Injured Eagles LB Ryans praises Kendricks
DeMeco Ryans talks about his recovery from Achilles' injury.
DeMECO RYANS said yesterday that Mychal Kendricks, who has been increasingly dominant at inside linebacker since Ryans went down for the season with an Achilles' tear, "is just letting his instincts take over."
Kendricks, along with defensive end Fletcher Cox, really stood out during the Eagles' loss to Seattle last week. The team credited Kendricks with 16 tackles, 12 of them solo.
"Mike has been one of our best athletes on the defensive side of the ball . . . It's really showing these last couple of games. He's really making a lot of big-time plays, running guys down," Ryans said.
Ryans, 30, said he is a week away from being able to cast aside the scooter he uses to navigate the NovaCare complex, in the wake of right Achilles' surgery. Ryans tore his left Achilles' playing for Houston in 2010, then tore the other during the Eagles' Nov. 2 visit to the Texans, on the same end of the field.
"I'm over it," Ryans said. "I understand things happen. Sometimes you can't control it. I'm fine with it. It's tough on Sundays - game time, guys out there getting ready to play."
He said yesterday that doctors have told him there is no link between tearing one Achilles' and tearing the other. Last time, it took him until well into the 2011 season to really feel normal, Ryans said when he came to the Eagles in 2012. Ryans said yesterday he thinks his recovery then might have been complicated by the NFL lockout, and he hopes for a quicker turnaround this time.
"I was progressing along, then we got kicked out of the building," Ryans recalled. "I was kind of left on my own to do my own rehab . . . There's not a lockout looming, so I'm encouraged that I can go through and be with our training staff throughout the whole process."
Speaking of management-union issues, Ryans is the Eagles' player rep. He said he has not seen the league's new code of conduct.
"I would think as players, we'd get a chance to look at the policy," Ryans said. "For news to come out about them passing a new policy - it's like, we haven't even seen anything, so what's that about? It seems like we're going down the same line again" in terms of mistrust and confusion.
"It's different rules for different guys," Ryans said of NFL discipline. "You don't know where you stand, unless you get in trouble, so, stay out of trouble. That's the message I give to guys."
Making himself at home
Defensive end Fletcher Cox acknowledged yesterday that he had a hard time learning to play in the 3-4, after being drafted as a 4-3 tackle, but Cox said he's fine with his role now.
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo said this week that Cox has "really elevated" the Eagles' defense.
"It's my home for now, and I'm enjoying it so much," Cox said of the 3-4. "Just having a whole lot of fun doing it. The coaches move me around a lot. I'm on the center, outside, inside. You just never know just where the coaches will put you.
"I struggled last year with it. I would say I spent over half the year last year just trying to learn the scheme, and just be effective. Toward the end of the year, I felt myself kind of getting a small handle on it, but it wasn't my best."
Chip not drinking haterade
Chip Kelly was asked about his appreciation for the intense dislike Eagles fans have for Dallas. Kelly, in the wake of the flap over him allowing Oregon's Linfield College to practice at the Birds' facility before its playoff win over Widener, had said letting other teams practice on your fields is commonplace in the NFL, and that if Dallas had wanted to use NovaCare this week, he would allow it.
"I understand that [dislike]," Kelly said. "But that's not the way we're wired. I want to compete against the best. It's the same thing, if we went to go to play any other place in the NFL, they would allow us to practice at their facility. When I was in college, everybody allowed us to practice - USC practiced at our place when we were at Oregon, and we practiced at their place. That's what this deal is all about.
"I've never been a hate guy. I don't hate anybody we've ever played. I've got the utmost respect for 'em, and I hope when we have an opportunity to play any team we play, that they're at their full strength. That's the best part about it; that's when really true competitors go against it."
Kicker Cody Parkey (groin), receiver-returner Josh Huff (hip) and running back Chris Polk (ankle) all were full practice participants yesterday and presumably will be OK for Sunday . . . Nolan Carroll, working as a punt-team gunner, blew past Richard Sherman and dropped a Seattle returner in his tracks last week. Carroll said Sherman told him: "Stop running so fast" . . . Chip Kelly said he's reluctant to put LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles in the backfield at the same time. "My question is going to be, 'Who is going to block for who?' " Kelly said. "Obviously, Darren is not going to lead on a linebacker, and if we have LeSean McCoy leading on a linebacker and he gets hurt, then shame on us as a coaching staff. That's not their strength. Both of them play the same position, they're both halfbacks" . . . Kelly said Chris Prosinski, who made three tackles on returns against the Seahawks, "is making a huge impact on special teams." Kelly indicated Prosinski, signed Nov. 3, is making progress as a safety.