Mychal Kendricks’ ‘Shots’ Were Truthful
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Mychal Kendricks was an important part of the first Super Bowl team in Eagles history but don't expect the veteran linebacker to walk in history with the rest of his former teammates, at least for a little while.
Time will ultimately heal any wounds but for now, the notoriously thin-skinned Philadelphia fan base is almost certainly going to turn Kendricks into a villain thanks to the cameras of HBO's "Hard Knocks."
Kendricks, who spent six seasons with the Eagles before being released in the offseason, had already made a stir when HBO aired a teaser of the next episode of "Hard Knocks," in which Kendricks claimed his new team, the Cleveland Browns, have "so much more talent in this room than what I did in Philly. It's not even funny."
Most just scoffed at that because Cleveland is coming off a 0-16 season and Kendricks' jewelry box got significantly heavier in Philly last season.
The Browns ultimately ended up beating the Eagles, 5-0, in one of the more boring preseason games ever witnessed.
Evidently, things were much more interesting behind the scenes where Kendricks was offering up some of the Jim Schwartz-trademarked "proprietary information" that will surely cause some fans to raise their backs.
If you ignore the bluster and the headlines, however, Kendricks' "scouting report" on Nick Foles, Zach Ertz and Halapoulivaati Vaitai was spot on.
After Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams asked Kendricks to speak to the Cleveland defense about going against his former team, Kendricks started with a clinical take on the Super Bowl MVP.
"Playing with Nick Foles, I realized on his long balls, his deep balls, he has a like tear-drop effect," Kendricks explained. "He's tall, he likes to drop it literally from the sky. So corners, make sure the timing is just a little bit slower coming in."
From there he told the truth about Ertz, the Pro Bowl tight end who is a great receiver and below-average blocker.
"86 [Ertz] is the best receiver on the team," Kendricks surmised. "Notice I said receiver. When it comes to blocking, you [expletive] hit him over and over. He doesn't want no smoke."
Finally it was on to struggling left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who has been starting in place of Jason Peters as the Eagles err on the side of caution throughout the preseason with the veteran returning from an ACL injury.
"Big V, Vaitai, he's so big that his size allows him to do what he does," Kendricks said. "But he doesn't have the quickest feet and he's not the strongest. He doesn't trust his feet at all. You get on him, his confidence will go down."
None of it was all that controversial and similar to things that go on behind the scenes every week in the NFL but the red light was on here.
If anyone wants to dispute Kendricks' "shots" at his former teammates, they are no being all that truthful with themselves.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen