The New England Patriots made a huge effort to get better pass rushing productivity out of the interior of their defensive line this offseason by replacing Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick with Tommy Kelly and Armond Armstead. While Armstead is sidelined indefinitely with an infection and should be regarded as “out” for Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Kelly has been a stand out during training camp and showed off his stuff yesterday against the Philadelphia Eagles in a joint practice.
New England Patriots defensive lineman Tommy Kelly cools off during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Kelly has terrific physical tools and a huge frame at 6’6″, and there is no doubt that he is one of the best pass rushing defensive tackles in the NFL when he’s at his best. All he needs to do is be motivated, and, based on what he says yesterday, he is motivated and won’t tank it like he did with the Oakland Raiders. Kelly seems like a veteran who finally wants to win now, and he knows that he is on a team that can do that for him if he helps out and puts in the work. Playing next to Vince Wilfork swallowing up blocks will also greatly help Kelly out, and he had an excellent session yesterday with a “sack” on Michael Vick.
Fellow defensive tackle and leader Vince Wilfork had this to say about Tommy Kelly, via the Boston Herald, “He wants to win. You can tell. He told me he’s never been in a playoff game. I mean, it keeps things in perspective. Here I am, only missed one in 10 years. He’s definitely a guy that wants to win. He’s going to do everything he can. The only thing he’s concerned with is football and winning.”
Interior offensive linemen should be scared again, because Tommy Kelly is a very talented force up the middle, especially when it comes to breaking down the pocket and getting to the QB. Not only that, but he is motivated to win now and to do what it takes to win, and Wilfork’s statement affirms this motivation. Kelly has never been to a playoff game, but he’s going to break that drought with the Patriots. The question is, will he be able to win a Super Bowl?