Mike Kenn

Michael Lee "Mike" Kenn (born February 9, 1956) is a former American football player who was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round (13th overall) of the 1978 NFL Draft. A 6'7", 275-lb. offensive tackle from the University of Michigan, Kenn played his entire 17-year National Football League (NFL) career with the Falcons from 1978 to 1994. He is notable for having started all 251 NFL games in which he played. He holds the Falcons' franchise record for games started and games played. He was selected as a first-team All-NFL player in 1980, 1983 and 1991 and was invited to play in the Pro Bowl five consecutive years from 1980 to 1984.

Mike Kenn
No. 78
Position:Tackle
Personal information
Born:February 9, 1956 (age 63)
Evanston, Illinois
Career information
High school:Evanston (IL) Evanston Township
College:Michigan
NFL Draft:1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:251
Games started:251
Fumbles recovered:11
Player stats at NFL.com

Early years

Kenn was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1956. He attended Evanston Township High School.[1] He played lacrosse and ice hockey in high school.[2]

University of Michigan

Kenn enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1974 and played college football at the offensive tackle position for head coach Bo Schembechler's Michigan Wolverines football teams from 1975 to 1977.[3] When he arrived at Michigan in 1974, he was six feet, six-and-a-half inches tall and weighed 220 pounds. By 1976, his weight had increased to 245 pounds.[3]

As a sophomore, Kenn started nine games at left tackle for the 1975 Michigan Wolverines football team that compiled an 8-2-2 record, scored 324 points, finished the year ranked #3 in the final AP Poll,[4] and rushed for 3,840 yards (320 yards per game).[5]

As a junior, Kenn started all 12 games at left tackle for the 1976 Michigan team that compiled a 10-2 record, scored 432 points,[6] and rushed for 4,144 yards (345 yards per game).[5]

As a senior, Kenn started 11 games at left tackle for the 1977 Michigan team that compiled a 10-2 record, scored 353 points,[7] and rushed for 2,986 yards (249 yards per game).[5] At the end of the 1977 season, Kenn was selected as a first-team All-Big Ten Conference tackle.[8]

Professional football

Kenn was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round (13th overall pick) of the 1978 NFL Draft.[1] He signed a series of one-year contracts with the Falcons in May 1978.[9] He started all 16 games for the Falcons at left tackle and was named to the NFL all-rookie team in 1978. In 1979, he again started all 16 games and allowed only four-and-a-half sacks and was penalized only four times.[10] "He's quite close to becoming one of the elite tackles in the NFL" said his head coach Leeman Bennett. "If he can continue improvement of the first two years he could be the best in the NFL".[10]

In 1980, Kenn was voted consensus All-Pro and was not flagged for a penalty all season and allowed just three-and-a-half sacks. "I've never seen any offensive tackle with his agility and quickness," said Bill Walsh.[11] In 1981, Kenn was voted to his second Pro Bowl and was voted second-team All-Pro and allowed four sacks and was penalized only four times while starting all 16 games for the fourth consecutive season. Additionally, Kenn played every down (1,144) of the 1981 season, and has started 67 consecutive games without a miss. He had remarkable penalty free streak of 26 consecutive games (New Orleans, 11/25/79 - St. Louis, 10/18/81) that included the entire 1980 season. Kenn was only flagged a total of seven times during the prior three seasons (three in 1979, zero in 1980, four in 1981), and played every down of the season in three of the previous four years (1979, 1980 and 1981). In 1982, Kenn started all nine games (seven games cancelled due to NFL players strike) and allowed two sacks and was called for holding once.[12] Kenn was voted second-team All-Pro and voted to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. He was voted as the NFC choice for the NFLPA/Coca-Cola Offensive Lineman of the Year Award for 1981 and 1982.

In 1984, Kenn started all 16 games and was voted second-team All-NFL by the UPI. Kenn's consecutive games started streak was broken in 1985 when he had a knee injury that caused him to miss the final games. Kenn rebounded in 1986 to allow just four-and-a-half sacks and was called for only two holding penalties. Head coach Dan Henning said, "He's got the physical gifts, he's bright, and now he has a great deal of experience, "That's the desirable combination." [13]

In 1988 Kenn was called for only one holding penalty and allowed 6½ sacks and was voted as a Pro Bowl Alternate."He is already one of the best offensive tackles of the last ten years, and could become one of the best of all time," said Henning.[14]

In 1991, Kenn shut down the NFL's top sacker and Defensive Player of the Year Pat Swilling, who did not register a sack when facing Kenn. His pass blocking allowed the Falcons to set a team record by giving up only 31 sacks in 531 passing attempts. Kenn only gave up one.[14] For his efforts, he was voted first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press. The following season Kenn was called for one penalty and allowed five sacks and was an alternate to the Pro Bowl. In 1993 and 1994, Kenn remained the Falcons starting left tackle and retired after the 1994 season.

While playing in the NFL, Kenn grew to 286 pounds.[15]

Later years and honors

Kenn was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.[15] In November 2014, Kenn was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.[16]

After his retirement from football, Kenn served as Chairman of the Fulton County Commission.

References

  1. ^ a b "Mike Kenn". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  2. ^ "Hinton, Kenn share solid roots". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. September 25, 1992. p. B2.
  3. ^ a b "All-Time Football Roster Database". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  4. ^ "1975 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Michigan Football Statistic Archive Query Page". University of Michigan. Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved March 31, 2015.(to retrieve information for a particular season, go to "Games & Totals by Season" and select the year for which statistics are to be retrieved)
  6. ^ "1976 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  7. ^ "1977 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  8. ^ "Blue places five on AP's Big Ten squad". The Michigan Daily. November 29, 1977. p. 12.
  9. ^ "Mike Kenn Signs Atlanta Contracts". Spartanburg Herald. May 16, 1978. p. A6.
  10. ^ a b Atlanta Falcons 1980 Media Guide
  11. ^ Atlanta Falcons 1981 Media Guide
  12. ^ Atlanta Falcons 1983 Media Guide
  13. ^ Atlanta Falcons 1987 Media Guide
  14. ^ a b Atlanta Falcons 1989 Media Guide
  15. ^ a b "Mike Kenn". National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  16. ^ "Semifinalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2015 class". NFL.com. November 28, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
1975 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1975 Michigan Wolverines football team was an American football team that represented the University of Michigan in the 1975 Big Ten Conference football season. The team's head coach was Bo Schembechler. The Wolverines played their home games at Michigan Stadium.

The defense stopped Archie Griffin's NCAA record 31-game 100-yard rushing game streak.The November 8 game against Purdue was historic in that it was the first game of a streak in which 100,000 or more fans attended a game at Michigan Stadium, one which continues to this day.

1977 All-Big Ten Conference football team

The 1977 All-Big Ten Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Big Ten Conference teams for the 1977 Big Ten Conference football season. Conference co-champions Ohio State and Michigan led with eight and six first-team selections, respectively. Ohio State's first-team selections included running back Ron Springs and linebacker Tom Cousineau. Michigan's first-team selections included quarterback Rick Leach and offensive guard Mark Donahue.

1977 Michigan Wolverines football team

The 1977 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1977 Big Ten Conference football season. In their ninth year under head coach Bo Schembechler, the Wolverines finished the regular season with a 10–1 record, won the Big Ten Conference championship, and lost to Washington in the 1978 Rose Bowl. In the final AP and UPI Polls, Michigan was ranked #9 and #8, respectively.On offense, quarterback Rick Leach totaled 1,109 passing yards and 370 rushing yards. Russell Davis led the team with 1,013 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns and was selected as the team's most valuable player. Harlan Huckleby added 743 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.

Three Michigan players received first-team honors on the 1977 College Football All-America Team: (1) offensive guard Mark Donahue (consensus); (2) center Walt Downing; and (3) linebacker John Anderson.

1978 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1978 Atlanta Falcons season was the Falcons' 13th season. It was the first postseason appearance in franchise history with a 9–7 record. Hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in their first ever playoff game, the Falcons scored 2 TDs in their final 14 minutes to pull out a 14–13 win. A week later the Falcons were 14-point underdogs facing the Cowboys. The Falcons took a 20-13 lead into halftime, but the Cowboys battled back to take a 27-20 lead. With one last shot the Falcons fell inches short of a first down on the Cowboys' 32-yard line, as the Cowboys got the ball and ran down the clock.

1980 All-Pro Team

The 1980 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1980. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. Pro Football Weekly chose a nose tackle due to the proliferation of 3-4 defenses in the NFL. They, and The Sporting News chose two inside linebackers.

1981 All-Pro Team

The 1981 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1981. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press added a "nose tackle" position in 1981, joining Pro Football Weekly .

1981 Pro Bowl

The 1981 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 31st annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1980 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 1, 1981, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The final score was NFC 21, AFC 7.Sam Rutigliano of the Cleveland Browns led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Atlanta Falcons head coach Leeman Bennett. The referee was Gordon McCarter.

1982 All-Pro Team

The 1982 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League (NFL) players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly in 1982. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the four teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Sporting News did not choose a 1982 All-Pro team due to the players' strike.

1982 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1982 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's 17th season in the National Football League (NFL). The team qualified for the postseason and unofficially won the NFC West for the second time in three years. Due to the players strike, this was not recognized as divisions were dissolved for this year only. As the lone NFC West team to qualify for the playoffs, Falcons were considered the 1982 first place team when 1983 matchups were determined.

1983 All-Pro Team

The 1983 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News in 1983. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The NEA chose two inside linebackers for the first time, as a reflection of the 3-4 which was the common alignment for NFL defenses in the mid-1980s.

1983 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1983 Atlanta Falcons season was the Falcons’ eighteenth season in the National Football League. The team looked to improve on its 5–4 1982 season and make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. However, the Falcons started out terribly, losing five of their first seven games. The Falcons overall would disappoint, and would finish the season with a mediocre 7–9 record in their first season under head coach Dan Henning. This would ultimately prove the first of eight consecutive losing seasons for the Falcons.

1984 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1984 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise’s 19th season in the National Football League (NFL). The season saw Atlanta attempting to improve on its previous record of 7–9 from 1983. The Falcons would split their first six games, but then suffer a franchise-record 9-game losing streak to knock the team down to 3–12. The Falcons would win their finale against the Philadelphia Eagles and finish the season 4–12, their worst record since 1976.

1984 Pro Bowl

The 1984 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 34th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1983 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 29, 1984, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 50,445. The final score was NFC 45, AFC 3.

Chuck Knox of the Seattle Seahawks led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. The referee was Jerry Seeman.Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Players on the winning NFC team received $10,000 apiece while the AFC participants each took home $5,000.

1988 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1988 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise’s 23rd season in the National Football League (NFL). The team was marred by tragedy when cornerback David Croudip died on October 10 after a cocaine overdose. It would be the first of three player deaths of the team in the space of two seasons.

1990 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1990 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's 25th season in the National Football League (NFL). Jerry Glanville was hired to be the team’s new coach. The franchise changed their helmets from red to black. Atlanta looked to improve on its 3–13 record from 1989. The team did improve by finishing 5–11, but the Falcons still suffered an eighth consecutive losing season. 1990 started out pretty well for Atlanta, as they beat playoff contenders Houston, New Orleans, and Cincinnati at home. The team sat at 3–4 after their win against Cincinnati. It then lost seven games in a row before winning its last two to end the season. Atlanta went 5–3 at home, but winless on the road, which cost the Falcons a trip to the postseason.

1991 All-Pro Team

The 1991 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1991. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League.

1993 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1993 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's 28th season in the National Football League (NFL). The team finished 6-10 for the second straight season. Following the season, head coach Jerry Glanville would be fired.

Jeff Van Note

Jeffrey Aloysius Van Note (born February 7, 1946) is a former American football center who played for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He played college football for the University of Kentucky. The Atlanta Falcons picked him in the eleventh round of the 1969 NFL Draft.

Ralph Norwood

Ralph E. Norwood (January 23, 1966 – November 24, 1989) was an American football offensive tackle in the National Football League. He played 11 games with the Atlanta Falcons in 1989. He was killed in an automobile accident.

Norwood was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to Roy and Elaine Norwood. Norwood was a talented football player, standing 6 ft 7in tall and weighing over 200 lbs in high school, he was formidable on the line. After graduation, he attended LSU and was redshirted his freshman year. He was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft.Norwood died in a one-car accident on November 24, 1989. Norwood was alone in his car when he crossed over a lane of oncoming traffic, traveled down an embankment and struck a tree. Drugs and alcohol were not found to be factors in the accident. Norwood died eleven games into the 1989 season; he had played in each game and started one game.The year before Norwood's death, Falcons cornerback David Croudip died of a cocaine overdose. After Norwood's death, Falcons player Mike Kenn commented on the two losses, saying, "There's not a whole lot you can say about this. Once is too much, twice is ridiculous." Less than four weeks after Norwood's accident, Falcons tight end Brad Beckman died when he apparently fell asleep while driving on any icy highway, striking a tree.

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