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Eric Kendricks Hits Hollywood Stage

Eric Kendricks made quite an impact as a rookie for the Vikings in 2015.

The linebacker, in fact, totaled 105 impacts to lead Minnesota in tackles and become the first rookie to lead the Vikings in tackles since Rip Hawkins in the team's inaugural 1961 season.

This offseason, however, Kendricks has hit the Hollywood stage a couple of times for NFL Network. He guest-hosted UCLA's Pro Day this spring, reconnecting with former Bruins teammate Myles Jack, and on Tuesday visited the set of NFL Total Access.

Kendricks was asked to weigh in on Vikings teammates like quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and linebacker Chad Greenway, as well as the outlook for the NFC North in 2016 as Minnesota tries to defend the division crown.

Kendricks said Bridgewater, who had just one prior season before Kendricks' arrival, and Greenway, who is now gearing up for his 11th with the Vikings, both provided valuable leadership.

"First and foremost, [Bridgewater] is a leader," Kendricks said. "Guys look up to him. Myself, coming in as a rookie, he kind of showed the way. He was doing things right. He's in his second year himself, so he's trying to figure this out himself. I think he's only going to get better. I think we have a good quarterback."

As for Greenway, Kendricks said the veteran's re-signing "means everything."

"He's the energy of our meeting room, our locker room and our team," Kendricks said. "He's taught me a lot in this first year coming in. He told me how to make it, what he struggled with, what he did good at, and I listened to every word he said."

Vikings players are scheduled to return to Winter Park on Monday for the beginning of the team's voluntary offseason workout program.

After winning the NFC North for the first time since 2009, thanks to a 5-1 mark in the division, Vikings players are expecting to face tough challenges from Green Bay, Detroit and Chicago.

"They're a very good team and they have a great quarterback," Kendricks said. "If I were game planning against them, then I would try to stop their run first and foremost. That's what we always begin with. I believe Aaron Rodgers is going to make his plays because he's that kind of quarterback. You've got to contain him, if you can, and stop the run."

View some of the best images of the linebackers from 2015.

Kendricks also mentioned the mobility of Jay Cutler and his connections with receiver Alshon Jeffery that might become even more important after the release of running back Matt Forte and trade of tight end Martellus Bennett.

"He's a great mobile quarterback, who can also throw the ball," Kendricks said. "I know that big target on the outside [Jeffery] is one of his favorites to go to and he kind of did some numbers on us the first time we played them."

The regular season schedule is yet to be released, but the opponents the Vikings will face have been known since the end of the 2015 regular season.

Kendricks is well aware that he will be scheduled to face the team of his brother, Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks at some point this fall.

"I like to watch my brother. We have similarities and differences," Kendricks said. "We grew up 17 months apart, and everything we did was compete."

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