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Someone Else's Cog

The football offseason has a strange effect of fans. Weeks and even months without football make even the most knowledgeable and ardent fans suffer a sort of delusional state of mind, not unlike the dehydrated hiker lost in the desert and seeing clear, blue lake or a lonely acid trip that produces all sorts of interesting conversations with the walls. A lot of casual Rams fans and outside browsers to this site probably think we've all gone out of our heads with our talk of the Rams looking as though they've put together a solid defense and a shot at the playoffs.

We're not the only ones though; Broncos fans are expressing excitement about acquiring Jimmy Kennedy! Over at Mile High Report, the Guru runs down the depth the Broncos now have at defensive tackle, ranking JK third on their depth chart, noting:

The latest addition to the roster, Kennedy was acquired from the St.Louis Rams for a late round draft pick.  The move could prove to be ingenious, giving the Broncos more depth and a lot of talent.  Kennedy never really got comfortable as a Ram after being drafted 12th overall in 2003, with reasons varying depending on who you ask.  The team says Kennedy didn't work hard, and never did what they asked him, which was to be a run stuffer.  Kennedy says the Rams never utilized him correctly, and injury problems early in his career hampered his growth.  Kennedy is a crasher, the type of player that wants to get to the quarterback;   his strength isn't playing the run.  That makes him a perfect fit in Denver, since the Broncos have run-stuffers in Adams and Warren.  If Kennedy can focus solely on disrupting the pocket and getting in the quarterback's face he has a chance to be ultra effective and the Broncos could have a steal.  Health issues have been a concern, but Kennedy had his best season in 2006 and should be motivated heading into 2007.

Lest we get into a bit of revisionist history about Kennedy, he was done in STL. The fans had given up on him, and it sure seemed like he and the coaching staff agreed the best thing for him was to get a fresh start somewhere else. There's not a football blogger out there I respect more than the Guru, so I certainly won't dismiss his analysis of JK's role with the Broncos.

Kennedy as a role player/depth guy makes sense; depth is exactly how we had him pegged heading into this season. However, when he's your team's first round pick, you expect a little more than just another warm body to kneel on the line for 15 plays a game. I never really saw him as much of a rushing specialist, but with Wroten coming into his own and Carriker having DE experience the Rams didn't need another DT to attack the pocket anyway. Like I said, I really think he was done in STL, a la James Hall and the Lions, thus aborting his chances at being effective from the start. If there's a team and a staff that can make something useful out of him, the Broncos will find a way to make that cog fit into their system somehow.