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Interview: Washington Football CB Kendall Fuller

Updated: Aug 8, 2020

ASHBURN, VA -- August 4, 2020, Washington Football Team defensive back Kendall Fuller speaks to the media.

On what he is expecting for this season:

“At this point right now, we’re all just getting out there and just trying to learn the system. Learning from different positions, just learning the ins and outs of the defense and grow and each day and get better each day. Just starting to learn each other and build that comradery and learn our strengths and our weaknesses, getting down the communication and things like that. Taking it step-by-step, day-by-day. Our goal is just to be one of the top defenses in the league.”

On playing in various positions of defense:

“Yeah, I did it my third year, my first year with Kansas City. I think it’s just all going to depend on what’s best for the team. We have a lot of talented guys in the secondary, just see where everybody’s strengths and weaknesses are. At the end of the day, just putting everybody in a position where we can go out and win football games Sunday. Whatever that is for any of us, that’s where we want to be.”

On why he feels he plays well in a variety of roles:

“Ever since I started playing DB, really once I got to [Virginia] Tech. Coach Gray was big on us just learning the ins and the outs of the defense, not being able to just lock in on one position. Coach Harris is that same type of coach. He wants everybody to learn the defense and know where everybody is supposed to be. Even when I’m in meetings, if they’re talking to the safeties, the corners, nickels, we’re listening, we’re learning it. Coach Harris will ask the corners sometimes about the safeties and the safeties about the corners, just because at the end of the day, in a long season you never know what’s going to happen with injuries and guys being down. We want to have that flexibility to go out there on a Sunday and do whatever we need to do to win.”

On what he did during quarantine:

“It wasn’t too difficult. For me, all I did was workout and golf. Go out there in the morning and get my workout in and then golf the rest of the day, just because there wasn’t much else to do. It wasn’t too bad. We definitely had to be a lot more cautious working out in the gym and things like that, making sure we’re wiping everything down and definitely being cautious of that. Still able to get that workout in and go out on the field and do work drills and things like that. I was still able to keep working.”

On Defensive Backs Coach Chris Harris:

“I enjoy it. The energy that he comes with, even in Zoom meetings where it’s easy to kind of just be laid back and drop but he still comes with that energy. He comes with that passion. It definitely helps having a guy that played because he knows exactly where our heads at, where our mindsets are, what we’re seeing in the games and in practice and things like that. He’s been getting us right. Teaching us the ins and outs of the system and just being that energy spark for us right now. We’re going to have to take that energy spark over for him once we are able to get back on the field.”

On if he watches tape on other players:

“I watch my brother a lot. I feel like there are certain guys that you get around that you respect and you learn from them. For me being in college, it was my brother. Once I got to the league, even watching guys like Dunny [Quinton Dunbar], JNO [Josh Norman], Bre [Bashaud Breeland], D-Hall [DeAngelo Hall], Swag. Picking things that they did well and trying to add that to my game. Once I got to Kansas City, learning from guys like Tyrann [Mathieu], Eric Berry, Steve Nelson. So just picking up strengths from each player I’ve been around and just try to apply that to my game.”

On CB Jimmy Moreland and coming back to Washington as a veteran:

“Just his mentality. He’s got that dog mentality and he’s a playmaker. I haven’t been able to be around him on a daily basis yet, but just watching him on the field, they way he likes to compete, doesn’t shy down from anybody. For me, I’ve always been just trying to be a leader by action. Just showing how I prepare for Sundays during the week, in the weight room and things like that. Making sure that they see that so that they know the things they have to do besides on Sunday to be the most productive they can be on Sunday.”

On who the best is on the defense:

“Best golfer on the defense? I don’t even know if a lot of guys golf. I know [DE] Jonathan Allen is starting to golf. I don’t think he can beat me though, from what I’ve heard. But my biggest thing right now is I told [P] Tress [Way] and [K] Dustin [Hopkins] that the day I got signed, my main priority was to come back to the locker room and beat them in ping pong. The focus has shifted from golf to me being the ping pong champion. I made that known to them. I think that’s why they got rid of the ping pong table.”

On the differences with the organization now from when the first time he played here:

“It’s way different, and everybody is still trying to figure it out. Coach Rivera is just trying to build that culture, kind of just shifting everyone’s mentality. I think the good thing about it is just everybody’s trusting him and just going full steam ahead and just giving all our trust to him. Like we said, just trying to build that culture, a sustainable culture. We have to do that day-in and day-out to build that, so that’s what where focused on.”

On if he has always been a golfer:

“No, I haven’t always been a golfer. My brother, Kyle, he’s been golfing for a while. A lot of times we’re in Arizona together for the offseason. My first offseason there, he would go golf and I would just chill in the crib and I’d be bored, so I just started going with him. I’m so competitive so I’m like, ‘I don’t know how long it’s going to take but I need to start so that eventually years down the line, I can beat him eventually.’ I might stop then, but I definitely have to be him. I got my work cut out for me though.”

On if he has beaten his brother in golf yet:

“I’m not even close.”

On players opting out:

“I respect any guy that decides to opt out, just focusing on their health and their well-being, especially guys that have families, wives, children and things like that. Any guy that is putting that first in their life, I definitely respect it. Maybe a little bit easier decision for me because I’m not married, don’t have a family, don’t have kids and things like that. I live by myself. But definitely being cautious with my mother, my nephew and things like that. I respect any person that decides to opt out for the safety of their family.”

On Head Coach Rivera:

“I think Coach Rivera is just trying to build a different culture. We just coming in everyday with the right mentality. Coach Rivera, when he talks about culture he always makes sure to say sustainable culture. The biggest thing right now is just building that trust. Coach Rivera wants to trust us and we want to trust him. I think that’s our main focus and that’s what we have to build day-in and day-out. I think that’s a good reason why so many of us are happy to be back in the building.”

On his golf game:

“If this was a week ago, I would tell you my driver, but I can somehow hit my driver anywhere but straight now. Right now, I would say my putting. It always seems I find out once something gets good, the other thing gets bad. The more I focus on my driver and start hitting it straight, I’ll probably start 3-putting everything. That’s golf for you.”

On DE Chase Young:

“Just as a professional. I haven’t been around him too much, but you see him… I think I just saw him out there getting the sprints today. He just kind of has that vibe when you walk by him. He doesn’t seem like a rookie. He seems like a professional, he’s hungry, he wants to work, he was the number two pick. It seems like he’s not even thinking about that but thinking about just being the best player he can be on Sundays. That’s definitely a good attitude and a good vibe for him, for a rookie to be carrying around.”

On being careful during COVID-19:

“I mean, Coach Rivera I think one of the first things he told us was when it comes down to the end of the season, it’s probably going to be whatever team is the smartest outside of the facility. They set up everything in the building to keep us safe the best way they know how. It’s just us being professional. Be professional once you get outside the building, keep ourselves safe, keep our families safe and keep each other safe. I think at the end of the day, just so many people talk about us being athletes and whether it’s on the field or off the field just being professionals. I think even in this case, it’s the same way. We just gotta go about it as a professional.”

On if he feels like he is a leader in monitoring other players during COVID-19:

“No, we’re all in it together. When it comes down to if guys aren’t doing the right things off the field and it’s affecting us as a team on Sunday, it’s not just you can go ahead and do whatever you want. We’re all in it together. We all need each other. We’ll definitely police ourselves. We’ll stay on each other and talk to each other and that’s what a good team, a good family does. Just holding each other accountable.”

On if there he took from his time in Kansas City:

“I think one of the main things I picked up from Kansas City is just when you’re in the building, the work never stops. They always had us doing walkthroughs a little bit earlier before practice. If we got out there 5 or 10 minutes early, getting out there just to get more reps. If you’re in a period and you’re not doing anything, instead of just sitting on the sidelines, let’s get up and do something even if it’s just playing catch, little ball drills and things like that. I think that was probably the biggest thing that stood out to me. If we were on the field, there wasn’t any sitting around, we were working at all times. I know Coach Rivera is already like that, but it’s definitely something I took to Kansas City.”

On his favorite memory when he played for Washington previously:

“The Seahawks game. I enjoyed the Seahawks game because I remember the defense playing big the whole game. I think it was one of the last series, the defense, we didn’t hold our own and the offense kind of came back through and bailed us out. They had kind of been struggling the whole game, and they stayed in there and kept battling and came in and made plays at the end to help us win the game. And I liked my interception.”

On how he would evaluate his performance while with Kansas City:

“I think I did pretty good, definitely never to my expectations. I think just the different challenges each year I was there. First and second year, I was just playing on nickel. Then going form playing outside in base to inside in sub packages, which was an adjustment, just because you have to make sure you’re prepared for both. My second year having a surgery. I think the second year after breaking my thumb the second year in a row I was a little bit more cautious, but Tyrann [Mathieu] had came in hot in that safety/nickel role so having to also play that role, which was a big adjustment for me. It was a lot of things, a lot of adversities I was facing but just battling through them. I think that was the beauty for me, especially like the late playoff run and the Super Bowl, just knowing that all the adversities I had pushed through during the season with the thumb, going out there and never playing safety in my life, and going out there late in the season and playoff games. Pushing through those adversities just kind of showed me that I can fight through anything during the course of the season.”

On if having a reduced workload helped him:

“My snaps weren’t down before my thumb injury. If you want to say down, they had just decided… My first year in KC, I did base corner and sub nickel. My second year, they kind of just let me focus on nickel, especially with a new system and things like that. It felt good out there, especially the first two or three games I think us as a defense, we were just learning the ins and outs of the system. Learning what we could get away with and what we couldn’t get away with. Once I got hurt, I wasn’t able to be out there learning the ins and outs on the field, but I was in the film room being able to learn the ins and outs. Us as a whole defense, we were just able to hit our shot at the right moment.”

On where he has felt the most comfortable in practice so far:

“Corner and nickel. Playing corner my whole life and playing corner at [Virginia] Tech, even my first two years here. In practice playing a little bit of corner, playing nickel the whole time I’ve just pretty much been in the league. Any time I’m at corner and nickel it feels comfortable for me.”

On CB Jimmy Moreland and CB Fabian Moreau:

“All of us are just learning. Everybody is just getting on board and learning, not just focusing on themselves, not just saying I’m going to focus on this position. We’re in there rotating with each other, asking each other questions and everybody is just open to learning the new system, knowing that at the end of the day, they’re going to put us in places where we’re trying to go out there and win football games on Sunday. Just the open mindset that everybody has right now and the willingness for everybody to learn the defense and just get each other better mentally right now.”

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