Matt Kalil Admits He Was Mentally Soft In 2014


Physical issues may have played a huge part in Matt Kalil’s terrible season, but there’s no question the mental side of the game was an equal struggle for the third-year left tackle.

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A bad knee may have made Kalil’s job tough on the field, but the bad knee didn’t make him go after a fan in the parking lot after a loss, nor did it make him get snippy with the press. That was all down to lack of maturity and mental fortitude.

Kalil admitted in an interview that he wasn’t tough enough mentally to deal with all the stuff that was thrown at him in 2014 (via Fox Sports North):

"“As far as what everyone else says, it’s not something I haven’t said to myself,” Kalil said a day after Minnesota’s season ended. “I know what I have to do. If anything, everyone coming down on me this year it’s made me mentally tough, I’ve never had to face adversity like that. I’ll go into next year physically stronger than I’ve ever been and with all the adversity I’ve had to face, I’ll be mentally tough as well.”"

Good on Kalil for admitting he was too soft in his approach last year. Now will he actually get mentally tougher or is he just paying lip service to the issue?

Going into the final year of his contract, Kalil will have extra motivation to prepare his hardest and play his best. I imagine we’ll see a very strong contract-year effort from Kalil, but the Vikings would still be wise to factor in his bad 2014 if/when they go to the negotiating table with the former #4 overall pick.

Kalil got too complacent last year and that’s a habit that could resurface after he gets a new contract. Bad knees heal with time and rehab but bad attitudes aren’t as easily fixed.