Matt Kalil continues to make excuses for his poor play

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Matt Kalil
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Matt Kalil /

The former Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman is heading into his second season as the starting left tackle for the Carolina Panthers.

After a rookie season with the Minnesota Vikings that resulted in him landing an invite to the Pro Bowl, Matt Kalil appeared to be on the path of becoming one of the NFL’s next great offensive tackles.

But since Kalil’s rookie year with the Vikings in 2012, his career has not exactly been anything to get excited about. As Minnesota’s left tackle, he was constantly getting beat by opposing pass rushers, leaving his quarterbacks to run for their lives.

So after his fifth season with the Vikings, which saw him only appear in two games due to a hip injury, Kalil hit the free-agent market in 2017 and ended up signing with the Carolina Panthers.

With the Panthers last year, the left tackle appeared in all 16 of the team’s regular season games. However, his play still continued to be inconsistent like it was when he was in Minnesota.

Pro Football Focus graded Kalil as the NFL’s 55th-best offensive tackle in 2017, while Bleacher Report ranked him as the 32nd-best left tackle in the league last season.

His performance in 2017 is certainly not what Carolina was hoping for when they signed him to a $55 million contract last year.

Kalil has never really been one to put the blame of his poor play on himself either. And that still seems to be the case as he prepares for the 2018 season.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

The former Vikings left tackle recently spoke about how being fully recovered from his 2016 hip surgery has allowed him to actually train during the offseason and not be rehabbing from an injury like he became accustomed to in Minnesota.

"“I used to have to do what I could to survive. Now it’s to the point where physically nothing’s holding me back. So I have a chance to excel and work on the things I want to work on rather than doing maintenance 24/7 and just trying to survive out there. I would say the point where I’m starting off now to last season is not even close. You can’t compare the two. It’s the difference between actually working out and training or rehabbing. Just from a strength standpoint, I feel night and day the difference.”"

If this sounds like an excuse, it’s because it is. Instead of owning up to his poor performance last season, Kalil continues to try and shift the focus on him not being completely healthy.

So if he does not play well again in 2018, what will be his new excuse?

There’s a chance that Kalil could finally return to the form that the Vikings saw from him during his rookie season in 2012. But based on the fact that he has never played at that high of a level since then, don’t expect anything to change for him in 2018.