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Redskins and Kendall: a nice fit


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Redskins, Kendall look like a nice fit

By David Elfin

September 5, 2007

Getty Images Former Jets lineman Pete Kendall fills the Redskins' need for an experienced starter at left guard.

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Pete Kendall has been a Washington Redskins player for less than two weeks, yet he's already remarkably at home.

Kendall and his wife, Michelle, have rented a furnished house in Ashburn, Va.. Sons Andrew and Peter and daughter Madison started school today after three falls in which Kendall commuted between the New York Jets' facility on Long Island and the family home in suburban Boston.

And Kendall is already set as the starting left guard between four-time Pro Bowl tackle Chris Samuels and reliable center Casey Rabach.

"I'm really excited," Kendall said. "I haven't spent an autumn with my family since 2003. [Virginia to Massachusetts] was undriveable. [if] we weren't able to secure something as quickly as we did, I would've been Jet Blue's [most] frequent flyer.

"What I went through the last three years was very hard. It was easier my first two years because I was free to go Sunday night and I didn't have to be back until Wednesday morning. [Last year] I had to work on Mondays, so I was only home on Monday nights."

Yet another reason why Kendall, who had been embroiled in a contract dispute with the Jets, was glad to be traded to Washington on Aug. 23 for a conditional second-day draft choice. The Redskins, having failed to effectively replace departed free agent Derrick Dockery with career tackle Todd Wade and journeyman Mike Pucillo, are thrilled to have Kendall, a starter at left guard for nine of his 11 NFL seasons.

"Pete's a great fit for us," offensive line coach Joe Bugel said. "He's been in the same system [at Boston College and, to an extent, with Arizona from 2001 to 2003] and he's super-smart. If he had been on the streets for a year, it would be a tough adjustment, but he had been in training camp with the Jets. One of Pete's ex-coaches said he either wins or ties; he very seldom loses [when battling defenders]."

Rabach said that Kendall's aggressive style is meshing well with that of his new linemates even if at 6-foot-5 and 292 pounds he's an inch and 38 pounds smaller than Dockery.

"Pete's not the biggest guy in the world, but he plays big because he has good technique," Rabach said. "He's a tenacious guy. He really likes to attack. Usually it takes you a while to build that cohesiveness with a new guy, but it's so far, so good. This is Pete's fourth team. He's kind of seen it all, done it all. He'll be fine."

Kendall had better be. He turns 34 on Sunday, when he and Samuels will be protecting inexperienced quarterback Jason Campbell's blind side from marauding Miami Dolphins pass-rusher Jason Taylor.

The good news: Kendall knows Taylor well since the Jets face the Dolphins twice a year. Taylor recorded three sacks in five games with Kendall at left guard, but the Jets won all three games. The one game in which Kendall played center against Miami, Taylor had three sacks in a Dolphins' victory.

"Physically, I've never been the most imposing guy, but for the most part, I'm there every week, I know what I'm doing and I play hard," said Kendall, who has started all but 20 games during his career. "They're not preparing a bust for me in Canton, but I've been able to carve out a pretty nice living. I'm not shy about asking a question. I probably asked more questions [Monday] than these guys have heard in a long time because they've all been through it before."

In fact, Kendall has moved his chair in the line's meeting room up front next to Samuels' to better pick his neighbor's brain.

"Pete asks a lot of questions," Samuels said. "That's good. He wants to learn fast, and he's been doing just that."

Kendall, ever the realist, knows the left side of the line won't be a finished product this week no matter how fast he learns.

"My hope is that we play well enough and cohesively enough as a unit that we're able to win," Kendall said. "It's my expectation that regardless of the outcome in Week 1 that as an offensive line we'll be better in Week 17 if we can all stay healthy."

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I'm glad Kendall is gone, but I wonder if Pennington and Jones can say the same thing

Chad..... he is very worried Im sure... hopefully it doesnt show in the game... the pats will eat him alive...

JOnes on the other hand is happy Im sure... Kendall was not a good run blocker... CLarke and Bender are better...

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