09-20-2008, 12:29 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
| | Joey Porter: 'we're comin after you Cassel' --- Cassel: 'bring it on, beyatches..'
| Cassel said that is just fine with him. |
He will be prepared for it.
He has been preparing for this opportunity to be a starting NFL quarterback for a long time now.
Cassel has been efficient since taking over for the injured Tom Brady, completing 29 of 41 passes for 317 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions for a 101.4 passer rating.
“I thought he responded favorably two weeks ago when he went into the game against Kansas City,” Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “He reacted well last week. Obviously, he knew last week that he was going to be playing a whole lot, so he had a good week of practice. He went out there and gained some valuable experience in a game-type situation. I think he is getting more comfortable with that.
“I think every situation that comes up in a game you can’t really prepare for in practice. The more he does those things, the more he will be comfortable with them when they come up in the future. So far, I think he has done a good job. We have to continue to push him in practice so he can improve.”
Cassel has confidence in himself and his teammates have confidence in him, so he isn’t worried about Porter boasting that the Dolphins are going to go after him tomorrow.
“Every team tends to bring pressure, and that’s just part of defenses,” Cassel said. “We’re going to face a lot of teams that bring a lot of pressure, and that’s just part of the game. You have to be able to deal with it if you want to win football games.”
McDaniels said Cassel is as tough as they come, so he isn’t worried about the QB being intimidated by Porter’s statement and the Dolphins’ defense.
“He is a tough kid, and he has always been tough since he has been here,” McDaniels said. “He has been banged around in the preseason before and dealt with little nagging injuries like all the players do. His toughness is something that no one would question. That is what you hope for from a guy leading the huddle.”
Cassel showed his toughness last weekend when, with 2:12 remaining in the first half, he injured his right knee on a hit by Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas on an incomplete pass intended for Wes Welker. But he fought through the pain and never left the game.
“He’s a wonderful young man,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. “He comes from a great family. I’ve had a chance to know him the last four years; he’s always prepared well, he has a great attitude. He reminds me of [Brady] when he was playing and Drew (Bledsoe) was here.
“As nice as he is, he has a bit of an edge . . . I happened to watch a practice, and one of the defensive players (shoved him) and he showed some moxie. We have a solid guy there.”
Cassel’s timing with his receivers is getting better, he said, and as much as he would like to get Randy Moss the ball, he added that he is not going to force anything.
“You always want to get the ball to Randy,” Cassel said. “He’s one of the best receivers in the NFL, and we’re going to work hard to do that. He’s a great player, and if I could, I would throw the ball to him every time. Wes Welker might get a little upset, but you just have to continue to work, and when they give you your opportunities you have to hit them.”
Moss, who has eight catches for 138 yards and a touchdown this season, has been double-teamed a lot, but when he gets one-on-one coverage, Cassel said he will look for him.
“What Randy does well, we are going to try to continue to get him to do,” McDaniels said. “Matt has been throwing to Randy now for over a year, also. Matt can make the throws that we need him to make to all the receivers. He has a strong arm and throws an accurate ball. He throws a catchable ball. I don’t think we are going to change what we are going to do with those guys.
“Those guys are going to run the things that we feel most comfortable with them running. Things that they have had success with in the past and that we feel are good things to do this week and going forward. Matt has to make those throws.”
Cassel will try to make it two in a row as a starter by “managing” the game against a Dolphins team that ranks 30th in pass defense, having allowed 272.5 yards, and 25th in points allowed (25.5 per game).
Cassel said his work ethic and dedication to being prepared is what has helped him be successful over the last two weeks.
“You never want to see anybody go down with an injury, especially Tom, a guy that’s a friend of mine, but unfortunately it’s part of this game and so you just have to try to fulfill that role when your opportunity comes about,” Cassel said.