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DT Kennedy visits Bills

Posted Mar 12, 2010

Both of Buffalo’s lines have been deemed by many to be in need of reinforcements. The team’s front office and personnel department appear to agree. Four days after signing offensive tackle Cornell Green, the Bills welcomed free agent defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy to One Bills Drive Friday.

Kennedy (6’5” 320) has played almost his entire career in 4-3 defensive systems, but he does offer the size to play the nose tackle role in Buffalo’s 3-4 scheme.

“I’m definitely capable of handling the position,” he said. “I played nose last year in Minnesota. I played every position along the line. So it’s just about following the scheme and understanding the scheme and just going out there and executing.”

The Penn State product is viewed by some as a late bloomer, as he has demonstrated much more consistent play over the past season and a half with the Minnesota Vikings. Used mainly as a pass down specialist in Minnesota behind starters Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, Kennedy contributed 18 tackles and three sacks in 13 appearances in 2009. Kennedy however, is looking to make a greater impact.

“Of course,” he said. “I’m trying to go out there and get better. Am I satisfied with what I did last year? No. You guys might be impressed with it, but to me it’s just a start.”

A former first-round pick of the Rams in 2003, Kennedy dominated at the collegiate level, but was unable to reach his full potential with St. Louis. He was eventually traded by the club five seasons later to Denver, but was promptly waived by the Broncos.

He spent a short time with Chicago followed by a half season with Jacksonville in 2008 before being signed by Minnesota.

Now 30, Kennedy, by most accounts is playing some of his best football. His size and playmaking ability would be welcomed on Buffalo’s defensive interior.

“I love playing this game. I’ve been through my share of criticism, but that comes with the game,” he said. “I’m to a point in my career now where I just try to do what I do. When it’s all said and done I just want to win. If I get a chance to finish this game with a ring or two so be it, and if this is the place for me to get that ring, it’ll be.”

Kennedy said he has no other free agent visits lined up, but that there is interest out there and Minnesota has been in contact with his agent in an effort to re-sign him. But he clearly liked what he heard from Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards and defensive line coach Giff Smith.

“I’m impressed with them,” Kennedy said. “They seem to have their head on straight and know what they want. Of course they see me in their plans right now. So it’s about me seeing myself in their plans and getting a grasp of what they want me to do. If I’m not comfortable here and don’t feel I can be successful I won’t sign here. I want to be able to put my best foot forward on the field. They’re doing a good job of convincing me.”

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