Office vows to make most of chance at LE

Is Kendrick Office the man who will replace Phil Hansen at left end this season? It's possible. If Buffalo doesn't sign a veteran end after June 1, and Ryan Denney isn't ready to start, or Office simply plays better than him and Erik Flowers in the preseason, then Office could be the man. Here in this Shout! EXCLUSIVE, Mike Doser caught up with Office and talked about the season.

Mike Doser: You're playing left end with the first team now. Obviously, Buffalo has looked at other free agent ends, but has yet to sign anybody. What have the coaches told you? Do you have a shot at being the starter?

Kendrick Office: I'm pretty much taking it with the same game plan that I did last year. I have a little more experience. I'm going to come in and fight hard to earn that position and show everybody that I'm worthy of playing in the NFL.

MD: Do you feel like they're giving you a fair opportunity, or do you think they're biding their time and bringing someone in after June 1? On one hand, you're ahead of former first-round pick Erik Flowers, on the other hand, the talk has not gone away that their interested in other players.

KO: They're giving me a great opportunity. Since the first day I came here, the coaches are like, ‘We don't care if you're first, second or third (pick), or if you're a rookie free agent, you come into camp knowing that the best people are going to play.' I'm trying to make myself one of the people that's going to play.

MD: What do you see as your top asset in this battle?

KO: My strength and quickness. The thing that I have to work on is staying low. I've got a long body, I can stretch it out a little bit and make plays.

MD: What has defensive line coach John Levra worked with you on?

KO: He's helped me work on flexibility in my hips and making me use my hands to become a better pass rusher. That's one of the things I'm going to strengthen up and work on in this off-season is my power game to be a dominant pass rusher.

MD: How do you work on flexibility?

KO: I do stretching. We have drills where we run around hoops, trying to stay low. We have drills that we run at a cone where we try to pick up a towel. You try to keep your balance by being flexible.

MD: Do you notice a difference this year as opposed to last year?

KO: Extremely. Not only do I have a year of experience, but with all the stretching and all the work I did with strength and conditioning coach Rusty Jones, I can see an improvement on the field.

MD: What's it like battling with Flowers and Bryce Fisher. Flowers spoke highly of your progress last year. I assume you guys are friends since you spend a lot of time together.

KO: It's a competitive game, but I don't take on-the-field competition off the field with teammates.

MD: Do you remember the first time when it was confirmed for you that you could play in the NFL?

KO: Yes, it was at New England. I got two sacks and two forced fumbles.

MD: Your game is a little bit different from Erik's game. You seem to go right at the guy, while Erik uses his speed to try to go around him. Would you agree with that assessment?

KO: Erik is a faster guy that I am. I'm not slow, but I'm a little heavier – even though Erik did a good job this off-season picking up weight. I got some strength. So I've got to use that with my speed. NFL tackles are good athletes. Players like me are not going to be able to run around everybody. So I got to mix my game up – whether I take it inside or out, or sometimes give them a bull rush, to make them respect every aspect of the game. It's all about one-on-one battles. You have to win one-on-onw battles. A lot of times I start off with a bull and make them sit heavy and then I try to get the corner.

MD: So you try to go around them later on.

KO: Yes. You make him squat on the bull (rush), and then you come back on him on the outside.

MD: What do you think when management keeps on bringing up other free agent ends to sign? They even drafted one – Ryan Denney – in the second round? Does that make you nervous?

KO: I know they have a job to do. But I know what it's going to take for me to get on the field to play here. I'm willing to work hard at whatever it takes to do it. I know I can play. I have to work on consistency.

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