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Sunday Press Conference: LB Devon Kennard

Eric from BBI : Admin : 7/31/2016 4:54 pm
Linebacker Devon Kennard

July 31, 2016

Q: No Interceptions today, huh?

A: “No, not today, unfortunately”

Q: How big of a deal was that? That was something you wanted to work on, coverage.

A: “Most definitely, that was something I made a point of emphasis in getting better at this off-season and it’s nice to start camp off that way.”

Q: It happened to be the first play of camp. Was that something that you geared up for, for the first play or something?

A: “It just happened to come my way. It was a wheel route by Will Tye and I leveraged myself well and made it hard for him to get the ball in there. It was a good play."

Q: Ben McAdoo mentioned last year’s Buffalo game. Did the Buffalo play remind you of that at all?

A: “Yeah, it was pretty similar. It was opposite sides but it was a pretty similar type of play.”

Q: How much of the workload now as a linebacker is focused on defending the pass? It seems like every year it becomes more and more about that.

A: “I think it is essential. At linebacker you have to be able to obviously stop the run, but it’s a pass happy league and there are a lot of good quarterbacks, receivers, tight ends and skill players out there, so you have to be able to defend the pass.”

Q: What do you make of this linebacker group? You are still really one of the younger guys and probably one of the more established ones here with this group. What do you make of the group of veterans?

A: “I think it is a group of veterans who have played a lot of ball. It is really competitive. you know. We have guys who played significant roles in different situations and it is making it interesting and it is going to be a good camp.”

Q: At what point do you start to play the numbers game in regards to your contract?

A: “I don’t worry about that, I go out here every day and give my all and focus on being the best I can be and everything else will take care of itself.”

Q: For a defensive player, is Tuesday the unofficial real start of camp?

A: "Oh yeah, It is a day I look forward to. We finally get to hit somebody, so it has been a while.”

Q: At some point you have to put the pads on and do these things, right?

A: “Absolutely man, you want to be able to put the pads on and the game just changes a little bit. You have to protect yourself and your teammates when you’re not in pads. When you get the shoulder pads on, you are going to see guys get into some collisions and stuff and it’s going to be good.”

Q: As a defensive player, is it frustrating be practice without pads and not be able to hit somebody?

A: “Yeah, it can get frustrating sometimes. You have the plays when you can’t wait until you get the pads on because you know what you have done in that situation. It is a part of the game. We have to protect ourselves and each other, so I understand the concept.”

Q: Do you ever say that to an offensive player when you buzz past him? Something like, “man, why aren’t my pads on?”

A: “I don’t really say it. They are my teammates, but in my head I am definitely I am thinking about it.”

Q: It’s year 3 for you. What gives you confidence that you can stay healthy this year?

A: “I am not worried about what has happened in the past and I feel great right now and I am doing above and beyond everything to keep my body healthy and to stay on the field and that is all I am concerned with.”

Q: What is different for you as a player then?

A: “I feel healthy, I am lean, I’m strong and fast and I just feel ready to go”.

Q: When you are out there on the field and you watch the play when Odell goes down, what goes through your head?

A: “I am not sure what happened to him exactly. I just hope he is okay. It is hard to see any of your teammates go down in practice, so you never want to see that. You know, I just hope he is okay.”
Kennard is a top LB when healthy  
SGMen : 7/31/2016 5:28 pm : link
He is the one LB we know that can blitz and take down a QB. He is also very good at stopping the run at the POA especially.

If he and newbie LB K. Robinson can man the outside we'll be more than OK. I like Robinson over Casillas or Thomas at WLB. Robinson may not start the season if the "learning curve" is an issue but he'll be out there game 1 as a coverage LB and work his way into starting before long.

I think by the last 3 or 4 games we will have WLB Robinson, MLB Goodson and SLB Kennard manning a strong LB unit.
Reese has done a GREAT job lately re attitude and intelligence  
KeoweeFan : 7/31/2016 8:40 pm : link
of his draft, FA and UDFA selections. (I don't think any of these athletes needed someone to write their essays.) The prelude to this was the emphasis on team captains last year.
Couple this with a comment of one of our BBI camp observers that none of or OL seemed to have a "gut". This bodes VERY well for next years game plans and endurance.
I would add Brinkley to the Mix  
Bluesbreaker : 7/31/2016 8:52 pm : link
I think he will be the starter at MLB at least 1st and
2nd downs he played well and picked up the system quickly
down hill thump-er and respected in the locker room
I know I keep saying this but with Snacks and a healthy
Big Hank I think the line-backing crew will benefit in
the run defense ..
I think Kennard is gonna be an above average player for us
providing he stays healthy and could get 6-8 sacks .
I have said it before about Kennard, but it bears repeating.  
BlueLou : 7/31/2016 9:26 pm : link
If he can get through a season healthy, he has the ability to be a pro bowl LB. A lot of the off-season write ups about him stipulated "if he can get back to playing like he did his rookie year..."

IMO that's simply wrong. He was a considerably better player last year - a pro bowl level player - until his injury.
RE: I have said it before about Kennard, but it bears repeating.  
SGMen : 7/31/2016 9:40 pm : link
In comment 13051747 BlueLou said:
Quote:
If he can get through a season healthy, he has the ability to be a pro bowl LB. A lot of the off-season write ups about him stipulated "if he can get back to playing like he did his rookie year..."

IMO that's simply wrong. He was a considerably better player last year - a pro bowl level player - until his injury.
If he can play 16 games healthy, I believe he is capable of having 8+ sacks, good # of pressures, top notch run defense and well just general all around great play. He will FEED off the DL's improved players.

LB Brinkley is a veteran run stopper who will now have a training camp under his belt. LB Robinson is much like Kennard in the sense he's never stayed healthy consistently BUT everyone knows he has talent. Is this the year he wins the WLB job and slides to MLB for 3rd downs and Casillas comes in as the de facto 3rd down pass down LB?

This is a veteran group and I suspect will be a solid group throughout the year.
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