People don’t realize it but the Commonwealth state is rich in athletic talent, most notably football talent. From Michael Vick, Percy Harvin, DeAngelo Hall and more have all hailed from VA.
The former Miami Dolphins, defensive tackle, Kendall Langford was a free agent last off season, but not for long. Langford was quickly taken off the market because of this talent and was rewarded a lucrative contract with the St. Louis Rams. We caught up with Kendall this week as he prepares to face the Washington Redskins this Sunday.
Talk about the move from Miami to St. Louis and how it's been?
It was a huge move for me. I've been an east coast guy my whole life, so to come to midwest was a bit of a culture shock. Also leaving a big city and coming to slower city was different. I'm adjusting though, I like my teammates and what's going here football wise. The city has welcomed me with open arms so I'm very excited about that.
What made you want to leave Miami?
St. Louis made me a great offer and I did what was best for me and my family. I’m really happy to be here and I’m going to make the best of it. The Rams offered me a nice deal, so I'm going to make best of it.
How do you like playing for Coach Fisher?
I love him. He's a coach that gets it. He played the game and he's been around for a long time and been very successful in this game. I have the utmost respect for him. I also like him as person. He's just a cool laid back guy. He's whatever player wants their coach to be. Guys naturally want to play for him.
In Miami you went up against some good offensive lineman. The wrap in St. Louis has been that their line isn't that great. What's your take on that having gone up against them in practice since training camp?
We have a good line now. They are working to get better. I wasn't here previously so I'm not sure about those previous lines, but this year's line is a good solid group. They compete and are solid level everyday. It's competitive. Sometimes they win sometimes we(defensive line) win. So that notion that we have a bad line is wrong.
How was your first game as a member of the Rams last week?
It was a heartbreaker. They (Detroit Lions) scored with ten seconds left on the clock. If we just keep them out of the endzone then we win that game. Hopefully we win this weekend against the Redskins at home.
There was some controversy regarding the replacement officials giving the Lions extra time during the final seconds of the game. What are your thoughts on that?
I can't speak too much on officials. The league said we can’t or we’ll be fined. I will say that I'm ready for the real NFL refs to comeback.
How are the battles in practice with yourself and Scott Wells, who was a Pro Bowler last year?
I’m mainly over the guard in our defense, but Scott and me have had some run ins and good battles He’s a good players, I win some battles and so does he.
What's it going to take to get the Rams over the hump and into the playoffs this year?
I would say play good football on a consistent basis. As a defense it’s all about getting off field on 3rd down and not allowing the big play. On offense we’ve got to just keep the chains moving.
You were recruited by Virginia and Virginia Tech, what made you decide to go to Hampton?
I got caught up into not getting a high enough score in the SAT in when I was young. I had to take it a few times. Virginia hung in there with me and so did Hampton. I wanted to go to UVA or VA Tech. When I took my last SAT UVA was trying to send me to a military prep school first, but Hampton stuck with me and once I got the required score they still had a scholarship waiting for me.
When you first got into the NFL, was it a huge adjustment coming from a small school and playing in the NFL?
It was. The speed of the game was a huge adjustment. Speed is speed and strength is strength. If you run a 4.3 at Hampton or you run a 4.3 in the NFL it’s the same. The difference how fast the play is actually happening.
What would you say to a high school kid that's aspiring to play in the NFL? What was the extra thing you were doing growing up that no one else was doing which helped you make it to the NFL?
I kept believing. I wasn’t the best player at my high school, I wasn’t even the best player in my neighborhood. I just continued to believe and once I got to college I realized how important it was to make my grades. I was able to stay on the field and start to get noticed in college. You just need to believe in whatever it is that you do and keep God first. Make good grades, you can’t play the game with out the grades.
What’s something about Kendall Langford that people don’t know?
I’m a pretty open guy. I’ve held two youth football camps in Miami the past two years. I want to branch out into more things off the field. I’m pretty open to the new opportunities coming my way.