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New York Giants’ Jim Herrmann: Rookie LB Devon Kennard Has Done a “Great Job”

July 15th, 2014 at 1:00 PM
By Dan Benton

When the New York Giants lost linebacker Jon Beason to a torn ligament and a sesamoid fracture of his right foot — an injury that will likely keep him out until the start of the regular season — it immediately appeared as if their depth at middle linebacker had been shot. But in addition to veteran Jameel McClain, fifth-round rookie Devon Kennard immediately stepped up and showed his teammates and coaches he was up to the task.

At the conclusion of the offseason workout program, Kennard had advanced so quickly that linebackers coach Jim Herrmann couldn't help but to smile at the mere mention of his name.

"Devon is a fun kid. He's a very intelligent young man. He has multiple talents — both as an outside guy and as an inside guy," Herrmann told Giants.com. "He was able to get in and take some MIKE reps and did a great job. He wasn't phased by it; the game was there for him and he was able to take leadership from Jon [Beason] and Jameel [McClain], and kind of see how things went. He picked right up on it."

Herrmann's sentiments were incredibly similar to those of head coach Tom Coughlin, who had also previously praised Kennard as a "smart" kid who made impressive strides far quicker than anyone expected.

"He’s picked things up very well. He’s very smart, very good on the board. He’s done a nice job on the field, a good job on special teams," Coughlin said. "We’re excited about him. A nice big kid, strong kid."

Although the team expects to have Beason back no later than Week 2 of the regular season, the additional reps for Kennard and his quick advancement  are nothing short of positive. If he can continue to grow and learn throughout the preseason and carry that over into live-game action, Big Blue will have that many more options come the regular season.

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Tags: Devon Kennard, Football, Jameel McClain, Jim Herrmann, Jon Beason, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin

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9 Responses to “New York Giants’ Jim Herrmann: Rookie LB Devon Kennard Has Done a “Great Job””

  1.  Krow says:

    kujo … 5th round superstar ?

    •  kujo says:

      Yeah, I’m like 100% confident in our scouting departments ability to identify superstar linebackers** in the mid and late rounds.

      **Although these players seldom become “superstars” at the linebacker position, they have all uniformly gone on to do wonders in local retailing establishments.

      •  Krow says:

        Being college educated I now expect to hear “My good man, perhaps you’d like some deep fried potatoes with your McNugget entre?” rather than the usual “do you want fries with that?”.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    kujo says:
    July 15, 2014 at 12:23 PM
    As for FF55?s supposition that RB has suddenly become a position of relative strength for us, I say: we’ll see.

    Every year, I come on here and talk about how Jerry Reese loves to serve up generous helpings of “could be’s” at starting positions. Whether its injured incumbents, reclamation projects, moderate free agent signings, low-level draft picks, near-retired veteran players and hangers-on, we tend to have far too much uncertainty at key positions. In years past, these question marks have been mainstays in the linebacking corps and the offensive line. Yet, Reese and his disciples will pour honey into our ears about how this guy “could be” good, how great it would be if this other guy “could” get back to form, or how this young player “could” see “significant snaps.”

    At this point, it’s become cliche. So let’s deconstruct this idea and look at the facts:

    1) Rashad Jennings is career #2 running back who is good, not great.
    2) David Wilson plays for the Tom Coughlin-coached New York Giants, and therefore will not be doing much of anything until a) his neck is 200% improved, and b) he fixes the 600 problems with his game that kept him off the field before he was injured.
    3) Andre Williams was a great draft pick, but he, too, plays for the Tom Coughlin-coached New York Giants, and therefore will very likely have to endure a significant amount of red-shirtting in his first year.
    4) Peyton Hillis is an older white halfback who was probably the best player we had in our backfield last year.

    Did I forget anyone? Oh yes:

    5) Mike Cox is Da’Rel Scot with a funnier last name.

    And there you have it. The bear bones reality of our backfield which, all things considered, looks a lot better today than what we finished last season with. Nevertheless, let’s not rush too far out in front with this group. It “could be” good, or it could be average.

    Reply
    Dan BentonDan Benton says:
    July 15, 2014 at 12:34 PM
    Cox has added a significant amount of muscle this offseason and is said to be drastically improved from the mental/maturity standpoint. Hard to say much beyond that since I’ve not seen him practice in person yet this year, but it’ll be interesting to see what he does in camp.

    Reply
    kujo says:
    July 15, 2014 at 12:41 PM
    Lipstick on a pig.

    T*ts on a moose.

    I know what I saw last year. I saw a special teamer, and not a particularly good one. I’ll eat these words if I’m wrong, but I know I’m not.

    Reply
    fanfor55years says:
    July 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM
    Good post, but frankly running backs are among the easiest players to evaluate from afar and I’ll stick with my point: we have a very good group of them and unless the offensive line completely whiffs we will have a very good running game in 2014.

    Yes, Jennings has been a #2 back, but behind a superb one and he, himself, when given the opportunity did quite well. Take a look around the league and you will see lots of #2 backs who could easily be #1 backs on many teams. I’m not suggesting Jennings will be a Pro Bowler but he should be a very solid all-around back who can average over 4 yards per carry and protect Eli and catch the ball.

    As for Williams and Wilson, I think Coughlin is desperate to run the ball this year and will be a lot more flexible about allowing players on the field. I was so impressed by Williams at BC that I have no doubts he can be a #1 back in the NFL and only needs some acclimation time and some work on blocking and catching, which he should get this preseason. And no one will keep McAdoo from making use of Wilson if he’s healthy. He’s too deadly a weapon in the kind of offense we’ll probably run.

    I think Cox is going to be good, but he’s irrelevant in 2014 anyway unless Wilson can’t go, and perhaps even then.

    Reply

    •  GOAT56 says:

      It’s RB. Sorry but the exact amount was invested in RB. RB youth and low thread is what’s successful. Jennings though probably not as good has a Micheal Turner type background. He played behind maybe the best RB in the NFL at the time and last year was really the Raider starter for much of the year. He has talent and low thread.

      Williams would normally be held back but I don’t think there’s a dependable vet to do so besides Jennings. He’s ready as a pure RB it’s just a matter of the other things.

      Wilson injury wise I’m not worried. We are so conservative that just clearing the kid means nothing is wrong. reminds me a lot of Kiwi. His other issues can be hid by using him the right way. And I still stand by he only fumbled in game 1 both years and I think that’s because he was getting adjusted to regular season.

      Cox I think has talent but played when he wasn’t ready and behind a poor OL last year. He really could be a Ward type of RB for us if needed.

      Last year we only had 2 realistic options. Once Brown got injured we were down to 1 option. Then Wilson lost the coaches confidence and the whole offense suffered. Cox wasn’t ready, Scott, Jacobs, Hillis were JAGs and played way way too much considering their talent. This year we are much deeper with quality options of playing lots of snaps.

      •  kujo says:

        There’s no doubt that this year’s depth chart looks better, on-paper, than last year’s did. But, as Krow alludes to below, that bar is ridiculously low. I’m just not going to put more stock than is necessary in these improvements, not until I see them actually, ya know, **improve** what we see on the field.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          I think our RB depth is good. We have 3 guys that are good if they have to start. Will will have a 4th RB capable of being a solid #2 if needed. I also think we will have the insurance of Gaskins on PS. We didn’t have a PS RB last year. I worry more about our WR depth than RB.

  3.  Krow says:

    The RB outlook is much better this year. But c’mon … that bar is about as low as it can go. We almost had to improve.

  4.  michael says:

    If the offensive line really has improved, this group of backs should be fine. If the run blocking is as good as last year you can expect the same results. Cross your fingers.

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