It really doesn't seem like that long ago that Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy was wreaking havoc on AFC offenses in the 1990s, but for younger fans, or just ones who are newer to the party, it might be tough to fully appreciate the greatness of Kennedy or Tez. Seeing as 48 of the 90 players on Seattle's current roster were born after the Seahawks selected Kennedy in the 1990 draft, it has been a little while since Kennedy was building his Hall of Fame résumé. So with being Tez's birthday, we have a good excuse to take a look back at the career of the Hall of Fame defensive tackle.
While it has been good times of late for the Seahawks and their fans, it wasn't always that way, yet Kennedy made a name for himself as one of the league's best defensive players despite playing for a franchise that finished with a winning record just twice in his 11-year career, and made the playoffs only once.
Kennedy was so dominant, in fact, he managed to win defensive player of the year honors during the one of the worst seasons in franchise history. While the Seahawks offense struggled on the way to a 2-14 record in 1992, Kennedy was at his best, piling up 14 sacks, 92 tackles, and four forced fumbles, absurd numbers for a defensive tackle. Yet as good as Kennedy was, he didn't take a ton of pleasure in that individual honor.
"That was a tough year," Kennedy said during his induction speech when he went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. "I felt so bad for Coach (Tom) Flores being the head coach, because we had zero offense. (Our) defense was top 10 in the country. That's bad when you go to the game and the defensive coordinator says, guys, 'we're not going to win the game. Let's don't embarrass ourselves.' You know we're in for a long year then."
But even if Kennedy's career only included one playoff game, it was still one of the best in Seahawks history, seeing him elected to eight Pro Bowls and earn three first-team and two second-team All-Pro honors.
So happy 47th birthday to Cortez Kennedy, a Ring of Honor member, a Hall of Famer, and one of the greatest to ever wear a Seahawks uniform.
Happy 27th birthday Hall of Famer and Seahawks Ring of Honor member Cortez Kennedy!