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The Kennedy era of error moves on to Denver
By Bernie Miklasz
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Saturday, Jun. 09 2007
As colleague Jeff Gordon would say, "How will history remember the Jimmy
Kennedy Era in St. Louis?"
Kennedy, one of the worst draft busts in Rams history, is headed to Denver in
exchange for a sixth-round draft pick.
You know a guy is bad when a team so desperately weak at defensive tackle all
but gives him away. Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett isn't allowed to
speak to the media except on rare occasions, but it's common knowledge at Rams
Park that Haslett had no use for Kennedy and is happy to see him go.
But Denver's Jim Bates is a highly regarded defensive coordinator, and it's
interesting that he wants Kennedy. Bates also wanted Sam Adams, a massive (and
aging) DT signed by the Broncos last week. The Rams took a look at Adams and
passed after giving him a poor medical grade.
The Rams are still thin at defensive tackle. I spoke with Rams President John
Shaw on Friday, and he explained that the team wants to expedite the
development of rookie DT Adam Carriker, Clifton Ryan and Keith Jackson, and
second-year DT Claude Wroten. The idea, Shaw said, is to give the youngbloods
as many snaps as possible during training camp. And by keeping Kennedy around,
he would only take reps that could go to the young DTs. Shaw said the Rams
would be looking to acquire a veteran defensive tackle during training camp,
via trade or waiver claim.
When he starred at running back for Rutgers, Rams No. 2 draft pick Brian
Leonard got the chance to hang out with Tony Soprano — or rather James
Gandolfini, who plays T. Soprano on the HBO series. Gandolfini, a Rutgers grad,
attended several home games last season and sat near Leonard's parents. "He
posed for a photo with my parents, and he wore one of my jerseys," Leonard told
us on our KSLG (1380 AM) radio show. Another time, Gandolfini had a
fender-bender accident on the Rutgers campus near the residence that houses
several Rutgers players. While waiting for assistance, Gandolfini hung out with
the players. "Tony Soprano is a great guy," Leonard said. Phil Leotardo may
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