As the wide-9 defensive alignment went away with the dismissal of DL coach Jim Washburn, the Eagles made another change up front. They shifted rookie Mychal Kendricks from the strong side to weak-side linebacker.
It’s a move that has made Kendricks more effective after he had leveled off. Kendricks started well in his rookie season but later had trouble getting off blocks and keeping step for step with tight ends and running backs in pass patterns.
On the weak side in the Eagles’ defensive formation, Kendricks has been able to move more freely without having to disengage from blocks. His speed is what got him drafted in the second round, and it’s at this position where he has the best chance to thrive going forward.
The Eagles’ next defensive scheme — after the expected departure of head coach Andy Reid — is unknown. But don’t be shocked, assuming the next coordinator sticks to a base 4-3 defense, that Kendricks is a fixture on the weak side.