Kelly Jennings

Rookie counts on nerves

KIRKLAND – Nerves won’t be an issue for Kelly Jennings on Sunday because he’s always nervous before he plays.

Jennings, the Seattle Seahawks’ rookie cornerback, will be making his first NFL start in Tampa Bay on Sunday. He said 18 family and friends will drive in from Orlando and Live Oak (about 21/2 hours north of Tampa) for the game.

Outside of his brother, none of his family has seen him play. Jennings, the Seahawks’ No. 1 draft pick from Miami, said the last time his family watched him he was starting for the Hurricanes.

Pressure? Nah.

“I always feel jittery,” Jennings insisted Thursday. “When I do feel jittery, that’s when I know I’m ready to play. If I don’t feel jittery, then something’s wrong. I just know that first series jitters are going to be there, but then after that, I’ll be OK.”

Jennings set to step in

KIRKLAND — Marcus Trufant's high right ankle sprain will almost certainly keep him out of this Sunday's game — though he is listed as doubtful — and that means rookie Kelly Jennings is set to make his first career start.

Jennings replaced Trufant at right cornerback when Trufant was helped off the field with his injury early in the third quarter against San Diego last Sunday.

Jennings, used all season as the nickel cornerback and on special teams, came on and played what Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren called Jennings' best game of the season last week.

Often matched up against Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson, six inches taller and 63 pounds heavier, Jennings had two pass breakups and three solo tackles.


Rookie cornerback Kelly Jennings sat out the end of practice after the first-round draft choice injured his left knee. The injury was not considered serious, and Jennings was not added to the injury report.

With starter Kelly Herndon sitting out a second consecutive day to rest a sore hamstring, Jimmy Williams worked at left cornerback with the No. 1 defense.


Seahawks' Jennings stunned at death of former teammate

SEATTLE - The distress spread one ring at a time. Seahawks cornerback Kelly Jennings' cellphone kept jingling, five, 10, 15 times at least. Maybe more. He lost count as the shocking news smothered his mind Tuesday night.

Someone fired a bullet into his former teammate's head. Bryan Pata was dead. This time last year, the two were reveling in the Miami's victory over rival Virginia Tech. Jennings later left Miami with degrees in finance and business management and realized his pro football dream after the Seahawks chose him in the 2006 draft.

Pata, 22, had similar aspirations. Gunfire stopped him.

"I couldn't believe it," Jennings said. "After you start hearing about it from 15 different people, though, it really sets in that he was gone."

Kelly Jennings Update

Seahawks rookie cornerback Kelly Jennings, who played at Miami, watched replays of the Hurricanes’ brawl against Florida International on Saturday with shock and concern.

The shock was seeing so many players fighting, kicking and swinging helmets. The concern was for his nephew, Bruce Johnson, who now plays for the Hurricanes.

Johnson, a sophomore defensive back and punt returner, emerged from the brawl OK but was one of the 13 Miami players suspended.

“He’s kind of a hothead sometimes, and I’m trying to teach him a little bit of what I’ve learned,” Jennings said, adding that he agrees with the suspensions.

He said events like Saturday’s only feed into the negative image of Hurricanes players being thugs, which he said is a bad rap.

“Yes it is,” he said gesturing to the locker room and laughing. “I get that from these guys all the time.”


Seahawks' nickel defense can turn on a dime - Kelly Jennings Update

KIRKLAND -- One of the defensive tackles really isn't. He's an end, and Bryce Fisher is a 268-pound end at that.

Same thing with the ends, who are actually 235-pound linebacker Julian Peterson and 265-pound rookie Darryl Tapp.

The secondary includes a left cornerback -- 178-pound Kelly Jennings -- who has been dubbed "Slim" by his teammates.

Kelly Jennings Update

Seahawks President Tim Ruskell struck gold with his first two draft choices in the 2006 NFL Draft, as CB Kelly Jennings and DE Darryl Tapp both had great games. Jennings, a first round pick from Miami, managed to get his hand inside on a pass attempt to Fitzgerald and tipped it to Seahawks FS Ken Hamlin, who almost brought it in for an interception.

Can rookie Jennings play way into starting DB spot?

KIRKLAND - Try as they may, Seneca Wallace and Maurice Morris have very little to prove tonight.

D.D. Lewis, Niko Koutouvides and Jordan Babineaux feel the same way.

In fact, almost all of the players who will suit up for the Seattle Seahawks in tonight's preseason finale against Oakland have absolutely no chance of playing their way into, or out of, a starting spot.

Hawk Notes: Same position, different challenges (Kelly Jennings)

CHENEY — They share both a first name and a position, but Kelly Herndon and Kelly Jennings have different challenges in the eyes of coach Mike Holmgren.
"One is very inexperienced," Holmgren said, "and one has to be a little more consistent."

Kelly Jennings Update

Word is the Seahawks have been satisfied with the steady progress of first-round CB Kelly Jennings, who got picked apart pretty good by the Cowboys in the preseason opener. But while Jennings is expected to see plenty of action this season -- we're told one thing he needs to do is finish his plays a bit better -- it could be a while before he earns a starting role over Kelly Herndon, who we hear might have had a better training camp than any Seahawks player this season.

Rookie update: CB Kelly Jennings

Kelly Jennings continued working exclusively with the second-team defense. That allowed CB Jordan Babineaux to get more work with the starting nickel defense. Jennings faces stiff competition for a starting job because CB Kelly Herndon is having a solid camp.