Jet pays back old team

Tuesday, November 30, 2004 at 1:00am

It was inevitable last week in the days before the Arizona Cardinals played the New York Jets that Arizona's controversial release of center Pete Kendall this past summer would resurface.

After all, Kendall had been named a starter by new coach Dennis Green a few weeks before camp, and Green had said Kendall was one of the major pieces in efforts to "turn around" the team.

Then, Green released Kendall on the first day of training camp, amid speculation it was Kendall that had complained to the players association about Green breaking rules regarding the team's off-season program.

The club was subsequently punished for the violations. Green never explained his reason for releasing Kendall, and the coach didn't even tell then-line coach Bob Wylie what he was doing. Interestingly, Wylie was fired by Green after six games of this season.

Kendall said he didn't turn the team in.

"I think he got rid of me because he didn't think I was one of his guys and probably suspected me of going to the union," Kendall said. "I'm not the type to hold my tongue. I was upset with how the minicamp and OTAs (organized team activities) were being conducted. That wasn't something I went to great lengths to hide, but it wasn't me who went to the union.

"I think what he was telling me was that I could still play. But he didn't like me and didn't want me around anymore."

Kendall ended up with the Jets, and has been a large part of the team's success this season as the starting left guard.

"He's really brought some stability to our line," coach Herman Edwards said.

When asked about his feelings about facing the Cardinals, Kendall said, "I guess you would have to say it is [special], but really not for great reasons. I'm going to try to keep my emotions under control, understanding that the reason I'm here has nothing to do with any of those guys I'm going to be playing against."

As for seeking revenge on Green, Kendall said, "There's no way I can get back at Denny Green. If they win games and Dennis turns that program around then he did the right thing by getting rid of a

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