Kerney, who voided the last two years of his contract with the Falcons and signed a six-year, $39.5 million contract with Seattle in the offseason, got off to a somewhat disappointing start with his new team, racking up only 3.5 sacks in his first eight games, But he finished the season in amazing fashion, with three different three-sack games -- against Chicago, St. Louis and Arizona.
He was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November. Kerney's previous high was 13 sacks in 2004, when he went to the Pro Bowl with the Falcons. He'll represent the Seahawks this season, along with fellow defenders Lofa Tatupu, Julian Peterson and Marcus Trufant.
The Seahawks ended the regular season with 45 sacks, third in
the NFL behind the New York Giants (53) and the New England Patriots (47). Though
Kerney is proud of his season, he sounded more concerned post-game about his
team's performance against Atlanta. He also touched on his history with the
Falcons, and the ties that still bind. While his new team is the third seed
in the NFC and is preparing for a home playoff game, the Falcons ended a nightmare
season at 4-12.
Atlanta's football year began with the New Year's day firing of head coach (and current Seahawks secondary coach) Jim Mora, and continued through Michael Vick's prosecution, Bobby Petrino's undignified return to the collegiate ranks after replacing Mora for 13 games, and the team's current discombobulated state.
"It (was) a pretty emotional day for me," he said. "I had eight years here that I really cherished. I've got close friends on their team. Not just players, but coaches, administrators and such. It was great to see them. There are so many great people in the Falcons organization. For whatever reason, they got struck with awful luck this year. It started during the summer and didn't end until 10 days ago with the Parcells stuff (when Bill Parcells chose the Miami Dolphins over the Falcons when looking at a team to run). It's too much for any team to overcome. So my hat is off to them today.
"They ended a tough season, and they played their hearts out. They hung 44 points on our defense. It's nothing we can be proud of. I think they went back to last year's playbook and did some things well. Hey, they executed. And I'll tell you what, any time you put on that uniform, you need to put your best foot forward. We didn't do that today. But we'll turn it around. We'll be ready for the playoffs. By this Friday we will be very ready."
The Seahawks had better be ready -- they'll welcome the Washington Redskins to Qwest Field on Saturday in the wild card round. The Redskins have
won their last four games and are quite possibly the hottest team in the NFC.
Quarterback Todd Collins is undefeated as a starter this year, but one suspects
that a certain quarterback disruptor named Kerney may have something to say