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Eagles Lock Up Rising Star LB Kendricks

Posted Aug 24, 2015

Mychal Kendricks doesn't want to hear about the "prototype" measurements for NFL linebackers -- the height, weight and all those other numbers. None of that stacks up to the whole of Kendricks: "I'm a baller ...

Mychal Kendricks doesn't want to hear about the "prototype" measurements for NFL linebackers -- the height, weight and all those other numbers. None of that stacks up to the whole of Kendricks.

“Height, weight and size? About me? Oh my God. I don’t think I’ll ever hear the end of this," Kendricks said in a phone conversation minutes after signing a contract extension that keeps him an Eagle through 2019. "Dude, I don’t care. I’m a baller and I feel the Eagles don’t care, either. They know I’m a baller, too. That’s the reason why I just signed, but yeah for the world out there, I mean I am the new prototype. I repeat I am the new prototype. I am everything you want in a linebacker.

"And that being said, I’ll back that up and anyone who thinks different can challenge me and question me, hit me up on Twitter (@MychalKendricks), whatever you want. You can shoot at my size, you can shoot at … you can shoot at … that’s about the only thing you can shoot at, my size. That being said, that’s not much to shoot at. No pun intended.”

The news of Kendricks' four-year contract extension is a win/win for the Eagles and Kendricks, a second-round draft pick in 2012. It came out of the blue a bit and it arrived as welcomed news and another shot of momentum for an Eagles team that has generated all sorts of that good mojo this spring and summer. The Eagles locked up one of their good, young players who will be a key piece in the defensive machine for years to come, and Kendricks will stay in Philadelphia longer than he's been anywhere in his life, save his birth city of Fresno, California.

It's understandable, then, just how happy was on Monday night when he signed his contract and talked about the deal.

“Man, what it means to be here in the City of Brotherly Love for now what will be eight years means the world," Kendricks said. "I can honestly say that this place is my home, and that’s big for me and my family and all the families around in Philadelphia. This is my home just like it’s theirs, and I’ll be here longer than I have been in a single place besides my birthplace, which is Fresno. But, I can honestly say this is my second home.”

And his first and perhaps only NFL team. Kendricks is an explosive player who has sudden movement and big-play abilities. He's a fit at inside linebacker here as a downhill player who attacks the line of scrimmage against the run and who blows up blockers. Kendricks is also an excellent blitzer who Bill Davis knows he can call on to bust up the gap and close in on a quarterback.

Rick Minter is in his third season coaching Kendricks and he is thrilled with the progress Kendricks has made.

"I think Mychal's overall knowledge of our package has grown tremendously," Minter said. "He's come a long way even since we started our offseason program and our OTAs. His ability to comprehend and digest what we're doing and then to go out and do it has grown greatly. His man coverage ability is improving. His ability to blitz the quarterback has always been there and we have to find ways to continue to do that with him.

"I think Mychal has to be one of the most explosive players not only on our football team but in the entire NFL. He's not a small linebacker. He's a 6-foot linebacker. He's one of the most powerful, thick, explosive guys we have. Pound for pound he may be, arguably, the best athlete on our team. He's been a valuable asset mostly as our 'adjuster' linebacker, which means he can go out into space, match up on wideouts, match up on running backs. He's a complete player. He's able to play the run, pressure the quarterback and play pass defense."

Kendricks is also an emotional ball of fire who has come a long way since he was a rookie. The business side of the game is something that every player learns. Had this kind of negotiation happened when Kendricks was a rookie, had he been exposed to these kinds of ups and downs then as he was now in the final year of his contract would have been interesting, to say the least.

Kendricks admits it would have been tough to deal with.

As a rookie? God, no. This is something that you learn over time talking to the people that have been there and through it, talking to the elders that have come before you, the players that are on the team, coaches that have coached, NFLPA," he said. "You reach out and you seek advice through anyone who has ever been through it. My dad has helped me out a lot, but it’s a business, 360 degrees all the way around. It’s a business, and I just kept that in mind the whole time. Now I’m sitting here, and I’m still saying the same thing. It’s a business.”

And it's a great business for Kendricks who is on the search for his first home purchase. Why not? He's in Philadelphia to stay. What good is renting? Kendricks is ready to settle down.

"If there are any good realtors out there that want to get in contact with me, then you should definitely, definitely hit me up," he said, kind of laughing but clearly very excited. "My email is ..."

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