Pendleton learning from NFL greats

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NATCHEZ — Wesley Pendleton has always admired Darrelle Revis from afar.

The former Natchez High School and Ole Miss cornerback, who signed a free agent deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shortly after this past NFL draft, said he considers Revis the best cornerback in the game and possibly one of the best all-time.

But as Pendleton watches Revis go to work in organized team activities (OTAs) — Revis was recently traded to the Bucs — Pendleton said he couldn’t afford to get too caught up in the hype.

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“You have to be focused and not worry about that,” Pendleton said. “You have to let yourself know you’re a superstar, too. You can’t be star-struck just because you’re on the same team.”

That said, Pendleton admitted he would try to learn a few things from the Bucs’ star cornerback.

“I just want to get in with him and see everything he’s doing, how he motivates himself and prepares for the game,” Pendleton said.

Pendleton arrived in Tampa shortly after signing his deal and initially only worked out with fellow rookies in rookie mini-camp. He spent his time going through positional drills and trying to learn the system. After a week, the rest of the Bucs players arrived for OTAs.

The biggest challenge thus far for Pendleton? Adjusting to the heat, he said.

“It’s all about endurance, because we have to be able to run, and we had to get used to the heat,” Pendleton said. “It’s so hot and humid that people were falling out left and right.”

Pendelton said he managed to keep himself hydrated and fight through the heat, but he admitted it sometimes zapped him of his biggest asset — his speed.

“It affects me more than I thought, because with (the heat) you’re so tired, and your body is drained,” he said. “You really have to take care of your body. I was pushing a lot of fluids, so I was one of the ones that made it through really good.”

Like fellow NHS alumnus Rico Richardson, Pendleton said he’s also having to adjust to a new playbook.

“The first couple of weeks, the playbook was simple,” Richardson said. “After a while, we started putting other things into the defense, so it did end up being more complicated than what I had at Ole Miss. You have to know more formations and things like that.”

Pendleton said he’ll be home in Natchez in a week in a half, training himself before he has to return for minicamp. He said he would find out when minicamp was at the end of OTAs.