Mychal Kendricks was everywhere for the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night. At some points, it almost looked like there were two of him. The second-year player is certainly thriving in this 3-4 defense.
Defensive coordinator Billy Davis is giving him the chance to play more freely and calling blitzes for Kendricks, who has thrived as a pass rusher ever since college. Boy, what a difference using your pieces on defense correctly makes. Kendricks was a real thorn in Robert Griffin III‘s side all night, even body slamming him to the turf at one point in what looked like a devastating hit.
Kendricks is thriving in a system that gives him a chance to operate in space and not have to take on blockers. He is also benefits from playing next to consummate professional Demeco Ryans, the leader of the defense who has taken Kendricks under his wing and shown him the ropes.
Kendricks struggled in a Wide 9 scheme that forced him to occupy blockers and didn’t allow him to blitz, frankly wasting his athletic gifts. Davis realized early on what a weapon Kendricks can be blitzing and rushing the passer. He has a great chess piece in Kendricks to make offenses miserable.
When all the dust was settled, Kendricks finished with 10 tackles, two quarterback hits, a tackle for loss and a recovered fumble. Quite a showing for the second-year player in a new, aggressive scheme.
Davis is slowly building this defense into one that can be feared again. We all know Philly is a city that loves defense. If Davis’ schemes and this new infusion of talent can get this defense back to being dominant again, they will all be heroes in Philadelphia.