Mychal Kendricks sets his sights on Pro Bowl with Browns

Linebacker glad to be out of Philadelphia so he can focus on personal goals

Daryl Ruiter
June 05, 2018 - 5:39 pm
New Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks stretches during OTAs on June 5, 2018 after signing a 1-year contract.

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Winning the Super Bowl was great but making the Pro Bowl would be just as good for linebacker Mychal Kendricks.

Now that Kendricks has won the ultimate team award – a ring with the Philadelphia Eagles, his sights are set on achieving his personal goal with the Cleveland Browns – the Pro Bowl.

“We did something special over there [in Philadelphia], and I’ll always, always care and have love for those guys, but I have personal goals too,” Kendricks said. “So being here allows me to reach those personal goals more so.”

When asked to clarify what his personal goals were, he responded, “Pro Bowl. I haven’t reached that yet.”

Kendricks is hoping for an expanded role within the Browns defense but he joins a linebacker corps that already includes 2015 Pro Bowler Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey, who played every snap last year, and 2017 Pro Bowl alternate Joe Schobert, who enters his third season.

“I get to play with some dogs,” Kendricks said. “I get to compete against them. I get to play with them. And the more, the better. We want to be a good team. We’re going to be a great team. So I’m glad I can add to that.”

Head coach Hue Jackson expects Kendricks to start out working in the middle of Gregg Williams’ defense, but his versatility gives them options, and insurance.

“It’s competition,” Jackson said. “I think that our players get it. Our job is to put the best football players on the team and then let that take care of itself. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think that our guys welcome that. I do not think that anybody is upset because we put better football players on the team.

“He is a really good football player. Obviously, he brings a unique skill set to our football team. He can cover. He can rush. He can play the run. He can play the pass.”

Kendricks officially signed his 1-year contract Tuesday morning, a day after his agent agreed to terms with the team and 2 days after Kendricks disputed a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that he had signed with the Browns.

“Even if that’s the end result and what happened and where I’m at now, at that moment in time, that was just not the case,” Kendricks said.

“I don’t really have too much respect for self-serving actions like that. But you know he was right. He ended up being right. So that being said, good for him. It’s just at that moment in time, there’s a whole business side of this thing where my agent’s working things out, and we didn’t really want that to alter anything.”

It was no secret that Kendricks wanted out of Philadelphia. He asked the Eagles for a trade last offseason, but they ended up starting him in 13 games during the regular season and in all 3 of their playoff games, including Super Bowl LII.

He finally got his wish in May when the Eagles opted to save $6 million in cap space by cutting him.

Most players would be disappointed to be cast off by a Super Bowl championship team, not Kendricks.

“Winning a Super Bowl doesn’t change my mind,” Kendricks said. “We did something great, and it’s awesome, and I was a huge part of that. But, like I said, there’s still personal goals that I want to reach.”

Welcome aboard – The addition of Kendricks creates an interesting dynamic at linebacker for the Browns but you won’t hear Christian Kirksey complain about another proven veteran being added to the mix.

Kirksey welcomes the new competition.

“Competition is fun,” Kirksey said. “I think that he can play all three linebacker positions. He has obviously proven himself in the league. He has won a Super Bowl. There are a lot of things that he can teach us. We have a lot of young guys in the room so adding a veteran player is a lot of wisdom, a lot of knowledge.

“I am looking forward to it. I am a competitor. I have been here my whole career. I have been competing my whole life. I think that those guys enjoy it the same way. At the end of the day, our main focus is winning.”

Kirksey played every single snap last season, along with Schobert.

“I take pride in that,” Kirksey said. “I am willing to do anything for my team. If they ask me to play every special team snap, every defensive snap, I am willing to do that. I am willing to go the extra mile. That is something that comes with being a leader.”

Injury report – Cornerback Howard Wilson (knee), rookie receiver Antonio Callaway (groin), linebacker Jamie Collins (knee), defensive end Chad Thomas (groin) and Emmanuel Ogbah (foot) and linebacker Mychal Kendricks (ankle) worked on the side with trainers Tuesday.