Humble ’Tez deserves respect in all respects

Published on February 7, 2012 by     Tacoma News Tribune (Feed)

For much of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, Cortez Kennedy stood head and shoulders above the NFL’s corps of defensive tackles.

Because of his level of dominance, that head and those shoulders will now be cast in bronze and placed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer.

The Hall selection committee got this one right on Saturday afternoon by recognizing Kennedy as not only an elite defender, but a player who helped change the game as a force of destruction from the interior line.

It goes beyond that with Kennedy, though, as a player for whom fans could root without reservation.

Those of us who have followed Kennedy since he arrived in the NFL in 1990 have heard endlessly that “ ’Tez,” as they all called him, was a Hall of Fame teammate, a Hall of Fame guy, a Hall of Fame father, a Hall of Fame friend.

He was considered larger than life as a player (which is saying a great deal given his ample girth), but at the same time may have been the most humble man on the team.

You would ask him to analyze a play in which he overpowered two 300-pounders and then ran down a back from behind, Kennedy would always say: “Just playin’ Seahawks football.”

The man never voiced a complaint about the team’s inept offense nor chronic losing. He deserves a spot in the Hall for that alone.

Kennedy’s inclusion stands as a stunning validation, because individuals with credentials such as Charles Haley (five Super Bowl wins) and coach Bill Parcells (two Super Bowl coaching wins) were among those in the final 10 who did not earn the Hall’s signature gold jacket.

This was Kennedy’s fourth time as a finalist. Two factors have worked against Kennedy. He played a position where it is difficult to statistically quantify dominance, and he did so for a somewhat inconsequential and remote franchise. But two factors aren’t an obstacle for somebody so adept at beating double-teams.

This time around, there was better recognition of his effect on the game during his time.

Mike Sando, a former staff writer with The News Tribune and now of ESPN.com, presented Kennedy’s case to the selection committee. He put Kennedy’s performance into the context of the NFL in the 1990s, pointing out that only two other defensive linemen matched Kennedy’s eight Pro Bowls in the decade – Reggie White and Bruce Smith.

The others to match that output from their positions were Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith and Derrick Thomas. All are in the Hall of Fame.

Further context: In his 11 seasons, Kennedy played for four coaches, Seattle had two seasons above .500 and one postseason appearance. While fans and national media had little chance to see Kennedy’s rare combination of power and quickness, opponents thought they saw too much.

Veteran NFL line coach Alex Gibbs told Sando that Kennedy, alone, made facing the Seahawks a nightmare.

“… It was going to boil down to making a decision,” Gibbs said of preparation to face Seattle. “Do I spend all my time with Cortez or do I deal with those other guys?”

Kennedy demanded double teams, and sometimes that wasn’t enough. As former teammate Dave Wyman told me last year for a column on Kennedy before the Hall of Fame vote, there were times when Kennedy would somehow collapse the entire left side of an opponent’s offensive line – A, B and C gaps, Wyman said – like 300-pound dominoes.

But Kennedy was also the jokester who hid in Wyman’s closet during training camp just for the sheer joy of jumping out and yelling “boo” at him in the middle of the night. “Cortez was a gem, one of the best teammates I ever had,” Wyman said.

Seahawks linebacker Terry Wooden came into the league with Kennedy, and said he was so talented that “sometimes you felt like a kid around him … whenever we needed to have a big play, all eyes were on ’Tez; it was like we were all thinking, ‘Don’t worry, ’Tez will rescue us’. ”

via Humble ’Tez deserves respect in all respects | Seattle Seahawks – The News Tribune.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

122220

Seahawks with the most to gain: Bruce Irvin

Room to grow.Seattle has plenty of it, which seems odd to say considering the Seahawks are coming off ...
628x471

Kaepernick, Lockette being investigated for ‘suspicious incident’

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette is being investigated along with San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick and ...
140409-preseason-600-beauty

Seahawks preseason schedule announced, features Super Bowl rematch with Denver Broncos

Seahawks preseason features matchups with the Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, and Oakland Raiders. While not quite ...
140408-ms-opener-trophy-600

Super Bowl champion Seahawks celebrated at Seattle Mariners home opener

The Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seahawks were honored during a special ceremony prior to the Seattle Mariners' home ...
etjml.AuSt.5

Extension shows Seahawks believe in Carroll-Schneider ‘lovefest’

Friday’s gathering at Seahawks headquarters wasn’t as much about a new contract as it was a renewal of ...
140404-carroll-presser-600

Pete Carroll agrees to new three-year deal with Seahawks

Entering the final year of his original five-year contract, head coach Pete Carroll has agreed to a new ...
140403chancellor660

A happy, water-filled birthday to Kam Chancellor

Thursday is Kam Chancellor’s 26th birthday, and the Seahawks’ All-Pro strong safety is asking you to celebrate by ...
hi-res-53c93

How much better can Wilson be?

The question in the headline is open-ended, but Pete Carroll told Peter King of MMQB that Wilson can ...

Shop for Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII Champs Merchandise at NFLShop.com

Shop for Conference Champs and Super Bowl XLVIII Match Up Merchandise at NFLShop.com

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz