At last, Cassel didn't need joystick to run a huddle

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Matt Cassel's still fighting for respect. The New England Patriots quarterback is on the verge of striking it rich after his breakout season, but a 64 speed on Madden 09?

Puh-leez. That's Tom Brady territory.

"Good thing I'm faster in real life than I am in the game," Cassel said in a fun gaming-oriented Q&A interview on ESPN.com.

The author, Jon Robinson, writes how he "ran into Cassel at the Madden Challenge in Turks & Caicos as EA Sports flew in a variety of athletes to meet and greet the contestants."

How can I get transferred to ESPN.com's video game division?

At this time last year, it appeared the only way Cassel could start for the Patriots would be in a video game. He led the Patriots to an 11-5 record after Brady suffered a season-ending left knee blowout on opening day.

In the Q&A, Cassel discussed his emergence, his future and his overall Madden rating, which went up from 76 before the season to an online rating of 85.

"When you get out there for four quarters and you're able to put it together, then you're able to go out there game after game and continue to get better, it was great," Cassel said, "especially when I was able to prove a lot of my critics and naysayers wrong."