Howard Balzer: In a nutshell, part of Jimmy Kennedy's lack of success in St. Louis was him being moved around all the time. As a rookie with Lovie Smith here, he had to lose weight to fit what Lovie wanted. Lovie ultimately left and he was able to put weight back on, but he broke a bone in his foot in a training camp scrimmage against, coincidentally, the Bears.
He was always inconsistent and didn't use his hands well. In 2006, he was moved to nose tackle, which wasn't a good fit. He hurt his hand early, and that had an impact on his poor play. But mainly, he's a great guy that never seemed to have the necessary passion to get better.
He got traded to the Broncos this past offseason for a sixth-round pick, but he was cut after the preseason.
JC's Take: As I mentioned Tuesday after this deal was announced, it sure sounded like Lovie was getting a little overly aggressive on the personnel front once again. It made much more sense when he jumped up and down to get Adam Archuleta from the Redskins because he was once a great player in his Cover-2 system. Kennedy, on the other hand, was considered a colossal disappointment and never came close to fulfilling his promise after being selected 12th-overall out of Penn State in the 2003 NFL Draft. The Rams dealt him to the Broncos for just a sixth-rounder before the start of the season, but he didn't even make the team even though Mike Shanahan's club was desperate for defensive linemen. However, at this point, with all the attrition the Bears have seen in the trenches, they just need bodies right now.
It's almost always worth taking a chance on a guy who was once considered a blue-chip prospect, but Kennedy will have to seriously whip himself into shape – he's battled weight problems in the past, and Lovie likes `em lean and mean – if he's going to develop into Tommie Harris' complement at nose tackle in 2008.
All of that plus much more in the January issue of ...
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