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  1. #1
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    'Bear' is set to return Sunday against Patriots

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    11/04/2004
    As far as Rams coach Mike Martz is concerned, defensive tackle Jimmy "Bear" Kennedy is ready not only to play Sunday against New England, but also for a new nickname.

    "'Griz' might be a better name for him now," Martz said. "Looks like the bear came out of hibernation."

    Kennedy, the team's first-round draft pick (No. 12 overall) in 2003, has been sidelined since suffering a broken right foot Aug. 5 in training camp and having surgery five days later. Kennedy has been practicing this week, displaying noticeable increases in speed and explosiveness.

    "It's unbelievable how well he's practiced," Martz said. "He is so strong right now ... just incredibly strong. He had gotten much stronger from last year, but the time that he's had off, he's worked like a maniac in the weight room. He's started to reap the rewards of all that."

    Kennedy's play has removed virtually all doubt about whether he will suit up when the Rams (4-3) square off against the Patriots (6-1) at the Edward Jones Dome. "Oh, he's going to play," Martz said. "He's had too much success out here in practice and done too well not to play. We couldn't block him."

    The one caveat, Martz said, is how Kennedy's foot responds to the increased work. "I can't see anything in practice these three days that would tell you that he can't play, unless he says his foot's just too sore," Martz said.

    Kennedy, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound Penn State product, was eager to rebound from a disappointing rookie year, in which he saw limited action in 12 games. In an interview at camp in Macomb, Ill. - before he was hurt - Kennedy acknowledged that "going out there every game and just standing on the sideline was definitely frustrating. But it was a learning experience. I looked at it as a redshirt year."

    Kennedy, who has been unavailable for comment this week, would provide valuable depth behind starters Ryan Pickett and Damione Lewis. Undrafted rookie Brian Howard is the only other defensive tackle on the roster, and ends Tyoka Jackson and Anthony Hargrove occasionally move inside.

    Injury update

    Jackson (hamstring), linebacker Brandon Chillar (hamstring), tight end Cam Cleeland (ankle), running back/kick returner Arlen Harris (hamstring), linebacker Robert Thomas (ankle) and offensive tackle Grant Williams (neck and shoulder) were listed as probable on Thursday's injury report. All practiced and are expected to play Sunday.

    Cleeland, who was injured Monday in practice, returned a day earlier than expected and "didn't look any worse for wear," Martz said. "There was no limp, so I think he's fine. He took all the snaps in that package that we use him in."

    Wide receiver Dane Looker, who suffered a high-ankle sprain Oct. 24 in Miami, sat out Thursday and remains doubtful


  2. #2
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: 'Bear' is set to return Sunday against Patriots

    On the Jack Snow football talk show tonight Snow was commenting on Jimmy Kennedy playing like a monster, looking fast, strong and...THROWING PEOPLE AROUND!

    I guess we can't question his motivation anymore. I'm getting real excited about the Grizzly now. If everything pans out he could be a real difference maker out there.

  3. #3
    coy bacon Guest

    Re: 'Bear' is set to return Sunday against Patriots

    No sale!
    I don't buy it for a second. I expect next to nothing from Kennedy for the rest of the year. We're all heard this type of PR about various players, only to hear later that they haven't panned out. And despite the weaknesses in our LB and DB corps, I don't see our DTs being any better than last year.

    But, if JK lives up to the hype and manhandles the Pats, I'll be completely wrong and lovin it.

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    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: 'Bear' is set to return Sunday against Patriots

    I have a hard time believing it when it's coach speak. But when Jack Snow, who's not afraid to be objective, says something that powerful in favor of somebody, now that gets me excited.

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