Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maake Kemoeatu Takes It Easy After Heat Exhaustion

A day after battling heat exhaustion, starting nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu sat out practice Wednesday at Redskins Park.

"It was just the heat, man, it was just hot," Kemoeatu said. "They gave me a break today to get ready for Friday."

The Redskins kick off their preseason schedule Friday night against the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field. Kemoeatu expects to be in the opening lineup.

"Oh, yeah, man," he said. "That's what I've been working for."

Kemoeatu, who sat out the 2009 season because of an achilles injury, impressed team officials with his tireless work ethic while he rehabbed at the complex for most of the offseason. Ray Wright, Washington's strength and conditioning coach, went to Hawaii before training camp to continue to help Kemoeatu prepare for the season.

Although Kemoeatu, beginning his ninth season, has worked in heat often in his career, the last two days in Ashburn have been especially difficult.

"Man, it's even hotter now with the helmet and the pads," he said. "It's not just the temperature. I was feeling it a lot. Especially yesterday."

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has praised Kemoeatu since the former Carolina Panther signed with team in March. "The kid's been fighting through it," Haslett said. "The guy missed all last year with the torn achilles. He hasn't has a day off. He's fought through it.

"He didn't want a day off. I asked him. He said, 'I don't need a day off. I need to get through this.' Cause once you get back, you're wearing helmets, shoulder pads, guys hitting. I think he's done a great job. He's a lot faster than I remember and he's a lot quicker than I remember. He's a big man in the middle."

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