Perhaps the player that stood out most against the Washington Redskins was the unstoppable Mychal Kendricks.
Last year, this sensational rookie from the University of California was twisted, prodded and placed in a chaotic system in defense. Halfway through the season, the coordinators were changing, the defense was like Walt Disney on ice, and Andy Reid was on his way out.
Kendricks could never get settled, stationed at the weak side, then to the strong side, greatly robbing him of his potential. Despite that, he still finished third in tackles in his rookie season, gaining 75 take downs for his Philadelphia Eagles.
This year, he is a force to be reckoned with under new defensive coordinator Billy Davis. Davis made calls like the late great Jim Johnson out there, bringing Kendricks often, with great results. Kendricks wrestled the Redskins to the ground 10 times, hitting them like a wrecking ball, reminiscent of his college days.
With games like that, he is well on his way to break his rookie season and instill fear in the hearts of opponents.
The new change of management seemed to have done him good. Kendricks commented that he likes the break- neck speed; it’s new, it suits him, and he is always striving to take his game to a “new level.”
This always seems like lip service when other players talk in this manner, but Kendricks’ motor, work effort and results on the field all speak for themselves. With time, Kendricks is going to be respected in the NFL like Ray Lewis, or Brian Orlacher.
His personality also makes him prone to being the vocal leader on the squad, something that the Eagles are in dire need of.
He has already worked his way into the heart of the fans. This gives Kendricks extra incentive to be more than just another faceless player, flitting in, then out of the jersey, then retiring quietly. He already has his own life-size photo cut out, posing and intimidating passerby’s as they walk around the “Love” statue.
Expectations are high for this kid, and there isn’t any reason why he can’t find his way into the defensive Hall of Fame in the Delaware valley.