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Devon Kennard more enticed to return to Giants after coaching changes

Kennard said he doesn’t know what will happen to him as free agency approaches.

Giants linebacker Devon Kennard reacts after a play

Giants linebacker Devon Kennard reacts after a play against the Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — When Devon Kennard left the Giants’ locker room at the end of the season headed toward free agency, he said he wanted to return to the team. Now that they have made permanent changes to their coaching staff, he REALLY wants to return.

Kennard, appearing on Radio Row at Super Bowl LII, said he’s heard great things about head coach Pat Shurmur and defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who held the same position with the Arizona Cardinals.

“I know a lot of guys who play for the Cardinals from going back home and training with them,” Kennard, an Arizona native, told Newsday on Thursday. “They have great things to say about him, his defense and what he can do. It’s multiple and he likes versatile linebackers. That sounds right up my alley.”

There is some speculation that Bettcher will employ more 3-4 schemes in his defenses.

“That’s very advantageous to my skill set,” said Kennard, who was listed as a starter on the Giants’ depth chart but rarely played more than half the defensive snaps because of sub packages in the 4-3 system.

Kennard said he doesn’t know what will happen to him as free agency approaches, mostly because he has had no contact with the team’s new decision-makers. He met general manager Dave Gettleman long enough to shake his hand in late December and has never met Shurmur.

“I expect to hear from them in the next few weeks now that the coaching staff is established,” he said. “Maybe then, but you never know. I don’t know what they’re thinking because it’s a new GM and head coach. I don’t know where they stand.”

Kennard, though, believes that they’ll do well with the Giants.

“I think it’s great,” he said of the hires. “I’ve heard nothing but great things. I think they have the right mentality, the right idea, and I’m looking forward to what they’re going to do.”

New York Sports