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Transcript: Matt Cassel Conference Call

Q: We just talked to your coach and he talked about how you had taken pretty much all the reps in training camp and in the preseason. How much did that help you when your number was called here several weeks ago?

MC:It helped tremendously. I felt more prepared going into this season than I have in many of the past seasons just because of that reason that Tommy [Brady] was out most of that training camp with the foot, so it gave me an opportunity to get a few more reps here and there.

Q: What about the bye week with that same line of thinking. Did the bye week come for you at a good time for you as far as being able to go back, address errors and things like that for the rest of the season?

MC:Yeah, there is no doubt. The bye week was a good week to go in and re-evaluate where we were as a team, not only myself, but also offensively and I'm sure defensively and special teams and kind of just regroup. Work on those things we need to work on and build on those things that we've done well.

Q: Matt, what kind of things did you work on in the bye week? I'm not asking for specifics, but general things that you felt you needed to improve?

MC:Well, you go back over and you see little things here and there whether it be positioning on a ball or how you throw a certain route or even mechanic wise and also just the read, different types of reads in certain kinds of reads or certain coverages that you get.

Q: Three games in, how much more capable or comfortable do you feel as opposed to when you started the regular season?

MC:I mean I felt good going into the regular season. When my number was called on, I was pretty confident on knowing the system and having a good idea of what we wanted to get done. As we move on, I think we mature each and every week and get a little bit better and hopefully that will continue.

Q: Is there something to be said, just sitting back and watching, over the course of many years that makes you better prepared when you get your chance?

MC:There are pluses and minuses to both. I think that for a lot of young quarterbacks, sometimes it's difficult to get thrown into the fire quickly because from my experience, either you learn how to be a professional from the veteran players. Especially, with a guy like Tom [Brady] who you learn from and get a guy to mentor you and kind of show you how to be a professional and how to work and how to do it on and off the field. I think that was very important for me and my growth as a quarterback. But at the same time when you do get the playing time, then obviously there is something to be said about being out there and learning under fire, getting the experience, seeing the looks and being in there against game speed.

Q: Curious what do you remember about J.T. O'Sullivan when he was there. How much interaction did you have with him?

MC:I had a good relationship with him the brief time that he was here. He was a great guy. He worked really hard and you talk about a guy who has been through some ups and downs, I couldn't be happier for him. I thought he was a great player when he was here and to see him have the success that he's had now, becoming a starter in the NFL, I thought it was very deserving and I'm just really happy for him.

Q: Have you ever been on a team that has spent a week on either coast between games?

MC:I have in college before. I have yet to do that in the NFL.

Q: What is the game plan going to be for you on the west coast? Will you spend that week in Southern California or Northern California?

MC:I don't think we've got the breakdown of the itinerary yet. I think it is going to be completely normal for us. I know that almost all West Coast trips we'll leave on a Friday. I think that's what we are doing right now, but I don't know exactly so nothing really changes for us at all this week and as we go into next week, we'll worry about that then.

Q: Do you practice later in the day to sort of compensate for the time difference?

MC:No, nothing changes. We are on normal schedule and like I said, it's just back to a normal routine this week.

Q: I bet you noted with interest the success that Drew Brees had against the 49ers last week despite a veteran secondary. Is that something you feel you can take advantage of or what was your impression seeing Brees put up all those numbers against the 49ers?

MC:I thought Drew did a good job. He's a great quarterback and you never know what is going to happen out there. You just kind of have to react. While he hit a bunch of long passes, that doesn't mean we are going to. You are going to have to work for every yard against a very experienced defense with [Walt] Harris, [Nate] Clements and [Michael] Lewis and [Mark] Roman and these guys are all experienced guys that have been in the league a long time, so we've got our work cut out for us and we just have to get after it this week in practice and be prepared come game time.

Q: Getting [Laurence] Maroney back, how much does that mean to your guys offense?

MC:Maroney is a huge lift anytime you can have him. We feel great and he'll definitely help us out. The same thing with all the running backs, they've done a great job this season. Hopefully we will continue to do so.

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