Q&A With: Pete Kendall

He grew up watching Joe Gibbs and Joe Bugel coach. Now he gets to play for them.

Q: Is this a fresh start for you?

A: "I suppose that it is. I'm coming here to a new team with a new contract."

Q: When did you sense there was a trade in the works?

A: "It was probably around noon yesterday that I first caught wind of it. About 10-12 hours later everything was about wrapped up."

Q: Did you talk to Joe Gibbs or Joe Bugel about the situation here?

A: "I had a chance to visit both of them before I went on to do my physical. I grew up watching the Redskins win Super Bowls, and seeing those guys on the sidelines. When you talk about Coach Gibbs and Coach Bugel, you're talking about two of the legends of the game at their respective positions. It is neat for me that at the end of my career I can play for guys that I watched roam the sidelines when I was 10 years old at Super Bowl parties."

Q: What do you add to the Redskins?

A: "At this point, I hope to just fit in. I'm not looking to add or make any promises. I hope to be there every week. I hope to be somebody that my teammates can rely on. If there is an opportunity or role for me to step into as time progresses, then so be it. This is a good football team. I don't think that they need me, but I am flattered that they want me here, so that is the approach that I am going to take."

Q: What does it feel like to be wanted?

A: "It's nice. Everybody likes to be wanted. I sensed genuine enthusiasm from everybody I've talked to here about having me. It's part of the business, but it's a difficult time as well with the transition. It's nice to come here and know that the people on the other side are anxious and excited to have you here."

Q: How hard has camp been for you?

A: "It was a difficult camp with all the uncertainty, but I'm sure I'm coming to a locker room with a great bunch of guys. My teammates in New York were great to me, so they made it as bearable as it could be."

Q: Were you resigned that you'd be moved?

A: "I didn't know what was going to happen. I knew we were sort of entering into a critical time between the second and third games. Whether that be injury or people decided that they needed help somewhere. I hadn't closed the door on something changing, whether that be something changing within the Jets or something externally like this. I still thought there was a possibility."

Q: How familiar are you with this offense?

A: "Right now I'm not at all. I haven't seen the playbook. I've been through just about every type of offense you can talk about, whether it be the "West Coast" system, the vertical passing game. I've been through power blocking, zone blocking, or man-blocking. I've been exposed a lot of it, so I'm anxious to see how they go about skinning the cat here."

Q: Were the Redskins appealing because of their willingness to redo your deal?

A: "Yeah, I didn't have much control of the situation because it was a trade. There had to be some sort of arrangement between the Jets and the Redskins. Once they came to an agreement, we were able to reach an agreement pretty quickly on that contract. That's good. It's the ugly side of the game. It's not something I like to talk about or focus on, but as players, the sun only shines on us for so long. You better make hay while the sun's shining."

Q: How quickly can you mesh with your new team?

A: "That may be a bigger challenge for those guys to feel comfortable with me and me with them than learning the assignments and the Xs and the Os. One thing about football- it's not rocket science. The schemes and the assignments are essentially the same from system to system and team to team. It's a matter of how to communicate with the guys around you so that they know that you know. That only comes with repetitions. You can take repetitions on the practice field. You can take repetitions on that game field. But you can also take repetitions in the film room. Those don't hurt as much as the first two."

Q: How quickly can you get comfortable here?

A: "My goal is to be effective as soon as possible. The hope is that's by week one. I wouldn't say that I'm concerned. I would say my larger concern would be about developing a chemistry with the guys on the line. I think that between spending time with Coach Bugel and time on my own, I think I'll pick up the assignments fairly quickly. It's just a matter of understanding the nuances of it the way the guys around me do."


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