Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel talked with Soren Petro on 810 WHB's The Program Monday morning and because the San Diego Chargers loss came in the late game we hadn't heard from him since the Chiefs clinched the AFC West title.
I'm sure 810 will podcast it but here are a few highlights from the 12-and-a-half-minute interview.
"I kept close updates and kept hearing close updates on the Chargers game. I wasn't able to watch it. When it came down to those last seconds ticked off there were quite a lot of happy people screaming and yelling in my household last night." Todd Haley said he had some family in town and his kids were "going crazy" as well when the Chargers game became final. It's too bad the Chargers game wasn't earlier so that we could have seen some of the players celebrate and talk minutes after they found out about the playoff berth. I'll have to wait another year to see a playoff-clinching post-game locker room.
"The Raiders are a division opponent and we're not going to take them lightly by any means. We're going to go out there and get ready to play and hopefully get another victory to get to 11 wins." Cassel was pretty clear that the Chiefs would be playing to win. Haley indicated Sunday night the Chiefs will probably play that way but left the door open for something else saying he wasn't completely sure how they'd handle Week 17. My guess: Haley quickly eliminates all talk of the Chiefs doing anything but trying to win the game with their starters.
"I'm planning on playing until they tell me I'm not playing." Cassel says he's planning on playing the entire game next week. I imagine he will though I could see Haley pulling him if either team builds a big lead. But I think it ultimately would work against the Chiefs to sit anyone for much more than they normally would.
"It'll be my first opportunity to go into the playoffs." I keep forgetting Cassel's New England team won 11 games and didn't make the playoffs. This will be his first playoff game. A win and he would be elevated into Kansas City history. 17 years without a playoff victory is a looooong time.
"Probably a lot harder." Cassel says while nothing will change in how they prepare, he did suggest practice will be a little harder moving forward. The Chiefs are relatively young at several key positions, and their biggest weapons have been splitting carries all year, so I feel confident they can handle a higher tempo late into the season.
"It continues to heal and get better each and every day." Cassel says he felt better yesterday than the week before (but he also said he felt 100 percent last week) after undergoing an appendectomy. Sounds like that's a non-issue.