Linebacker Mychal Kendricks has heard the knocks about his height for quite some time.
As a strongside linebacker with the Eagles, the 5-11 Kendricks will have to cover tight ends that have up to a seven-inch height advantage on the field.
Kendricks didn't waste any time trying to alleviate any concerns about his height. In Saturday morning's practice, the first of the rookie camp, Kendricks beat out 6-5 Brett Brackett to intercept a pass from Nick Foles. Brackett ran a wheel route and Kendricks stayed with him through the flat before going stride for stride down the field.
"It doesn't matter because at the end of the day I'm going to have to go out there and do it," Kendricks said of covering taller tight ends. "If I do it, I do it. If I don't, I'll probably get cut. Everything is going to handle itself. That's why I say it doesn't matter. I'm going to try my hardest. I'm going to do what I can do. Hopefully, everything will take care of itself. I don't really stress about it and I don't think you guys should either."
The 2011 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Kendricks said that he never intercepted Foles when his Cal Golden Bears squared off against Foles' Arizona Wildcats. Kendricks did, however, have 15.0 sacks, 43 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, seven fumble recoveries and four picks during his college career.
"That's just doing my job. That's not anything out of the norm for me or anything special," Kendricks said. "That's what I'm supposed to do and that's what I'm going to try to do."
The first of two second-round picks, Kendricks has aspirations of getting on the field sooner than later. While nothing has been said to him by the coaching staff, Kendricks wants to start on the strong side. But he understands that the buildup to the season is a gradual process. Kendricks does take solace in that he doesn't feel overwhelmed by the initial indoctrination to the NFL.
"I think the whole thing here is to make us feel uncomfortable, to see how much we can handle in a short amount of time. What can you do in the pressure situations?" Kendricks said. "If you can handle that, you can pretty much handle everything."
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