As the Philadelphia Eagles prepare for their big match-up against the Kansas City Chiefs this Thursday night, there will be a few players that need to improve in certain areas. One such player is linebacker Mychal Kendricks and his pass coverage.
As we were watching the dreadful performance the Eagles defense gave against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, one thing that jumped out at me was Kendricks’ ineffective pass-coverage. Kendricks is a solid player and should be a standout linebacker for years to come in Philadelphia, but despite his amazing athletic ability at the linebacker position, Kendricks so far has been struggling when he drops into coverage. It’s hard to believe that a linebacker who runs a 4.4 forty-yard dash has a hard time covering players who do not have nearly the speed that Kendricks possesses. Yet Kendricks still finds ways to be added to the coverage problem on the Eagles defense.
I will cut Kendricks some slack since he had to go up against arguably the best tight end in the business in Antonio Gates last week, however Gates terrorized Kendricks play after play and Kendricks simply couldn’t keep up. Kendricks is a fine player and needs to be utilized in the pass-rushing game a bit more. When Kendricks is sent on a blitz, it’s unreal. He fires into the gap like a missile and showcased that ability when the Eagles faced the Washington Redskins in Week 1.
Despite being a great, young linebacker, Kendricks needs to do a better job covering his man. He sometimes gets fooled too easily on double moves and needs to minimize separation from his opponent. If Kendricks can improve on a game-to-game basis then he shouldn’t be a problem moving forward. However, if he can’t improve then the Eagles certainly have a problem on their hands.
Kendricks certainly has the ability to cover tight ends and running backs given his athletic ability. However, the Eagles will be facing bigger and faster opponents when the season moves on which is why Kendricks must improve now.
Sonny Bryan is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SonnyBryan50