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  1. #1
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    Kennedy's stock is rising after unproductive year

    Kennedy's stock is rising after unproductive year
    By Bill Coats

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    12/03/2004


    *

    Sure, Rams defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy acknowledged, the surgically repaired fifth metatarsal in his right foot still hurts from time to time. But he has a plan.

    "We'll make this run to the Super Bowl," Kennedy said, "and then I'll get a chance to rest it up for a little bit."

    Nice strategy, but perhaps a bit heady, considering that the Rams (5-6) are clinging to playoff hopes as they head into Sunday's contest against San Francisco (1-10) at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Still, Kennedy's upbeat attitude is understandable. Finally healthy after more than three months on the sideline, and finally making an impact after a highly disappointing rookie season, Kennedy is feeling downright bubbly these days. And if he gets his first NFL start Sunday, his exuberance will go even higher.

    "I'm not really thinking about" starting, insisted Kennedy, who spent considerable time with the first unit in practice this week. "Since I came back, we've been having a weird rotation. One day I'm with the ones, the next day I'm with the threes. ... I'm just trying to get better every day, and whatever happens, happens."

    The Rams spent their first-round draft spot, No. 12 overall, last year for Kennedy, a 6-foot-4, 320-pounder out of Penn State. They didn't get much in return: Kennedy appeared in 13 games as a reserve, recording just 10 tackles.

    He seemed to be making significant strides early in training camp before he was hurt. Martz praised Kennedy for using his down time to bulk up, and he's been a consistent contributor, with increasing playing time, in the past three games since his return.

    Kennedy had a career-high five tackles, including three solo stops, Monday night in the Rams' 45-17 loss at Green Bay. Rookie Brian Howard started alongside Ryan Pickett in place of Damione Lewis, collecting three tackles, but Kennedy got plenty of work.

    "He played very well, and he's going to play more," Martz said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do, and he's made outstanding progress."

    Kennedy, 25, said the rehab and comeback after the injury have "been a battle, a tough battle, fighting through the soreness, scar tissue breaking up and having to go out there and still practice. But the way I feel right now is, I missed so much time that even if it's sore, I still want to be out there on the field."

    And despite his optimism, Kennedy realizes that the Rams need all the help they can get in their quest for a postseason berth. He issued a challenge of sorts to his teammates.

    "Right now as a team, our backs are against the wall," he said. "We're going to have to see how we're going to respond, if we're going to come out fighting or if guys are going to go into the tank. I can look in a bunch of guys' eyes and know that they want to come out fighting, so from here on out, we need to do what we can to win this division, make the playoffs and make the long run."

    Faulk's status remains uncertain

    Martz indicated Friday that running back Marshall Faulk, who has a bruised knee, probably will be in uniform Sunday. But how much he plays - if at all - remains uncertain.

    "It's painful," Martz said. "We'll just kind of judge how he feels on Sunday, but I'm sure he'll be (dressed) and available." In any case, rookie Steven Jackson will start against the *****.

    "I think we're all kind of anxious to put him in that kind of a role to see what he'll do," Martz said. "I think he'll play very well."

    Holt takes blame

    In an odd sequence vs. the Packers, Rams receiver Torry Holt twice was whistled for false starts in a five-play span. Both penalties put the team in first-and-15 holes, and the possession fizzled when a fake punt failed.

    "I was overanxious," said Holt, a six-year vet who led the NFL in catches and receiving yards last season. "He had called my number, and I wanted to get going. ... I got overly excited.

    "That was totally my fault. There's no excuse for that. I've been around long enough, I know what it takes to stay on the line of scrimmage. It won't happen this week."




  2. #2
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    Re: Kennedy's stock is rising after unproductive year

    Suggesting that Kennedys "stock" has risen is a function of the very, very unfortunate run stopping or lack thereof of lewis and pickett. Saying the stock is rising is like saying that Kmart common is a better deal than Enron common.

    general counsel

  3. #3
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    Re: Kennedy's stock is rising after unproductive year

    Good point, GC. It's not hard to watch your stock rise when what you're being compared to is pretty low to begin with. Hopefully Kennedy can be an answer for us at defensive tackle if he gets a chance to be in the rotation. After hearing good things about this development over the spring/summer, I'm anxious to see how that's paid off.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Kennedy's stock is rising after unproductive year

    I'm hoping if Kennedy can get some significant playing time that his true potential will shine through. That he just needs the opportunity to show it. If he can stay healthy, he's got the size to be a force on the defensive line for years to come.

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    Re: Kennedy's stock is rising after unproductive year

    From what I've seen of him this season, he's shown some promise. It'd be nice if he turned out to be the guy we're looking for on the interior of the D-line. The last thing you want to do is to strike out with first round picks.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Kennedy's stock is rising after unproductive year

    Sure, his stock is rising the week we play the whiners LOL

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    Re: Kennedy's stock is rising after unproductive year

    Living in PA and being a Penn St fan, I saw alot of Kennedy in his college career....and I'm not quite ready to give up on him yet.

    I know he hasn't lived up to his "1st round dartf pick" status yet, but I say give him a little more time. You can't expect a guy of his size to play at the significantly lower weight that Lovie demanded, far below the weight he was accustomed to carrying, and not have his strength and endurance suffer as a result. Not to mention his injuries. I think if he can stay healthy for the rest of the year (and next), Rams' fans will be pleasantly surprised.
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