One of the top performers on the Minnesota Vikings roster during Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was rookie linebacker Eric Kendricks. He recorded five tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss, one quarterback hit and one pass deflection in 27 defensive snaps.
He said he was a lot more relaxed compared to his first NFL game and credited that to his ability to make plays all over the field. Head coach Mike Zimmer also thought he was a lot calmer and said it was good considering he is easily excitable.
It isn’t necessarily bad to be easily excitable, but Kendricks needs to make sure he doesn’t force himself out of the play because of that trait. He did a pretty good job at that and Zimmer was happy with the performance Kendricks put on.
“He flew around well,” Zimmer said. “He had one sack, so that one wasn’t too hard; no one blocked him. He’s a good kid that and has some ability and flies around. He’s got good speed and made a good tackle with the guy going out on the flat there.”
The rookie also felt like he had a good game, but he also knows there is still plenty for him to improve. One of the things he has been working on the most is being a more patient player and he feels he may have even been a little too patient in the game.
“I’ve got to have more patience; I learned that a little bit this game,” he said. “There were sometimes when I had a little too much patience and sometimes I didn’t have enough. I have to find a happy medium.”
Finding that happy medium has been the hardest part for Kendricks, but he thinks, in part, that is because he is inexperienced. Once he gets more experience out on the playing field he feels like he will continue to settle down and natural reaction will come easier to him.
Kendricks works hard on every play and he will continue to do that whenever he can, trying to eventually earn a role with the first-team defense.
“I can only control what I can control and when I’m out there I’ve got to make plays,” he said. “I got to work hard for my teammates, work hard in practice. Everyone busts their butts so I’ve got to bust mine, too.”
Patience a key for Kenricks
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