Mychal Kendricks confident in crowded field

PHILADELPHIA -- Mychal Kendricks can count. The Philadelphia Eagles' linebacker knows there are two inside spots in the starting lineup and, while there are three to five candidates to fill them, Kendricks expects to be one of the starters.

"The competitor in me has to say it -- I want to start," Kendricks said after Tuesday's organized team activities practice. "That's what I came here to do. Since I came here, that's what I came here to do. But that's something I can't control. All I can do is work hard every day. I do what I do, and the rest will take care of itself."

It has been an odd offseason for Kendricks. Coming off a solid, but injury-marred 2014 season, he has seen the Eagles trade for Kiko Alonso, extend the contract of DeMeco Ryans, draft Jordan Hicks and sign free agent Brad Jones. That's in addition to Najee Goode, Emmanuel Acho and Travis Long, who were already on the roster.

"The more players, the better, man," Kendricks said. "The more we can get in there, the more we can evolve and switch it up, the different looks we can give, the more they don't know -- the better we'll be as a team. ... Right now, in this phase, we're just practicing to get better as a team."

With all the moves, there was speculation that Kendricks might be traded during the offseason. That didn't happen, but Kendricks couldn't say he felt certain he'll be with the team when the season starts.

"I know, as well as everyone else knows, that I can play some football," Kendricks said. "The proof's in the pudding. The rest, I can't control.

"One thing you know about this league: We're all renting space. This is a straight business and you've got to love every aspect of that and respect every aspect of that. Hypothetically speaking, if I was to get traded, the next team obviously wants you. If you can play, you can play. And if you can play, someone's got to pay."

Kendricks said he had some questions as the offseason changes were made, but ultimately, that everything was done to make the team better.

"Why would I sit there and be concerned about that when everyone's motive on this team is to be the best," Kendricks said. "If that was their motive, then I can respect that. Things happen that we can't control."

Kendricks said he talked with coach Chip Kelly "a couple of times" during the offseason. But he said the "purpose of the conversation" was not to assure him that he would not be traded.

Ultimately, Kendricks has confidence in himself as a player. If that's here, he's fine with it. If not, then he'll be a solid player somewhere else.

"I'm not concerned," he said. "What's on tape is what's on tape. I'm telling you, I can play. Everyone in this circle knows that I can play."