Tommy Kelly

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For other people with the name Tommy Kelly, see Thomas Kelly (disambiguation).
Tommy Kelly
Tommy Kelly.JPG
Tommy Kelly during his tenure with the Raiders.
No. 95     Arizona Cardinals
Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1980-12-27) December 27, 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth: Jackson, Mississippi
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Weight: 310 lb (141 kg)
Career information
High school: Jackson (MS) Provine
College: Mississippi State
Undrafted in 2004
Debuted in 2004 for the Oakland Raiders
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2013
Tackles 441
Sacks 36.5
Forced fumbles 9
Interceptions 1
Stats at NFL.com

Tommy Terrell Kelly[1] (born December 27, 1980) is an American football defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2004. He played college football at Mississippi State.

Early years[edit]

After a standout basketball career at Jackson's Provine High School, he signed a football scholarship with Mississippi State University, where he played in 22 games and earned 16 starts, making 82 tackles, including 15 for loss and two quarterback sacks. He was signed as a free agent in 2004 by the Oakland Raiders.

Professional career[edit]

Oakland Raiders[edit]

2004 season[edit]

After being signed in 2004 by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent, Tommy Kelly alternated between 3-4 DE and 4-3 DT. In the very few plays that he saw action, he was able to rack up 4 sacks, including 3 weeks in a row from week 7 through week 9.

2005 season[edit]

In 2005, the Raiders moved away from the 3-4 defense, with Tommy Kelly finding a spot as the RE. Lacking the prototypical size and speed for an RE, Tommy Kelly still fared well in his sophomore season, doing well to stop the run. However, it wasn't until he began to see time at DT that he saw the sacks starts coming once again. In week 9 alone, Kelly racked up a total of 3 quarterback sacks—reaching Kansas City veteran Trent Green. In each instance, Kelly had lined up as a DT rather than the RE that he had been playing as previously in the year. By the end of the season, Kelly had a total of 4.5 sacks.

2006 season[edit]

In the offseason between the 2005 season and the 2006 season, Raider DT Ed Jasper told reporters that Tommy Kelly would be an absolute monster once he fully realized his talents and abilities. Due to these comments, as well fellow Raider DT and Pro Bowler Warren Sapp taking Kelly under his wing, expectations were high for the young defensive lineman as the Raiders entered the 2006 season. News that he would become a full-time defensive tackle also perked up the ears of the Raider Nation considering the success that he had been experiencing on the interior line his 1st two seasons.

However, the 2006 season came and went without those hopes and dreams of greatness being realized. Tommy Kelly only managed a meager 3.5 sacks, the lowest total of his professional career. This was not what was expected. He had received consistent playing time all season and he was playing the interior line, the spot where his pass rushing skills were his strength. Not only did he fail to reach the QB as many times as hoped, but Kelly also looked weak at the point of attack—many times being pushed backward on running plays. Much of the Raiders' woes against the run were, in fact, blamed on Kelly.

2007 season[edit]

Kelly played in 7 games in 2007, recording 30 tackles and 1 sack[2] before suffering a season ending knee injury while playing against the Tennessee Titans.[3] He was placed on injured reserve by the Oakland Raiders on October 31, 2007.[4]

2008 Season[edit]

On February 28, 2008, the Oakland Raiders signed Kelly to the largest contract ever given to a defensive tackle on the eve of free agency. Kelly, a defensive end moving to defensive tackle in 2008, signed a seven-year, $50.5 million contract with $18.125 million in guarantees and$25.125 million in the first three years .[5]

Kelly can play every spot on the defensive line, but he replaced the retired Warren Sapp at the three technique for the 2008 NFL season.

On September 15, 2008, Kelly was arrested for driving under the influence. Kelly finished the 2008 season with 55 tackles (31 solo) and just 4.5 sacks matching his career high set in 2005. The 2008 came once again and went, once again, without Kelly realizing his talents and abilities. He failed to live up to the contract he signed almost 12 months earlier.

2009 season[edit]

Kelly finished the season with just 55 tackles again (37 solo) and a career low 1 sack. Kelly earned the label underachiever because of his lack of success of stopping the run and sacking the quarterback.

2010 season[edit]

Tommy Kelly improved when Richard Seymour moved from defensive end to defensive tackle. Seymour's successes stopping the run and pass rushing on the left side helped Kelly at right defensive tackle. At the end of the season, Kelly had 60 tackles and 7 sacks and was named as an alternate for the 2010 Pro Bowl.

2011 season[edit]

On opening day of the 2011 NFL season, still at right defensive tackle next to Richard Seymour, he recorded 2 tackles and a sack as the Raiders defeated the Denver Broncos. In week 10, he recorded 3 tackles, a game-ending sack and a forced fumble as the Raiders beat the San Diego Chargers. The next week, when the Raiders won against the Minnesota Vikings, he recorded 3 tackles, two sacks and an interception off of a deflected pass.

On March 27, 2013 Kelly was released from the Oakland Raiders making him a free agent.

New England Patriots[edit]

On April 8, 2013 Kelly agreed to a two-year deal with the New England Patriots.[6]

Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly was placed on injured reserves following Week 8 of the 2013 NFL season, which ended his season.[7] The Patriots released Kelly on August 24, 2014.[8]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

Kelly signed with the Arizona Cardinals on August 27, 2014.[9]

Career Stats[edit]

Year Team GP COMB TOTAL AST SACK FF FR FR YDS INT IR YDS AVG IR LNG TD PD
2004 OAK 10 20 16 4 4.0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2005 OAK 16 45 35 10 4.5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2006 OAK 16 68 53 15 3.5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
2007 OAK 7 30 27 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2008 OAK 16 55 31 24 4.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 OAK 16 55 37 18 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2010 OAK 16 60 38 22 7.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2011 OAK 16 41 27 14 7.5 2 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 5
2012 OAK 16 45 25 20 1.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2013 NE 5 22 12 10 2.5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Total 134 441 301 140 36.5 9 4 0 1 1 1 1 0 16

[10]

Key

  • GP: games played
  • COMB: combined tackles
  • TOTAL: total tackles
  • AST: assisted tackles
  • SACK: sacks
  • FF: forced fumbles
  • FR: fumble recoveries
  • FR YDS: fumble return yards
  • INT: interceptions
  • IR YDS: interception return yards
  • AVG IR: average interception return
  • LNG: longest interception return
  • TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
  • PD: passes defensed

References[edit]