Kendricks: ‘I Think I Can Play Anywhere’
Mychal Kendricks took a half beat to ponder the question.
Do you think you are 100 percent certain to be on this roster come September?
“I don’t know,” he said whimsically, flashing a big smile. “But I think so.”
Whatever the answer ends up being, Kendricks gave the impression during his session with reporters Tuesday that he’ll be OK with it.
You could forgive him if he felt weighed down some by the uncertainty of his situation. He is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and acknowledged that there have been no contract extension talks with the Eagles as of yet. Chip Kelly traded the top back in franchise history for Kiko Alonso and re-worked DeMeco Ryans‘ deal this offseason, while reports surfaced that Kendricks was on the block. But the 24-year-old said he wasn’t really fazed by all the rumblings and movement.
“One thing you’ve got to know in this league is, you’ve got to know your worth,” said Kendricks, “and I think that I can play anywhere. So, whether [a trade] was going to happen or not, at that point in time it didn’t really matter to me.
“Hypothetically speaking, if I was to get traded, the next team obviously wants you. Either way, if you can play you can play. And if you can play, someone’s got to pay. Regardless, whatever it was, I had no hard feelings, no speculation, no anything. I was just living the day, living the moment.”
In this moment, Kendricks is part of what looks like a loaded inside linebacker group. There are three starting-caliber players vying for two starting spots. Based on what we’ve seen at OTAs so far, Billy Davis is rotating the ‘backers in evenly with the first team. One series might feature Ryans and Kendricks. Then Kendricks and Alonso. Then Alonso and Ryans. It’s still a bit of a mystery on how it will work if all three remain on the roster and are healthy.
“The more players, the better, man,” said Kendricks. “The more we can get in there, the more we can evolve and switch it up, the different looks we get, the more they don’t know, the better we’re going to be as a team.”
Is it OK by him if he is not the starter?
“Come on, bro. The competitor in me has to say no. I want to start. That’s what I came here to do,” he said. “But that’s something I can’t control. All I can do is work hard every day, come here ready to show up and do what I do, and the rest will take care of itself.”
This offseason definitely hasn’t impacted his confidence. Asked if he’s noticed that Kelly has been gravitating towards a certain prototype in his personnel decisions, Kendricks replied: “I am the new prototype.”
“Are you serious? Because I’m fast, I can get in all the little gaps, all the little holes. I feel like I can cover the field pretty well. Height may be an issue but I don’t worry about all that, you know what I’m saying? I think I’m the new prototype.”
Kendricks said the Alonso trade did raise some questions, “But at the end of the day, everyone’s motives are to make this team the best possible…Their motives are to do just that. So why would I sit there and falter and be concerned about that when everyone’s motive on this team is to be the best? If that was their motive, then I can respect that…
“One thing you’ve got to know about this league is we’re all just renting space. This is a straight business and you have to love every aspect of that and respect every aspect of that.”