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Cassel says he'll be ready if his number is called

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There's no doubt that Christian Ponder is the starting quarterback of the Vikings.

Matt Cassel is the backup to Ponder, but he'll be ready if his number is called. The 30-year-old veteran is familiar with the backup role.

He backed up Tom Brady when he played for the Patriots. His number was called after Brady suffered a knee injury in the first week of the 2008 season. Cassel took advantage of his opportunity, which eventually resulted in a $62 million contract with the Chiefs -- where he earned Pro Bowl honors in 2010.

That was as good as it would get for him in Kansas City. Last season, it got so bad that fans in KC cheered when Cassel had to leave a game with an injury.

"That's just part of this league, so a fresh start, a new start with a great team, I'm excited about the opportunity," Cassel told the Pioneer Press.

He says his career has been a "whirlwind," but he's having fun "learning the offense and getting to work." If his opportunity to play comes, he says he'll be "excited" and "ready" to go.

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