of sacks going forward?
MC: From a quarterback standpoint, I need to do a better job of throwing the ball away when I need to. There are times when I'm trying to let the play develop downfield. If I'm standing in there too long, I just need to learn when that time clock goes off and just throw it away. That's an area that I can help the offensive line out with. Obviously, a lot of those sacks aren't on them; they're on me. Whether I'm trying to scramble around and make a play, or do something like that, that's something that I'm getting a little bit more used to as I go forward, knowing that the sometimes the defense is going to have the right play called against us and I just have to throw the ball away, and take the loss, and go from there.
Q: Tom [Brady] would often talk about moving around in the pocket. Is that something you are still getting accustomed to?
MC: You always try to work on little things. I think moving around in the pocket is something that your comfort level continues to grow. You want to be able to move and make plays happen.
Q: Is that an impossible thing to work on in practice?
MC: Not really. We constantly work on moving in the pocket and moving around …
Q: I'm talking more about the internal clock, knowing when to get rid of the ball.
MC: That's a little bit more difficult because you don't have that constant pressure of the rush coming at you. When the game speed kicks in, and you feel those guys, and you start to move around, that's really where you start to learn and feel it. Hopefully, we continue to grow in that area.
Q: Has running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis been working with the offense a little more this week?
MC: He's been working with the offense the last few weeks. He's a good player and, hopefully, he'll continue to build on his performance and go from there.