Jennings makes his first appearance

In the world of the NFC West, where four of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL reside, you need at least three solid cornerbacks who can stick like glue on defense. The Hawks have two experienced corners in Marcus Trufant and Kelly Herndon, but they needed a third player to complement the other two. Enter Kelly Jennings.

After a two-day holdout, Jennings signed his five-year, $9.5 million dollar contract on Sunday morning. He had a hectic schedule to make it to Cheney, Washington, but was in attendance at camp for the second of Seattle's two practices on Sunday afternoon.

"I got up at 4:30 this morning," Jennings told the assembled media after his first workout. "I had to be on the plane at 6:30, flew into Denver, had a lay over in Denver, flew up here, got here, had to go get a physical, had to go get some paperwork taken care of, had to go eat, then had to comeback and run a conditioning test and then I had to come out to practice."

Makes you tired just thinking about it doesn't it?

As a rookie, it can take players time to deal with the speed of the game and the enormous playbooks that are plopped in front of them and Jennings said he's ready for whatever is thrown at him.

"I feel fine," Jennings said. "I haven't actually since the last mini-camp been up against competition like that, but I feel pretty good.

"I've been running at the University of Miami with our strength coach doing different lifts, different runs, going against some of the NFL guys, but no team stuff."

Over the past two days, head coach Mike Holmgren has spoken to the fact that the timeframe for negotiating player contracts can be frustrating at times and that is why he's happy he doesn't negotiate player contracts anymore. Jennings said he left everything up to his agent and he is ready to go now that he's signed, sealed and delivered.

"I trust my agent," Jennings noted. "I let my family narrow it down. I picked him myself given my business background. He kept me informed with what was going on. I understood what was happening. I understood why it was taking so long. That's just the way it was.

"You always wonder what people are going to think, what's going to happen, but you get people you trust, you know they are handling the deal and know that they'll take care of it. When the time comes I was ready. I kept running, kept staying in shape for when the time came."

One last aspect of NFL life that rookies have to get used to is being the butt of most jokes in the locker room as they get their legs under them. Jennings got some ribbing this afternoon from his new teammates because of his tardiness to his first pro training camp, but he said he can handle it.

"We joked around about certain things," Jennings said. "It was nothing that I felt like anybody had something against me or anybody was upset. As long as I go out and do my job, it'll be ok."

Jennings worked mostly in the nickel during camp today and according to the coaches, they will try different combinations during camp and the preseason games to see how the rookie handles the pressure and competition at this level.


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