Locker room Q&A with Heath Evans, Matt Cassel and Pierre Woods

Posted on August 30, 2007 
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Here’s some postgame Q&A with fullback Heath Evans, quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Pierre Woods. We’ll have more postgame Q&A shortly:

Heath Evans
On the depth at quarterback…
I love those guys. Matt’s a goofball, Vinny’s done it for 20 years, so I think we’re in a good spot.

Is it tough to get a tempo going on a night when you’re looking at so many backups?
Not a tempo. I think the guys did well. There were some good holes for me up there tonight. If Laurence or Sammy or Kevin were to have some of those, it might have been even bigger plays. They did a good job tonight. Tempo, I don’t think was an issue. We started slow, but we got it together, considering what we were trying to do and who was out there.

Did you expect to get as many reps as you did this preseason?
I don’t think it was a shock. I think there’s a lot that’s asked of me, and I need those reps to be able to perform at a high level when those things are asked. So whether it’s running the ball or carrying the ball or blocking or special teams, I need those reps, because every week it’s different.

Is it a little strange in the huddle sometimes seeing so many faces?
No, sometimes you try and get the guys excited and I was trying to get excited myself. It’s hard to say you’re not looking forward to the Jets, but this was a necessary evil to perform better and to take further steps to get this offense better. So it is what it is. It’s the fourth preseason game.

Do you guys feel like you’re more ready for the regular season, moreso than one, two or three weeks ago?
Me, I’m ready to play the Jets. We’ll get better this week — I’ll get better this week. But we’re ready for the regular-season to start.

Did any of these guys lose anything by not playing in this game tonight?
Obviously, not according to Coach Belichick, whose opinion I side with. His record speaks for itself, so I wouldn’t question anything he does.

Matt Cassel
On his performance…
It’s always important — the more reps I can get against a No. 1 defense, and go out there and execute and see game speed and see the blitzes and see the coverages, it’s always very important for me. In terms of that, it was a great night, just going out and seeing those reps against a No. 1 offense. But it’s hard to assess right now how I played.

You put some points on the board…
I’m happy about that, because the main thing for an offense is to put some points on the board, and we were able to accomplish that tonight. In conclusion, it turned out to be a victory, so that was good.

Are you where you want to be right now with the preseason in the rearview mirror?
You always strive to be the best you can be, and with the reps that I had in preseason, I feel like I’ve made tremendous strides from where I was from even last year, and going into the season, I feel comfortable with where I’m at in the offense. Looking forward, there are a lot of things I need to work on and get better at, and I’ll continue to do that.

Did you know after last week that you would play as much as you did tonight?
I did not know that until about midweek, when they really told us that we would get a little bit more playing time. I got excited. It gives you a little bit more of a boost when you know you’re going in there and you’re going to play.

How happy are you guys that the preseason is finally done?
It’s an exciting time. Everyone will be excited. It’s the season opener that’s coming up, so we just want to be as prepared as possible, and go out there and put in a good showing.

Pierre Woods
We’re you fighting for playing time tonight?
It was a big opportunity for all the guys who were out there tonight. I just need to take advantage of that opportunity, take advantage of it and not take anything for granted, so I went out there and tried to give it all I have. And we came out with a win, so it’s definitely a good feeling.

You guys were getting some good opportunities out there tonight against the Giants No. 1 offense. How do you feel you guys did?
I think we held up. It took them awhile to even score on the goal line. We held up, and everybody played hard. Everybody gave it their all, so all we can do is be proud of what we did.

Did you know you were going to play as much as you did?
We didn’t know anything. We just came in with the same game plan as everybody else, and we just went out there and tried to execute the game plan.

On his status this year as compared to last year…
This is not an easy system, an easy defense. But what a difference a year makes. You just continue to work, continue to try and get better and learn each day.

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