Kennedy shows progress at minicamp

Sunday, May 23, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- A year after the Rams made Jimmy Kennedy their first-round pick, he's finally starting to act like one.

Kennedy, the 12th overall selection last year, didn't start a game and saw only limited action in an underwhelming rookie season. After an offseason dedicated to getting stronger, he has made his presence felt during the team's three-day minicamp.

"He's made a terrific start at understanding what's expected out of him and getting there," coach Mike Martz said. "He's moving in the direction where we want him to be. He's still got a long way to go but he's much improved."

Kennedy is one of three first-round picks on the defensive line, all of whom the Rams are still waiting to blossom. Damione Lewis and Ryan Pickett both were taken in 2001, and Pickett has been by far the most impressive of the three.

The pick of Kennedy was met with much fanfare last year, then he showed up overweight and seemingly lacking motivation.

It was nothing new for that position with the Rams, though. Pickett had no starts his rookie year and Lewis got only three his rookie season.

"Obviously, those defensive tackles, it takes them a little time," Martz said.

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