Q&A with Matt Cassel 12/15

Posted Dec 15, 2010

OPENING STATEMENT: “First let me start by saying I really missed all of you guys. It was tough for me to not be in here last week (laughing). It is great to be back out there with the team and my teammates, being out there at practice and doing what I love to do. I know that we have a big week this week with the Rams and it is a big game for us; there is no doubt about it. It starts with this one and hopefully we can get back on track and get going in the right direction.”


Q: Are you going to play on Sunday?

CASSEL: “I think right now we are day to day. The medical staff, the trainers and the coaches will discuss it and we will proceed with caution and see where I am at.”

Q: What is the challenge? Is it pain threshold? Range of motion?

CASSEL: “I think medically there are a number of different issues that come up with a procedure like this. But in terms of how I feel, I think if I can go out there and I can do everything that I want to do without any discomfort, without any pain, then I am going to go out and play.”

Q: How does it feel?

CASSEL: “It feels good. It gets better each and every day and hopefully it will continue to make progress and get better as we move forward this week.”

Q: Are you able to do everything that you were able to do before your appendix removed?

CASSEL: “I think it is a pretty useless organ from what they tell me. I don’t know if it has much purpose, but I feel like a new man with it out of there.”

Q: What percent do you think you are at?

CASSEL: “It is hard to say. I feel good and like I said I am getting better each and every day.”

Q: It seemed like you were taking it easy out there a little bit. Do you feel like you need to take it easy a little bit?

CASSEL: “Anytime you can get out of stretch, I take every opportunity to do that (laughing). I think there will be activities that I precede with caution throughout the course of the week.”

Q: What percent of the snaps would you say that you took today?

CASSEL: “I took a lot of snaps during practice today. I was slightly limited in some drills, but overall we went out there and practiced and had a good one.”

Q: When did you know that there was something wrong?

CASSEL: “It really started the night before, Tuesday night. There was a little bit of pain in there and then it started to get worse and worse as the night went on. I told Dave Price, our trainer, and he was able to contact the doctor, they did a quick examination, we went in and they said we need to go in because they thought it was appendicitis. They did all the tests and stuff and decided they needed to go in and take it out.”

Q: Did you expect that it was appendicitis?

CASSEL: “Not at all. I really didn’t know what an appendix was until they told me. I was just going to come in and take some Pepto Bismal and get ready to roll. Unfortunately it was a little more severe than that.”

Q: What is the pain like when you are outside of football? Do you feel anything?

CASSEL: “It’s fine.”

Q: How tough was it sitting at home on Sunday?

CASSEL: “I watched the game and it is always tough not being out there with your teammates when your team is playing. Being a competitor you always want to be out there so it is always a difficult situation when you are not able to do it because of medical reasons.”

Q: Does it take some time to get back in the grove because you missed the game?

CASSEL: “Maybe a little bit physically. Not so much mentally in just the short time that I was off. You don’t really skip a beat, we are kind of in a rhythm at this point in the year.”

Q: Did you want to make that trip to San Diego?

CASSEL: “It was a decision that the medical staff and the coaches made and they made that decision for me. They just told me that was what they decided to do and I disagreed with what they had said.”

Q: Could you of played last week?

CASSEL: “I don’t know. That is a tough question. It really wasn’t up to me, it went back to the doctors and our medical staff. Sometimes they have to guard you against yourself.”

Q: So it was better that it was not up to you?

CASSEL: “Pretty much, yeah.”

Q: What did they tell you about possibly taking a hit in that area? Is that one of the concerns going forward?

CASSEL: “I don’t really know. I think right now it is about how I feel and how the week progresses and also how the coaches evaluate me during the week and make the decision whether or not I can do what I have normally done and if I can make the throws and play to the best of my ability.”

Q: Considering it is a pain threshold issue, how tempted are you to just keep quiet and tell everyone you are feeling well?

CASSEL: “Well, I am pretty open about it. I am going to be honest. If I can play and I can go then I am going to go.”

Q: Is the magnitude of the game playing a factor in your mind?

CASSEL: “I think it could have been Week 1, Week 2 or Week 3 and I still would have had the same mindset that I want to be back as soon as possible and playing. Someone once told me, which I agree, you never want to see someone else doing your job and the mentality as always is to get back as soon as I can.”

Q: Does it feel like you are coming back to a playoff atmosphere?

CASSEL: “I think it has been that way for awhile around here. We are in a tight division race and we know it. We know that the games continue to get bigger and bigger and it starts with the Rams. They are a good team; they have played well throughout the course of the year and been in some tight ball games that they lost. They have a challenging defense, a very good scheme and we have our work cut out for us this week.”

Q: Will you be wearing some sort of protection?

CASSEL: “I don’t really know. I think that is a decision that as we proceed forward in the week we will have a discussion with the equipment managers and medical staff and they will make that decision.”

Q: Will it be something you want to practice wearing?

CASSEL: “Probably. If they recommend that then it is something that we will definitely try to use during practice so I can get a feel for it.”

Q: Do you guys do anything like Rex Ryan mentioned after a tough loss? Like bury a football or burn a tape?

CASSEL: “Not that I know of. I am sure Coach Haley has a voodoo set or something going on up there, but not that I know of right now.”

Q: Did you watch the whole game on Sunday?

CASSEL: “I did, I watched the whole game.”

Q: Did you notice coming into the locker room a change in the mindset of this team?

CASSEL: “No, we have been through this before as a team. We have had a few tough losses and the great part about this team this year is our mentality to bounce back and I think that this is another opportunity for us to do it. It starts with the veteran leaders on the team and getting back to basics and playing good football.”

Q: Do you think it is easy for this offense to move on because of the fact that you were not there?

CASSEL: “I don’t know. I wasn’t there so I don’t know what the mindset was but I know that we are going to do everything in our power to put a good performance up this week.”

Q: Was there any blood or irritation as you pulled your pads off today?


Q: Can you give us a percentage of the chance you will play?

CASSEL: “Hopefully 99.999 percent (joking). No, I don’t really know. I can’t give you a percentage. It goes back to the whole evolution process by a number of different people that will decide that.”

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