Mychal Kendricks is proving his value to Philadelphia Eagles

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 10: Geronimo Allison
GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 10: Geronimo Allison /

Through the first two games of the 2017 Preseason, Mychal Kendricks is proving why the Eagles should keep him around.

Mychal Kendricks has been mentioned in just about every trade scenario that comes up for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was rumored to be on the trade block during the 2017 NFL Draft, and there hasn’t been much information to dispel the notion that he isn’t still available. Kendricks needed to prove that he was worth keeping around. So far, he has done just that. He’s shown that, given the right situation, he’s a player that can thrive.

First Two Preseason Games

When there is mention of the Eagles’ linebacking corps, the conversation always focuses on the duo of Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham. This isn’t without good reason though. Those two players form one of the best linebacking duos in the league. While Kendricks is still technically a starter, he rarely sees significant time due to the prevalence of the nickel defense. To put it simply, Kendricks does not get very many opportunities, so when he does, he needs to make the most of them. Through the first two weeks of the preseason, he has taken full advantage of the chances he has been given.

Starters are never expected to play much in the preseason. Teams don’t want to risk injury and have a lot of young guys on the roster that they need to get a look at. Even second string players won’t play more than a half early on. This strategy makes what Kendricks has done so far all the more impressive.

In extremely limited action over the course of the first two games, Kendricks has two interceptions and a sack. Three momentum shifting plays that, in the regular season, could have made the difference between winning and losing. The Eagles’ offense was not able to produce a touchdown off the turnover last night, but they were able to get points on the board.

Last night, Kendricks showed that playmaking ability that made him a second round pick 2012.

Take a look:

Defensive Scheme

Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles /

Philadelphia Eagles

Although Kendricks does deserve credit for capitalizing on his opportunities, the Eagles also deserve credit for putting him in the right position. Everyone knows that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz prefers not to bring pressure. He mainly likes to get after the quarterback with his base four man rush. This scheme takes away one of Kendricks’ best abilities which is blitzing.

The first two games have shown a bit of a shift in this philosophy and has paid off in a big way. Kendricks has been able to use his athleticism to work his way through to the quarterback and make a big play. Even on Ronald Darby‘s interception, Kendricks was able to provide pressure on a backside blitz which forced Buffalo Bills‘ quarterback Tyrod Taylor to make a rushed throw.

In pass coverage, an area that Kendricks has historically struggled in, he’s shown promise. He has consistently been around the ball, and has been rewarded with two interceptions. He’s done a good job of covering backs out of the backfield as well as tight ends in the middle of the field. There are still areas that need to be worked on, but Kendricks does not seem like the same player he was last year.

Next: 15 Things learned from the Eagles’ second preseason game

Hopefully it continue

So far, there hasn’t been much to complain about with Kendricks. He really seemed to take last year as a wake-up call and has responded accordingly. Fans know that he has the ability to be an impact player on the field. He showed that his first few years in Philadelphia. It looks like he has started to regain that confidence and ability which is a great sign. The Eagles are quietly putting together a great off-season. Kendricks hopes to continue to be a big reason for that. If he can carry this production into the regular season, it will only mean good things for the team.