[UPDATED WITH KENNARD QUOTES]
What's this? A New York Giants LINEBACKER earning an honor from the NFL? It's true. Rookie linebacker Devon Kennard was today named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Kennard earned the honor with two sacks, six solo tackles including two for loss, and a forced fumble Sunday in a 36-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans. For the season, Kennard has eight tackles for loss, tied with Jameel McClain for second on the team despite his limited playing time. Kennard was a fifth-round pick out of USC.
"I think I played a good game but there are always things. I'm very critical of myself and there are always things that I could have done better or things that could have gone even better. There is definitely still much room for improvement in my game," Kennard said. "I want to just continue to take steps on improving and being the best player I can be and finishing this year strong."
"Kennard has played very well," head coach Tom Coughlin said on Wednesday. "He's been a really outstanding player for us in the past few weeks ... he loves to play, he is physical and he's one of those guys that you know just looking in his eyes that he wants to be on the field."
Kennard is the first Giants defensive rookie to be honored as a Player of the Week. The only Giants rookies to receive the award were Jessie Armstead (special teams, 1993), Matt Bryant (special teams, 2002 - twice), Osi Umenyiora (special teams, 2003), David Wilson (special teams, 2012) and Jeremy Shockey (offense 2002).
"He's a good player," Coughlin said. "He's a young kid that's getting a chance to play and he's taking advantage of the opportunity."
We have talked about this before, but Kennard is one of the many young players about whom the Giants should be excited moving into the future.