Skip to main content
Original Issue

Matt Cassel

He threw only five passes this year, but Tom Brady's understudy is always a play away from being the leading man


On being a backup,which he also was at USC before the Pats drafted him in 2005

There's stress. You never know when you're going to get on the field. But Ihaven't suffered many bumps and bruises. And the advantage of a rested arm isthat it's ready to rock and roll.

On his sidelineheadgear

My friends ask, 'Why wear your helmet? You're not going in.' What I do islisten to the play call [through a helmet headset]. Then I say the call aloudas if I were in the huddle. When I watch the play, I go through the mentalreps. This way if I'm called on, it won't feel like the first time I'm in thehuddle.

On the Pats'starter, whom he used to call Mr. Brady

I stopped calling him that midway through my rookie year—he became TB or Tom.He's mentored me. On football operational stuff, on my demeanor, on how torespond in the huddle.

On his mom,Barbara, a TV set designer who won a 2007 Emmy for Tony Bennett: An AmericanClassic

We look up to her. She and my dad [Greg, a TV writer] had four children, andshe worked from 5:30 a.m. until seven at night, never complaining. She stilldoes it. It's a lesson: When there's work, you've got to go do it. Noshortcuts.

On USC's Pro Dayin 2005

I didn't get to go to the combine, and I only threw 33 passes in college. Butwhen I threw well on Pro Day it sparked interest in me. People realized I'dplayed behind two Heisman winners in Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. That daycatapulted me into getting drafted.

Playing in theSuper Bowl

It's everyone's dream, and it's been mine since I was nine in Pop Warner. MaybeI'll get in the game. I'd love to say, "I'm going to Disney World!"