Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the same is true of evaluating football players. Personally, I like Eagles inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks. I think he’s on the verge of having a break out season with a trip to the Pro Bowl. He’s starting to see plays before they happen and he has the ability to be a big play guy, which are hard to come by.
I don’t care how short he is, I wouldn’t let him go.
Chip Kelly obviously doesn’t see that. He’s sees an undersized inside linebacker, who can’t play in pain and can’t be counted on when you need him to tough it out and play. It’s common knowledge around the National Football League that Kendricks is available if you want him. Kendricks missed four games last year with a calve strain and Kelly can’t forget it or won’t forget it. He doesn’t believe in Kendricks’ toughness.
Kendricks knows that the odds are very high that he’s not going to be playing for the Birds this season, so he isn’t attending the workouts at the Nova Care Complex.
It’s simple, he’s not a Chip Kelly guy. Kelly doesn’t want a 5’11” inside linebacker regardless of whether he is a playmaker or not. Kendricks is becoming more adept at making plays and he’s a step or two away from being very consistent in making big plays. More than anything else, guys who can make big plays help you win football games and championships.
Although undersized, he’s got that big play speed and quickness. Kelly doesn’t care about that, he doesn’t want any undersized linebackers. Getting rid of him is going to put a great deal of importance on the health of DeMeco Ryans and Kiko Alonso. Ryans is trying to return from a ruptured Achilles tendon and Alonso is trying to come back from a ACL tear.
Once Kendricks is released Ryans and Alonso will need to stay healthy because they won’t have the experienced depth at the position with three accomplished inside linebackers on the roster.
I don’t agree with this move, but I’ve seen a lot of great coaches who are sticklers for a certain type of player at certain positions. Chip had better be right on this one.
This house that Chip Kelly is building could easily come tumbling down if they sustain injuries at key positions. Inside linebacker will be one of them once they work out a trade with another team which involves Kendricks.