Washington Conference Calls

Transcripts of conference calls by Joe Gibbs and Pete Kendall with New York Jets reporters on Wednesday:       

WASHINGTON HEAD COACH JOE GIBBS

On Kellen Clemens …

Our defensive coaches have tried to go over every single thing they could. I do have a lot of respect for him. I know that the quarterbacks get along great up there. The team is together, which you expect. We're expecting to get their absolute best. I think in Kellen's case, when most young guys get an opportunity they play their rear end off, so that is what we're expecting.

On game-planning with Clemens as opposed to Chad Pennington …

Our defensive coaches study everything. You have the same coordinators and structure in the game plan. May there be some differences based on the things he could do? Yes. I think you have to kind of guess and it makes it hard to prepare.

On Pete Kendall …

He stepped in when we lost Derrick Dockery to free agency and we were struggling. As you probably also know, we lost Randy [Thomas] and Jon [Jansen]. We lost our right guard the first three games of the year. What Pete did for us was stabilize the left side. With Chris [Samuels], Pete and Casey [Rabach] being able to stay in there, thank goodness we've been able to keep the left side together. He filled a big hole that we had there. I think Pete's a pro. He's smart and he filled a big hole and has been a mainstay.

On if he expects similar mistakes from Jason Campbell and Kellen Clemens …

I think that's an individual thing, really. Any young quarterback during their first experience are normally excited about things. Jason and Kellen haven't started a lot of games. You have two young guys that from what you can tell are really talented. It's a matter of how quick they grow up and progress. They continue to step up and get better and better. I'm sure that's what Coach Mangini wants and that's what we want. They are both young guys that we think have a lot of talent.

On if they are looking to pressure Clemens all game …

The game plans are week to week and it depends on what our defensive coaches want to structure. To be quite truthful, I just go down there and ask them to please stop them.

On Laveranues Coles as a player and the time he played for him ...

I think Laveranues is one of the toughest guys and best competitors I've ever been around. As a receiver, he is very talented. Our situation here is one that didn't work out for the best. I wish it would have. I have tremendous respect for him, we expect him to play this week, and I know how he's going to play. I think our group here has a lot of respect for him.

On whether Bill Belichick ran up the score against them last game …

I never focus on that or what someone else does. My focus is always on us not being in that situation and that's what I need to make sure of. You can't be that far down in a football game. If you are, you put yourself in the situation where you figure out how you want to finish the game out. My role is to make sure we don't get in that situation, but we did. That is the way I feel about it.

On if he puts in his second team after a certain amount of points …

I wouldn't speculate on that. Each coach coaches their own team and makes their own decision.

On losing starting CB Carlos Rogers for the season …

Carlos is obviously a valued guy for our team. He's a first-rounder for us and has played since the day we drafted him. He's extremely tough and competitive for us and we're going to miss him. He's stepped in and started for us from day one.

On Mangini being a young coach, having a losing record and not having experience in that position to draw on …

I can't speak for Coach Mangini. I'm looking down at a list that says in 2006 he was the AFC Coach of the Year. They made the playoffs last year. They were leading the Giants, 24-21, with eight minutes left in the game. We have a lot of respect for them. I have a lot of respect for him as a coach. I'm probably not the guy that any young coach would want to take advice from right now. I just went through a heck of a year last year myself and took a complete wax job last week. If I was Coach Mangini, I'm sure he has a lot of people he could call that are a lot smarter than I am [laughs].

I've got a lot of respect for him to tee that thing up last year and do what he did with that team. I know how hard that is. I wish we could have that kind of a year. I think sometimes football games are so close and last year I went through a miserable thing as we were 5-11. It was horrible for our fans and I certainly hated it for our owner and everybody else here. So I went through a pretty tough experience myself.

On what he saw with David Harris last week …

I think I'm going to stay away from discussing players and schemes. I do know we have tremendous respect for them and I'm kind of hesitant to talk about individuals, particularly before we play them. To suffer through what we did last week, we just want to play the best game we can.

On how much longer he would like to coach …

That's one I don't answer anymore. I've given my set answer and it doesn't seem to satisfy anybody. I kind of stay away from that question [laughs].

On how it helped Jason Campbell last year going through what Clemens will go through …

Every single game there is nothing you can do to prepare a quarterback for crowd noise, being in a different environment, getting the feel for the team in the last minutes of a half. None of those things or even college experience prepares you for it. I think both of them will learn from experience and being in there. Nothing takes the place of that. Playing games is probably the only way you can progress and mature as a quarterback.

WASHINGTON G PETE KENDALL

On life in Washington …

It's going OK. About as well as you could expect after this past weekend.

On facing his former team …

I don't know how I'm going to feel Sunday. I feel a little bit excited at this point, but there is also this other emotion that I don't know how to express. I don't know if it is disappointment or whatever you might call it. It is definitely mixed emotions about the situation and going back and playing against my friends. The game will be fun. We are all professionals, so I don't expect anything to change between now and 4 o'clock or 4:15, whenever the game is over on Sunday.

On whether this situation is different than when he has faced other former teams …

This one will be different. This one will be the most difficult. After I left the Seahawks, it was two years until we played a regular-season game against them and there was quite a bit of roster turnover. When I left Arizona, that was a different circumstance with a little more hard feelings and there had been quite a bit of roster turnover from the end of the 2003 season to 2004. Essentially, the guys I will be playing against this weekend are the guys I practiced against and spent time with off the field and in the locker room since 2004. It is a different situation than the other two, for sure.

On if he is surprised the Jets are 1-7 …

I thought the Jets were going to have a very good team again this year. I thought they were going to have a very good record. I have seen probably three or four games and I haven't seen a game yet where the team looked overmatched or outplayed. One of the things we have experienced here is that some plays go against us in the second half of games and whether we had a lead or were within one possession of the lead, some games got away from us. I don't look at that team on film, particularly as well as I know them, and think they are a 1-7 team. That is what their record says, but to me not the group of talent that they have there.

On facing the Jets without Chad Pennington at QB …

That will be different for most people that follow the Jets. You think of the quarterback of the Jets for the last half dozen years or so and you think of Chad Pennington. I'm sure it is a difficult situation for everyone there and it will look a little odd.

On whether he will have a chance to visit with any of his former teammates …

The schedule is usually pretty tight. Our meeting schedule and their meeting schedule are a little bit different, so I don't know how that is going to turn out.

On Kellen Clemens …

Kellen made a big jump from his rookie season to his second training camp. He took advantage of the off-season, being around the facility and working with Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] and the receivers. He seemed much more comfortable in the offense and in the huddle. When he was calling plays, he understood them more than when he was repeating what a strange man in his ear was telling him.

On leaving the Jets …

Somebody asked me the other day how much I thought about it. The answer is that I really haven't had time to think about it. I got word from Mike [Tannenbaum] that there was a window of opportunity to execute a trade on a Wednesday and by Thursday morning I was on my way down here to the D.C. area. I had to go through the whole physical process, signing of the contract and meeting the media. About 24 hours later, my wife was down, we had a game to play and houses to look at, and I had to go in and start practicing and learning the system. Then, we had another preseason game. Then during the long weekend between the last preseason game and the start of the season, my wife and kids moved in. I'm sure you guys can imagine how busy it has been.

On having his family living with him …

It has been great for me. I really missed being around my family and being a full-time dad. That has its up and downs [laughs]. It has allowed me to concentrate on football seven days a week. I don't feel like I'm missing anything. I'm able to do all of the things I need to do and want to do football-wise.

On the Jets' uncertainty at left guard …

That is the definition of a trap question there, isn't it? Let's see if there are any other questions.

On whether he felt like the Patriots ran up the score last weekend …

I was more disappointed that it happened and that we allowed it to happen than anything else. What do you do when you are up 38? Do you kick the field goal? Do you kneel the ball and turn it over on downs? I think people in either of those instances would have felt embarrassed or humiliated either way. The best thing for us is to play better.

On whether the Patriots will go undefeated …

A lot of things can happen between now and the end of the season. I can't imagine that anyone is playing much better ball than they are. It's a crazy league. Injuries happen and the ball can bounce funny. I certainly wouldn't want to bet against them from week to week.

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