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Thread: Questions: Rams DT Jimmy Kennedy
Questions: Rams DT Jimmy Kennedy
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Although he was the Rams' first-round draft choice (No. 12 overall) in 2003, defensive lineman Jimmy Kennedy never had been able to hold down a starting job. This year, playing a new position (nose tackle) under a new head coach (Scott Linehan), a new defensive coordinator (Jim Haslett) and a new position coach (Brian Baker), has been different for the 6-foot-4, 325-pound former Penn State star.
Kennedy has been the first-team nose tackle since the start of training camp. Lining up alongside veteran La'Roi Glover, Kennedy has been a key performer in a Rams defense that has improved significantly overall and leads the NFL in turnover margin.
During a break in preparations for Sunday's game at San Diego, Kennedy answered five questions from the Post-Dispatch:
How is the move to nose tackle going?
"It's going great. Every practice, I learn something new. I have a great defense around me, and I love the fact that my linebackers behind me are having a lot of success. Haslett and Brian Baker told me I could become one of the best (nose tackles) in the league. So I'm definitely happy with the switch."
Are you pleased with the Rams' 4-2 start?
"We'd love to be 6-0, but you get what you can get. We're playing solid football, but we get to watch the film and see the mistakes that we make. And I'm glad that this defense, and this team, doesn't settle for just average. We're trying to fix our mistakes and go out there and have that perfect game so we can make a great run."
Speaking of runs, three of the Rams' next four opponents have winning records and the other is at .500. Is this the pivotal stretch in the season?
"Who do we play next? Seriously. I really don't know, and I think there are a lot of guys who don't know. After we play the Chargers, we'll find out who we have next and where. It's really one game at a time, and that's the way it has to be."
How is the atmosphere at Rams Park different this year from last year?
"Last year, there was so much uncertainty. You didn't know what was going on with (Mike) Martz, you didn't know what was going on upstairs (in the executive offices), you had a quarterback hurt. ... It wasn't a team; it was a lot of guys going out and just playing, for the most part. This year, everything's in place, we know what's going on, and we hold each other accountable. It's a family atmosphere. Guys love coming to work now. We're having fun."
What was it like to play for Joe Paterno in college?
"I didn't know the type of legend he was until I got there. When you realize his standards and what he demands, it's a blessing to play for the guy. It's not just about football with him. He cares about his players off the field, too. He was trying to make us men, and he did a great job. If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it 10 times."
Re: Questions: Rams DT Jimmy Kennedy
I like the [take it one game at a time] approach.You focus on who your playing this week not three weeks later.