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  Phins.com Interview with Kendall Langford
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by Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist

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DE Kendall Langford has been one of the best draft picks in the Bill Parcells era, a key piece of the 'foundation' that needed to be established if the Miami Dolphins are to return to their rightful place amongst the NFL elite.


A 2008 third rounder taken out of 1-AA Hampton University, the 6-6, 295lb. Langford has lined up mostly on the strong side of the Dolphins' 3-4 defense. This has made perfect sense from Day One as Langford has the nasty aptitude and power for stopping the run.


So what else attracted Parcells and friends to Mr. Langford?


Upside and make-up.


'The make-up' refers to set of key attributes (tough, smart, disciplined) that the Dolphins prize so highly. GM Jeff Ireland and Coach Tony Sparano constantly harp on 'the make-up' in their personnel analyses.


As to upside, Ireland explains it succinctly, "Langford is tough, highly competitive. His motor never stops. He's big and he's going to get bigger."


I visited with Langford at the Dolphins Training Facility in Davie to get his take on his development as a player.


How did your second season compare with your rookie year?

I'm definitely ahead of the curve from where I was last year as far as knowing the defense, knowing all the blocking schemes, the plays. There's not much I haven't seen, so I feel more comfortable than I did last year.


Who is the best offensive lineman you've faced in your two seasons as a Dolphin?

I would have to say Damien Woody with the Jets. He's pretty good, probably the best tackle I went against. He's a heavy guy with long arms. He's strong also, not just big. It's a dogfight with me and him; he just won't roll me up out of there or anything like that.


What have you worked on that has helped you improve your game?

My strength. Knowing the defense and knowing what's going on around me, not just what I'm supposed to be doing. (For example), knowing where the (defensive) pressure is coming from, (and) knowing when I can counter-move and when I can't. My run defense and pass rush (techniques), my whole game is better. I'm definitely a better pass rusher this year than I was last year.


What's the key to a DE playing good run defense in the 3-4?

Being stout at the point of attack. Re-establishing the line of scrimmage (after the initial line surge), knocking the offensive linemen back, getting extension, and finding the ball.


What do you think the defense needs to do to improve?

Stop allowing big plays and finish games. Play 60 minutes of football and stop allowing the big plays.


What are your personal goals?

To be one of the best at my position, help the team win the division, and go on from there.


Is there anything about playing DE in NFL that has surprised you?

I found out last year that (the NFL is truly) like an all-star game every week. There's not a week where you can take off. Everybody's a professional and has mouths to feed, so everybody's going hard. You've got to come out every week with your game. In college I didn't watch that much film. I didn't really know how to study film. I now have a better understanding of how to study film, what to look for. Being that we're a 3-4 defense, (knowing the) plays you can get out of certain formations. That's helped my game.


Is there a veteran on the defense that's been helpful to you in your development?

Joey Porter, Jason Ferguson, Jason Taylor, and Randy Starks have helped me a lot.

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