Conference Call: John Kitna

Jon Kitna answered questions today for the media about the upcoming Redskins and Lions Game. Here is a transcript:

On his preseason guarantees:

"I didn't make any guarantees. I made predictions. They asked me on the radio what I though in terms of wins and losses and I said it would be a disappointment for us as a football team to win less than 10 games. I would say that is pretty much true for all 32 teams in this league. If you win less than 10 games then you would be disappointed. But it turned into a prediction, it turned into a guarantee, so be it. We know what we have in this locker room and we know the work that we put in on this football team. We know the character guys that Rod (Marinelli, Head Coach) has kept around here and the things he is doing to build the camaraderie and the chemistry on this team and we feel pretty good about ourselves going into this season. That was a statement of an expectation level for ourselves more than anything."

On differences this year from last year:

"We only have 22 guys from last year. We have added some pieces, addition by subtraction. Last year we just ran into the fact we lost our whole defensive line. We lost 3/5ths of our offensive line and our backup. WE lost our whole backfield on offense, and we only had two receivers we were working with. Aside from trying to overcome a losing attitude in this organization we were just under-manned most of the time."

On the lack of protection from the offensive line:

"We could max protect everything and just hope two guys run the route. I have done that before and you get hit on that too because they just drop people under coverage and the guys aren't going to be able to hold out for very long. There is a delicate balance that you have to work in between both protecting and putting everyone out on a route. I don't mind it at all."

On how much his move to Detroit was due to Mike Martz:

"It was interesting when I came here on my free agent visit I wasn't even aware that he was here. When I sat down and found out he was the offensive coordinator, I couldn't believe how blessed I was to have the opportunity to play with this guy and be coached by him. It has been everything that I could have dreamed of. I'm just loving it. With him, Rod (Marinelli) and the philosophy that they are preaching and the things they are doing, this is something that I have been waiting for my whole career."

On what he likes about the offense:

"That we attack every area of the football field that we aren't going to confine ourselves to just doing this or just doing that. We are attacking every area and making defenses have to defend every inch of that 53 yard-wide and 100 yard-long. That is what affects me the most."

On why this Lions team is different than Lions teams in the past:

"We don't really care about any doubters. For us, we have belief in this locker room. Rod Marinelli is an upcoming head coach in this league. He is somebody that is very determined to get the most out of his players. He doesn't let us slide or slack at all. He is very consistent about what he preaches. Even last year in the midst of a 3-13 season he didn't doubt what he was doing. He just kept at it and he has produced a locker room of tough minded guys who want to win and love football. We could care less what anyone thinks outside this locker room. We just want to do our jobs and continue to keep ourselves in football games."

On what this has meant for his career:

"I feel like I have waited 10 years of my career to get with a guy who really values the skill set that I can bring to the table. He doesn't talk about things you can't do, but only talks about things you can do. He focuses on those things. He coaches me how I have always wanted to be coached. I'm an aggressive player and he's an aggressive coach so it's a great match."

On waiting to be a part of Mike Martz's offense:

"I never thought it was going to happen. Obviously, you have a two-time NFL MVP and then he gets hurt and then they bring in Mark Bulger and he's playing great. I never thought it was going to happen and me and coach talked about it. I remember back in 2000 when I was going to be a free agent for the first time coming out of Seattle and wishing I could play for a guy like that, just watching the way he called plays and the fun they had on offense. It was something I wanted to be apart of and I never thought it was going to happen. Fortunately it has worked out and it has been a huge blessing."

On the depth of the team:

"We feel pretty good about our guys. That has been Coach Marinelli and (Mike) Martz. They have worked together to give us a ton of options on offense and that is what you need in this system."

On the Lions never beating the Redskins on the road:

"I bet if you asked guys in this locker room less than 10 guys would know that is a fact. A lot of us haven't played on those teams so this is a new season. That makes for good writing and good stories and sells papers but doesn't really affect the game once the game starts. The fact of the matter is that for the last ten years or so this has been an organization that has struggled and they haven't beat a lot of people. If we took that into account, every week there would be a new rally cry. Coach Marinelli talks about it all the time. We have to play ourselves. It doesn't really matter who we are playing, we

have to execute at the top level. We have rules built in. You have to execute at the top level that you can."

On his relationship with Coach Mike Martz:

"We have a lot of fun in that quarterback room. He has a lot of stories to tell and has been through a lot. He has seen a lot so we talk about a lot of things. Every day is like I'm learning something new, how to attack different defenses, what defenses to look for, what plays work best. Every day there is something new to be learned from this guy."

On what he expects out of the Redskins defense:

"You never really know. I have played against Gregg Williams (Assistant Head Coach- Defense) for a lot of years, back in the old AFC West when he was with Tennessee. I have seen this guy a ton. I know he has just about every coverage you could throw at a team. For us, we have to stick with our rules. Every team plays us a little differently. You look at the film, try to get an idea. The fact of the matter is whatever the coverage they are running, they have the best collection of defensive talent in the league right now."

On Shawn Springs (CB, #24):

"Shawn has words for everybody. I know what kind of player Shawn is. You have to be very careful throwing the ball to his side. He is a homerun hitter. When you make a mistake, he will make you pay for it. But at the same time, we aren't going to shy away from anybody in this league with the guys that we have."

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