The Chiefs announced a major move today at quarterback that Brady Quinn would be the new starter. For Matt Cassel, it means that he will occupy a bench spot for the first time in a while. After today's practice, Cassel opened up to reporters about the changes and his frustrations with it all. Cassel once again carried himself like a team captain while still expressing hope that he will start once again.
Where did this go wrong?
Matt Cassel: I think it's a team thing. I think we all wish we could look back and would have said that we wish we had a better season up to this point. But collectively, we haven't put it all together. I was part of the problem and so were a lot of us. We've got to do a better job of playing, coaching and that's where we are right now.
There were a lot of guys that weren't playing well, but you're singled out. Do you feel that's fair? Unfair?
Am I going to say that I'm happy about this situation? Absolutely not. I'm frustrated, but at the same time, I'm a team captain on this team. I care about this team, and again, as we move forward, I'm a big boy. I'm not going to hang my head. I'm going to do what I've always done and work hard, tremendously hard. I've said this from day one, we've got a great room. My role has changed at this point. I'll support Brady Quinn and get him ready to play. That's my role as a teammate and as a captain of this team.
Did you try to make a case to Romeo?
It's the fruit of the situation at this point because he's made his decision, and again, I can complain, but at the same time it is what it is. I'll move forward and this team is going to move forward, but again, I'm going to do everything I can if my opportunity comes again.
Did Romeo give you any explanation?
He told me exactly what the situation was going to be. As a player, I'm not going to sit here and say that I was happy about it, but at the same time, we'll move forward. In this new role that I have, I'll support Brady, and I'll support the team. I'll work tremendously hard if my opportunity comes up again.
Did you see this coming?
I can't tell you that I saw this coming, but at the same time, when you're 1-5 and your team is struggling and the coach wants to find a way to spark the team, he felt like this was the best way to do it. He made that decision.
Do you expect you'll be the backup the next 10 weeks or longer?
This is the situation. Right now I am the backup. That's my role on this team. I'll embrace that role, and I'll work hard and if my opportunity comes up to play, I'll be ready to go.
What's it like to be at practice running with the twos?
Obviously, it changes the dynamics for sure. I've been in this role now for four or five years, and it will take a little time, little bit of an adjustment period. But, again, it won't change my work ethic or how I work.
Will you change anything about what you do during the week?
Obviously, practice will be different, but I'll continue to work on the little things, the details. I'll have to get more mental reps and get prepared to play in that capacity.
You're just one play away from being back out there. Is that how you have to look at it?
Absolutely. You're not going to take the fight out of me, so I'm going to continue to fight, compete in whatever capacity that is. Again, if that opportunity comes up again, I'll be ready.