Everybody’s talking about Tez

Those who played with and coached Cortez Kennedy offer their thoughts on his Hall of Fame career as the Seahawks will retire his No. 96 at halftime of today’s game against the New England Patriots:

“If Tez had played in New York or Dallas, oh my goodness. They would have changed the rules. Tez would have been in the Hall (of Fame) before his career was over. He was that good. He was that dominating.” – former Seahawks free safety Eugene Robinson

“America really never got to see Cortez Kennedy, because he played in the 90s before you had DirecTV and the national coverage that the Seahawks get now. America missed out on seeing a pretty dominant player. Tez would have made (the Hall of Fame) earlier if more people had actually seen him play. If they had, it would have been a no-brainer.” – former Seahawks linebacker and Rookie Club member Terry Wooden

“The thing that made him so great is that he just had super instincts. I changed a lot of my rules for him. I always had a rule that you could not run around a block. But I changed that rule when I started coaching him, and the rule became: You can’t run around a block, unless you make the play. And Cortez did that a lot. Ninety percent of the people are not quick enough to run around a block and make the play. And he never did it unless it was the right thing to do. And he didn’t know it was the right thing to do, his instincts told him it was the right thing to do. So he taught me that sometimes great players are not subject to average rules.” – former Seahawks defensive line coach Tommy Brasher

“We’d seen Cortez on film in scouting him before the draft, and you could kind of tell that he was something different. But it wasn’t one of those, ‘Oh yeah, he’s the most-dominant thing I’ve ever seen.’ It wasn’t until we got him in camp, where he was going against other people with the same athletic ability or likeness, that you went, ‘Wow. OK, he’s not the same athletic ability. He’s stronger. He’s faster. He’s a better player.’ ” – former Seahawks safety and assistant coach Paul Moyer

“The only thing that held me back was there were times where I just stopped and watched him. I mean, I’m joking. But Tez was just amazing. Playing behind Tez was just amazing. I feel like if I could have played behind him my whole career maybe I could have been a Pro Bowler at least.” – former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman

“He’s a great player. He absolutely deserves the recognition. If you talked to the offensive linemen on our team, they knew he was great. He was just a big man, he was quick, he was strong. Built just right to play that position, you know? And of course, he’s a good guy.” – former Seahawks, Packers and 49ers coach Mike Holmgren

“Cortez Kennedy, in my opinion, is one of the most dominant defensive linemen to ever play the game of football. He could dominate a game more than any defensive tackle that I have ever seen play, on any level.” – former Seahawks coach Dennis Erickson, who also coached Kennedy at the University of Miami

“He was a good role model. He played every down the way it’s supposed to be played: like a competitor, which he was. He was a lot of fun. His teammates just loved him. He’s a fun guy to be around. And he had a burning desire in his gut to be the best. And he was outstanding.” – former Seahawks coach Chuck Knox


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