By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The departure of guard Pete Kendall, now with the Washington Redskins, from the New York Jets this summer was an acrimonious one in which he and management clashed over his contract and role with the team. With the Redskins set to play the Jets on Sunday, Kendall is downplaying the past.
Kendall, a veteran who was acquired for a draft pick late in the preseason, was issued a room in the rookie dorms during training camp with the Jets and was being used as a backup center. He also claimed that the team reneged on a pledge to add $1 million to his salary; the Redskins gave him that as part of the new contract.
With Washington reeling from a 52-7 loss at New England, Kendall said he is more concerned with the future than his past in New York. Kendall said he speaks with several of his former teammates and has praised his peers in the Jets' locker room at various times, but he declined to reveal which players he is closest with, preferring to discuss other topics.
"I don't want to make any more of it then it needs to be made at this point," Kendall said. He also reiterated, "I think highly of a lot of guys in that locker room."
Sunday's game will also be the first time former Redskins wide receiver Laveranues Coles faces Washington since being traded for Santana Moss in 2005. Coles left the Redskins after criticizing the offense in 2004 and was chastised by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder before his departure. Several Redskins said privately that it is only natural that Kendall and Coles would carry some extra motivation into this game given the circumstances of their departures.
Cornerback Fred Smoot, for instance, has been upfront about his desire to face the Minnesota Vikings after a less-than-harmonious stint with the team, saying he knows how others like Coles and Kendall must feel.
"Come on, of course, in football anytime you get chance to play against your former team you want to try to have one of your best days," Smoot said.Cartwright to Resume Drills
Return specialist Rock Cartwright said he expects to do individual drills when practice resumes today. He said that if he is unable to recover from a quadriceps strain in time for Sunday's game, he is confident he will be back to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 11. . . . After a strong September, punter Derrick Frost has slumped, dropping to 28th in the NFL with a 41.5-yard average. . . . Since being dealt for Moss, Coles has started all 40 regular season games for the Jets, with 206 catches for 2,416 yards and 17 touchdowns; Moss has played 36 games in that span, with 159 catches for 2,521 yards and 15 touchdowns, though he set the franchise record with 1,483 yards in 2005. Moss has had eight 100-yard games since the trade, Coles has had six. Moss said that he has chatted with Coles but that they are not close friends, and he has not compared their production. "Always, it's what can I do now to help this team, and nothing else matters to me," Moss said. . . . The Redskins signed linebacker Tyson Smith to the practice squad. He replaces cornerback John Eubanks, who moved to the active roster to replace Carlos Rogers.