Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cassel still utilizing work ethic from time with Pats


Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel was able to soak up plenty of knowledge in the four years he was under the tutelage of Tom Brady, knowledge he's looking to put to good use this week.

Now six years removed from the sidelines of Gillette Stadium as Brady's backup, the 10-year vet still has fond memories and a tenacious work ethic that follows him from his days as a Patriot.

"I got to learn from one of the best in the game to ever play the game in Tom [Brady], and he was such a great mentor to me," Cassel said via "Not only that, but the way that they prepared, the attitude they had, the way they went about their business – I really carried that to every place that I’ve gone."

This Sunday's game will be only the second time Cassel has had a run-in with the team that drafted him, and it'll be the first that he sees action in. 

Following his departure from Foxborough back in 2009, New England lined up against the Kansas City Chiefs only once in the four seasons he started as quarterback there, a game in which he sat with an injury and watched the Pats roll to a 34-3 victory. 

Now in his second year with the Vikings, head coach Mike Zimmer has seen even more growth from the 32-year-old Cassel this season and is excited about his performance thus far.

"Matt, he’s really come in and very, very good offseason, at training camp he was phenomenal," he said. "I think Norv Turner and Scott Turner do a great job of coaching him. Matt is a fiery guy, he’s a pretty smart guy as far as knowing as what needs to get done. He’s taken care of the football the entire preseason; he took care of the ball last week.

"I think he’s done a very, very good job and his personality, he’s got a little bit of intensity to him at times but I think he really came in this offseason and thought about where his career was and what he needed to do to continue playing in the NFL."

In his four years in New England, Cassel appeared in 30 games, including all 16 in 2008 when Brady was lost for the season to a knee injury. That year he threw for nearly 3,700 yards -- the most of his career -- and 21 touchdowns, subsequently landing the starting gig in Kansas City after being traded.

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