|No. 93 Oakland Raiders|
|Date of birth:December 27, 1980|
|Place of birth: Jackson, Mississippi|
|High School: Jackson (MS) Provine|
|Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)||Weight: 325 lb (147 kg)|
|College: Mississippi State|
|Undrafted in 2004|
|Debuted in 2004 for the Oakland Raiders|
|Roster status: Active|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Early years[edit | edit source]
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 | edit source]
2004 season[edit | edit source]
After being signed in 2004 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 | edit source]
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 | edit source]
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 | edit source]
Kelly played in 7 games in 2007, recording 30 tackles and 1 sack before suffering a season ending knee injury while playing against the Tennessee Titans. He was placed on injured reserve by the Oakland Raiders on October 31, 2007.
2008 Offseason[edit | edit source]
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 .
2008 Season[edit | edit source]
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 | edit source]
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 | edit source]
Tommy Kelly's career appears to have taken a course for better things with the fortunate announcement of moving 6-time Pro Bowler Richard Seymour from defensive end to defensive tackle. Seymour's successes stopping the run and pass rushing on the left side no doubt 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 in the 2011 Pro Bowl.
2011 season[edit | edit source]
On opening day of the 2011 NFL season, still at right defensive tackle next to 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.