Seattle DT gets bust in Canton
Ask me who the greatest player in Seahawks’ history is. Go ahead, just ask. Many people will say OL Walter Jones, and I can’t fault them for that, Jones was game changer for the ‘Hawks, but he won’t be my pick.
WR Steve Largent? Great, but not the top spot.
There are other players in recent history people might throw around like RB Shaun Alexander.
Or QB’s which are a flashier position, players like Jim Zorn and Matt Hasselbeck come to mind. Well, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, it shouldn’t surprise you that my vote for greatest Seahawk ever would go to DT Cortez Kennedy (it shouldn’t surprise you, because it’s in the title of this article).
Big Cortez has been chosen to enter the NFL Hall of Fame this year, and there couldn’t be a more deserving player.
“Tez” was a great player, and all Seahawk fans love him, and here are some of the reasons why:
1. He could stop the run
Kennedy was a force in the middle. He will go down as one of the all time greatest run-stuffers in the history of the league. In his 1992 season, where he voted the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, he spent a lot of time in the opposition’s backfield.
He had 14 tackles for losses, and 13 tackles for no gain. There was just nobody who was going to run on him.
He didn’t just stop anybody in that season, but players like Emmitt Smith, Eric Dickerson, and Marcus Allen, some of the best runners of that era.
2. He could rush the passer
You just don’t see this from a Defensive Tackle. Kennedy had 58 sacks working mostly on the inside. While stopping the run, he was also managing to wreak havoc on the Quarterback.
That takes a special kind of player. Toss in 3 career interceptions for good measure, and you can quickly see what this big man meant to the team.
There are not a lot of players in NFL history that could do everything he could.
He had 14 sacks alone in that ’92 season.
3. He played hard even through the bad times
You can often gauge the mark of a good player, and conversely, a good man by how he plays during the hard times. During Cortez’s time in the league he only played in the postseason once, yet, during this time he played at an absolutely dominating level.
In fact, the year that he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, his team went 2-14.
That is just amazing.
He also received, 8-Pro Bowl, and 3 All-Pro selections.
He never let the team’s record get to him, he was always knocking the snot out of the other team, and took pride in getting to play the game he loved so much.
4. He was a Seahawk his whole career
A player is always more endearing to fans when he has spent his entire career with an organization. We’ve been with Kennedy the player since the 1990 draft, until 2000 (when he was last on the field), and have seen him do so much in a Seahawk uniform.
The Seattle fans were definitely lucky to get to watch him play close up at such a high level for so long.
5. He is a class act
It’s always nice when the good guys win, and Cortez Kennedy is most certainly a good guy. Loved by teammates, coaches, and fans alike, it is so much more satisfying to see a guy like Kennedy get selected for the Hall of Fame than someone who has had off the field antics or a checkered past.
You just can’t find anyone who will say a bad word about him. Former teammate Dave Wyman said of Kennedy, “Cortez was a gem, one of the best teammates I’ve ever had”.
Another ex-teammate, Terry Wooden, “(He) would never put himself above anyone else…, he’s one of the kindest people with the biggest heart you can imagine”.
Way to go “’Tez”, you deserve it.