New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Candlestick Park on Sunday, October 5, 2008.
Q: How big was the touchdown play to Randy Moss?
MC: It was an important part of the game. We were able to get on the board. It was a third-and-long situation. It was something that we had been practicing a lot during the week. We thought that we had an opportunity to do so and it got us back into the game after somewhat of a slow start with the interception.
Q: How do you feel the team executed today?
MC: It was definitely better this week. We were putting the ball into the end zone like we needed to. It helped us in the end result.
Q: How do you feel about your comfort level in the offense now?
MC: I just feel that week in and week out we continue to mature and play better. It's because of the defenses and how you kind of know where you want to go, and you build a little bit of chemistry with the players and receivers and running backs. Hopefully, it will continue to be a building block for me. I'm not saying that we're not going to stumble along the way somewhere but, at the same time as a young guy that's only in his third start, you've got to keep progressing.
Q: You're big play to Rany Moss seemed to open up the offense. Did that kind of jump start the offense?
MC: It was a big play of the game. We obviously started slow with the interception and to hit Randy down the field was something that we practiced during the week. It was a look that we got and I gave him the opportunity. He made a great catch and he did what he does best.
Q: Did it feel good to have Coach Belichick to have you out there on fourth down and not kick a field goal, knowing that he has confidence in you guys?
MC: It feels great. I'm just happy we were able to execute and make the play. It all comes down to situations. It's situational football. Whether it is third down, in the red area, or fourth down in the red area. Those are the most important parts of the game and that's what we are always talking about. That's what we're always practicing.
Q: Did you feel any change in San Francisco's defense after you made the play to Randy Moss?
MC: They played pretty much how we expected them to play all day. They pressured a little bit and then we back them off I think a little bit, but at the same time, we still saw our fair share of blitzes in the game.
Q: Did this win feel like a return to Patriots football with everything that you did today?
MC: I'd like to think so. We were able to score more points than our opponent and that's what the Patriots like to do - get out of here with a win. This is a good football team and it was a tough-fought road win and it was good to have the offense have some production today.
Q: Was it a sigh of relief when you made the connection to Randy as far as your confidence goes?
MC: I don't think it was a sigh of relief. I think we always knew we had it in us. The first few weeks, we did it against Kansas City, but we hadn't had it the previous two weeks. We got a big one today and that was great.
Q: You got sacked five times today. Did any of those hits rattle you?
MC: It's just part of the game. You're going to get hit a little bit and I'll probably have to do a better job of throwing the ball away when I can instead of trying to make some plays, but that's part of the learning process as well.
Q: If you could describe the play that you had with Randy Moss.
MC: I think it was a third-and-long situation and it was a play that we'd been practicing throughout the week. [Moss] got the leverage that we were hoping to get and Ijust threw it out there. Randy did what he does best, and that's make a big play.
Q: Were there any similarities between that play and the earlier one that you got hit and there was an interception?
MC: It was similar. On both plays, we were trying to take a shot. He did a great job on that first play. I would have loved to have seen how that would have played out if I didn't get hit, but that's how it goes.
Q: What was it like having a lot of supporters in the crowd?
MC: There's no doubt. I've had a lot of family out and my wife was able to come out. It was great to come out to California and have them all here for a game.
Q: Did you feel like you had to take more chances downfield?
MC: I hadn't heard anything. We really don't read much into that. We do what we think is best for us to win games. This week, we were able to hit a long one and that was great. We'll see about next week.
Q: Was that something that you looked more to do?
MC: Well, we always knew that we had it in us. I had a lot of belief in the coaching staff that they're going to do what's best for us and that's what they felt was the best to win this game today.
Q: Talk about the workweek coming up in California.
MC: It's business as usual. This is a professional team with a lot of veteran leaders that know how to go out and practice hard and get ready to play in football games. That's what I anticipate happening.