Kenoy Kennedy lays into Cotton Bowl, home life, Tim Tebow and proper form tackling

The term "decleat" was created for guys like Kenoy.

The last time Razorback fans saw safety Kenoy Kennedy in an Arkansas uniform, he was camping out in the Texas Longhorns’ backfield during the 2000 Cotton Bowl, clearing out the sinuses of anything wearing orange.

In that game, Kennedy led a defense which racked up eight sacks while holding Texas to minus-27 yards, an all-time low. Both Longhorn quarterbacks – Major Applewhite and Chris Sims – were injured.

It was one of the finest defensive performances in Cotton Bowl history.

On Thursday, the good folks from “The Zone” at Buzz 103.7 sat down with Dallas native Kennedy, who was drafted in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft and played seven years in total with the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions.

He’s going to attend the Cotton Bowl: “I’m kind of fired up about it. I was online and somehow my mouse got to clicking and I ended up on a Kansas State blog. And man, they talk so bad about us. I was in my office just sweating. My fists was balled up. I had to remind myself these are only words. I had to shut my computer down and had to walk out.”

Here are other highlights from that interview:

1. PROPER TACKLING IN NFL: Kenoy says it’s near impossible to practice proper form tackling. “Guys are so big and strong and when they’re running that fast and the ball’s coming in as fast as they are, you just try to put whatever you can on the guy. You can teach proper form, but when everything’s happening so fast, no body hardly makes the perfect tackle. You try to get the guy on the ground anyway you can or you won’t be able to play long.”

2. KIDDING AROUND: His wife attended U of Texas. “We’re not going to hold that against her,” Kenoy says. They have two sons, ages six and three. The children haven’t been playing pee-wee football, but the oldest one does play soccer. “He’s got to get his footwork right,” Kenoy says.

3. AFTER HE WAS RELEASED FOUR YEARS AGO: “Once I was done, I was done. I stopped playing Madden games. I didn’t want none of it.” Slowly, his love of NFL football is returning, though. He plays fantasy football, and is trying to watch more.

4. NO OFFENSE TAKEN: Texas A&M, Kansas and Baylor were some of the schools recruiting him as an offensive player out of high school. Only Arkansas wanted him to play defense.

5. WILL TIM TEBOW GET BACK HIS MOJO?: “It’s gonna be hard to win on a constant basis, especially when you get to the playoffs. You have to be able to throw the ball, and throwing the ball for 50-60 yards a game, that’s not gonna win in the playoffs.

Listen to The Zone’s interview with Kennedy in its entirety here. At 20 min., Kennedy’s anectode about a ferocious hit he made in college is hilarious.

Later, in the NFL, he’d get in trouble for such hits:

October, 2002 – Denver Broncos safety Kenoy Kennedy (Arkansas Razorbacks) was suspended without pay for one game for a helmet-to- helmet hit that left Miami Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers with a concussion. 
    Chambers was hurt in the second quarter of the Dolphins’ 24- 22 victory Sunday, when he reached for a pass from quarterback Jay Fiedler and was hit in the head by Kennedy
    Kennedy receives $430,000 in base salary and will lose one game check, equivalent to $26,875. 
    Kennedy was called for a personal foul. Chambers lay on the ground for several minutes and needed help leaving the field. 
    It wasn’t the first time Kennedy was disciplined by the league this season.The Broncos’ strong safety was fined $7,500 for a hit on the St. Louis Rams’ Isaac Bruce on Sept. 8 and another $10,000 last week for a hit on San Diego Chargers running back Fred McCrary. The league warned Kennedy that future hits similar to the one on McCrary could lead to a suspension. – from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Press Services

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