As a rookie reporter now following the Kansas Chiefs for NPPR radio, I was lucky enough to get a few minutes to pick the brain of quarterback Matt Cassel.
NPPR: Welcome to Kansas City, Mr. Cassell and first of all, I would like to wish you a productive and healthy season this year.
Cassel: Thanks for the kind words, and you can call me Matt, my man.
NPPR: Cool, I got a few quick questions for you and thanks for your time.
Cassel: No problem, fire away, I'm just waiting for D-Bowe and Bobby-E to get their tape jobs done.
NPPR: So how do you like Kansas City, and what's your early impression of the franchise?
Cassel: Kansas City seems like a very nice city, although I really haven't had much time to get out and see everything.
I think that the franchise is loaded with talented players, and knowing the tenacity of Coach Haley and Mr. Pioli, we will be playing at a high level sooner than some may realize.
NPPR: It sure sounds like you have adjusted to your new teammates rather well. After throwing to Randy Moss and Wes Welker last season in New England, what do you think about the receivers on your new team?
Cassel: So far in limited work, they look great! D-Bowe is going to be a beast and E is a veteran who will complement him well. Bradley and Charles will produce and we've got an oak tree for a tight end.
NPPR: Are you talking about Brad Cottam?
Cassel: Yeah. He's going to surprise you.
NPPR: Tyler Thigpen played pretty well last season and is said to be in competition with you for the starting position. What is your relationship like with him?
Cassel: Ty has been awesome. We get along well and drive each other to be better. Our relationship is great and we help each other as much as possible. He's a very talented quarterback.
NPPR: I think it's safe to assume you will be the starter against the Ravens in Baltimore for the season opener week one due to your rather sizable contract.
You've been called the future of the Chiefs' franchise, how does the pressure of that statement make you feel?
Cassel: I just play football and let the rest of that work itself out.
NPPR: Good point. Speaking of that, you've had a patient road to stardom and played behind some of the most well-known QB's around.
Everyone knows about your years as a backup to Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC and then legend Tom Brady in New England. If you had three words to describe the key to those players' successes, what would they be?
Cassel: Never thought about it that way, but I like your style so I'll answer the question.
Leinart: Hollywood Good. Does that count.
NPPR: Sure, I'll take that.
Cassel: It's fitting and when Kurt's time is over Arizona, Matt will be ready to get it done.
Palmer: Poised Rocket Arm
and Brady, hmmmm. Best There Is.
NPPR: That's high praise. Do you hold any ill feelings towards the Patriots?
Cassel: Absolutely not. They gave me a chance by drafting me and allowing me to learn from a Hall of Fame coach and quarterback. Now they've given me a chance to be a starter and I wish Tom all the best.
NPPR: I assumed I would get a classy response to that question. Have you tried the bar-b-que yet?
Cassel: Oh yeah. I love it already.
NPPR: Which do you prefer, clam chowder or a short end of ribs?
Cassel: Ah, the ribs and it's not even close.
NPPR: You got a favorite restaurant to get your BBQ from yet?
Cassel: There are a lot of them here but Gates and this little place on Merriam Lane in Kansas City, Kansas named Woodyard BBQ is the bomb. One of the guys took me down there. Have you been there?
NPPR: I thought I had been to them all, but look at you. Here just a few months and already telling locals where to go for their food. You must adapt quickly?
Cassel: Yes I do.
NPPR: Alright, thanks for the interview Matt.