Jenkins Addresses Tackling Questions

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Malcolm Jenkins
flatly admitted during his first session with the local media that tackling is an area of his game that needs work. That’s not the most comforting thing to hear for a lick-loving, safety-starved fan base with visions of 2012 still dancing in their heads.

Pro Football Focus charged Jenkins with 16 missed tackles in 2013, fifth-most among safeties. He ranked 62nd out of 67 safeties in tackling efficiency. His numbers overall have dipped over the past few seasons. He had a career high 12 passes defensed in 2010 to go with two interceptions (one which went for a touchdown), a sack, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries en route to a second-team All-Pro selection. He has recorded just three interceptions since then and hasn’t quite reached the same level of play in the three seasons since.

Why?


According to Jenkins, scheme change and the way he was used by New Orleans of late has something to do with it. He was drafted out of Ohio State (14th overall in 2009) as a corner and played there his rookie campaign. An injury to Darren Sharper the following season prompted the switch to safety. The 26-year old explained that during the '10 campaign he was in more of a hybrid role, slipping to nickel on third down. When Sharper left after that season, he played more of a traditional safety role.

"I have a corner background, so those few years when I was asked to just play strictly free safety and play in the post, those kind of plays, being there all day makes me kind of uncomfortable," he said. "That's not where I'm best suited. I can't blame that and say that's why I missed tackles, that's not what I'm saying, but the years in which I was put in position to make plays, I made them. And I'm really looking forward to having that opportunity here, looking forward to having coaches that want to put me in those positions and realize that, so I'm excited."

This past season he was able to move around more and recorded a personal-best 2 1/2 sacks, two interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles. But the missed tackles were still an issue.

The Saints did not make an offer to Jenkins and instead inked Jairus Byrd to a six-year deal with some $28 million guaranteed. The Eagles were the first team to contact Jenkins and moved quickly to sign him to a three-year, $16.25 million contract with $8.5 million guaranteed.

Jenkins said that the Saints' decision to move on from him has not affected his confidence, and believes that Chip Kelly and Billy Davis plan to use him in a way that will play more to his strengths.

"I can play deep. I'm a football junkie, so I can be the quarterback of the defense," said Jenkins, a team captain while in New Orleans. "I can still cover receivers in the slot. I can cover tight ends. I can blitz. And whenever I can do those things, when I have the freedom to move around and not be stagnant, that's when I've had my best years. I'm not your typical safety. It's kind of that hybrid that the league is moving to now with the bigger tight ends, the faster tight ends. You need guys that can be versatile, that can go down into the slot and you're not worried about them on receivers."

Jenkins played on multiple special teams units for New Orleans, enjoys the role, and anticipates that he will play specials here in Philly.

Kelly (through a statement) said that he was impressed with what he saw out of Jenkins while prepping for the playoff game against New Orleans. Jenkins took notice of the Eagles well before that.

"Even before we played them, I think it was apparent by Week 4 or 5 that there was something different about this Eagle team and what Chip Kelly brought to the table and it caught the attention of a lot of people," said Jenkins. "That was my first impressions: that he knows how to win and knows what he is going to win with. They are trying to get players to fit his scheme and not necessarily the best players, but players that will buy into what he's selling. I've been a part of winning teams before, and that's where it starts."

 Sheil Kapadia contibuted to this report.

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  • ridusofreid

    Is an upgrade. How much of an upgrade I don’t know but he is an upgrade. Also can play corner in a pinch. What’s the deal with Kenny Phillips ? Still injured? Is he on a team ?

    • DirtyWaters

      Bum knees. Probably. No.

    • GreenScabs

      He never played for us, he was cut in training camp last year.

    • trixman

      Agreed he’s an upgrade, but we didn’t need just an upgrade, we needed a fix. He’s not a fix. Byrd would have been a fix. Ward may have been a fix. Jenkins + Mitchell would have been a fix. Unless there’s something else coming – and not just another 5th round pick – the Eagles fell short again.

  • TheCatalyst

    I’ve notice that Chip seems to go a lot on his own eyes. He drafts out of the PAC12 and now signs players he’s seen personally on the field. I guess it works in the draft but that approach isn’t going to work in the NFL. I trust in Tom Gamble because of what he did in SF, but I’m still not sold on the rest.

    • phillyphanlvnv

      While EVERYONE is SOLD on Gamble, let’s not forget, that HE WAS NOT THE GM.

  • oreofestar

    Dis is gon… be good

    • Mike Tyner

      I hope he plays as well as he talks

      • oreofestar

        I hope…he says all the right thinks Gosh

  • phillyphanlvnv

    This article is pathetic. So what about the role that Vacarro had in freeing him up to do the things he did last season. How about asking the questions, what does this team plan to do about having a safety who DOES play the center field. Last I recall, Wolff WAS NOT that guy. So if Wolff operates his best in the box, Jenkins operates his best in the slot, which also happens to be where our ONLY impact defensive player operates his best at, who the hell is covering the deep middle, let alone providing over the top Cover 2 help to our suspect CB group. This is just plain embarrassing for the so called “writers and journalist” to just gloss over these questions and concerns from this title starved fan base.

    • jabostick

      You’re right. This team is DOOMED. 2-14 at best. Garbage team, garbage writers,

    • Harpy Eagle

      CG25 is that you?

      PS – you forgot WILL NEVER EVER WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP. PATHETIC

      • phillyphanlvnv

        No, but retarded fans like you will always be happy come training camp, after getting a nice hefty filling of Spuds and Eagles TC Live. Then the games actually get played and you finally realize the doom and gloom that posters like myself continue to point out regarding this dreck of a franchise. See, myself, I told CG25 that just because a running QB HASN’T won a Championship, that one will NEVER EVER WIN ONE. No I said that the odds are not in a running QB’s favor, but that it still CAN be done, but just hasn’t. What I am pointing out, is that the sports media in this town, continues to carry out the teams dirty work of spreading their propaganda to the fans that somehow, this year will be different, and to just trust and believe what they are doing is going to work. What I am pointing out is that, no one bothered to ask the serious question of how this same cat was on the historically worse D at the time, that turned into one of the BEST UNITS IN THE NFL, with the arrival of a TRUE SAFETY, and pass rushing help. 2 things that they have REFUSED to address. Instead telling us how much the Safety position really isn’t that important, and that sacks really don’t matter that much. Don’t mention that some of the most memorable teams of late have either had HOF caliber Safeties, hello Pit, Bmore, NO, and Seattle. This team will NEVER win a championship with this current line of thinking. Just ask yourself, when exactly did Oregon win a Nat’l Championship? So how are we to believe that we are building a champion. Instead what this tells me is that we again plan to remain relevant for the near future, while providing the fanbase with a false sense of security in the team.

        • Maggie

          Gee and free agency is 24 hours old. Oops, sorry 30 hours or thereabouts.

        • FMWarner

          Poe’s law comes to Birds 24/7.

      • borntosuffer

        Nice. But, LV is a too long winded for Charlie and doesn’t use the Caps for whole sentences. I wish Charlie posted on this site. I don’t read nearly as much on Philly.com – Kempski and McLane mainly – So, I am missing Charlie.

    • EveryoneElseHere

      No you and youre garbage drivel is whats pathetic. Just rants dude, not really much fun to share or read. Youd be better off yelling in the mirror. Fine to be critical, but being so short sighted and negative is just dumb and annoying.

    • Maggie

      Are you SURE you attend a church anywhere. One of the precepts taught in a real church is to love your neighbor, not snarl when someone disagrees with you.

  • morgan c

    THIS!
    “I can play deep. I’m a football junkie, so I can be the quarterback of
    the defense,” said Jenkins, a team captain while in New Orleans. “I can
    still cover receivers in the slot. I can cover tight ends. I can blitz.
    And whenever I can do those things, when I have the freedom to move
    around and not be stagnant, that’s when I’ve had my best years. I’m not
    your typical safety. It’s kind of that hybrid that the league is moving
    to now with the bigger tight ends, the faster tight ends. You need guys
    that can be versatile, that can go down into the slot and you’re not
    worried about them on receivers.”

    Dude also sounds smart and definitely “gets it.” Welcome to Philly.

    • phillyphanlvnv

      This is just irresponsible to repeat this crap and act as though “he gets it”. Fact is, there was a TRUE safety in New Orleans who did everything, from hitting to making plays in the backend, that allowed him “to have one of his best years” that was actually quite a piss poor year in terms of getting $#!t done. Truth is, we do NOT have a Vacarro here, and most likely, will NOT get one in the draft. This is the same front office who drafted Brandon Graham over Earl Thomas. Howie was ABSOLTELY involved in the draft process at that point, and is also the same man who brought us Nnamdi when we already had Asante playing at a better level both then, and the season after he was traded to ATL.

      • Brandon Boykin, LOL

        This is also the FO responsible for the current optimism we have as Eagles fans. Ya know Chip Kelly, Nick Foles, the past two drafts? Since the team is on the up and up I really see no reason to complain.

        • phillyphanlvnv

          Fans are optimistic because they went from 4-12 to 10-6. A little deeper digging suggest that the team lucked up not being at the best 8-8 due to the losses of Tony Romo and Aaron Rogers. This is the same team that was blown off the field by the Vikings and Broncos in almost the exact same fashion as we had become oh so accustomed to the previous 2 seasons. We are still overpaying and overvaluing Conner Barwin, Trent Cole and Demeco Ryans. Let’s not forget that we DID have the 29th ranked D, and it most likely will only get worse with the aging of the previously mentioned “stars”. While I am a tad bit more on the Nick Foles bandwagon than most Eagles fans, I even realize that he has his limits. He will not LEAD this team to a Superbowl. He may win one with a good stout D that gets off the field by creating TO and stopping teams on 3rd downs, he will not be the crux to a team winning it all. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady, and now Russell Wilson all have something Foles DOES NOT POSSESS, which is pocket awareness. Foles continues to hold the ball TOO LONG, ;eading to sacks that just shouldn’t happen at this level of football. Vick rubbed off all the worst traits of QB’ng that one could possibly have done

          • Wayne Charles

            I was with you until the unnecessary cheap shot at M. Vick.
            But it’s typical of the Eagle fans that live in Philly. The same fools that booed R. Cunningham and McNabb. Maybe it’s Karma why we can’t win a chip.

          • phillyphanlvnv

            Dude, get your life. I own more McNabb and Cunningham merchandise than the next man. I ATTEND Randalls church in Vegas with extreme regularity, so DO NOT mix up our local legends with a man who had a good 7 game run and then proceeded to becoming the biggest boon to the problems the Eagles have faced over the last 3 years. Vick was and will always be TO prone, not to mention too fragile to play in the NFL at ANY level other than back up QB for 2 quarters. Not that Vick isn’t one of the toughest SOB’s in the league still, but being tough doesn’t mean isht if your play is garbage or suffers severely which his continued to do. While I HAD wished for a chip with Vick, even as late as last season (

          • phillyphanlvnv

            I contentiously told my wife that Foles will at some point get benched or injured and that Vick would take over after watching this offense be ran correctly, and will lead us to the promised land, and ultimately the Mike Vick reclamation project would be completed) I ultimately have to admit what EVERYONE has been saying for years, which is that Vick will never stay healthy, and that he won’t play smart football as far as sliding, going out of bounds, or just throwing away the ball when its time to get rid of it.

      • Maggie

        Just a suggestion. Stop living in the past. Whether the FO were geniuses or fools 2 years ago or 3 years ago or 20 years ago cannot be changed. They are working today, and considering tomorrow.

        • phillyphanlvnv

          Do you think our Allstar running back would appriciate trying to win tomm? Or even the aging “stars” of Trent Cole and Demeco Ryans who know more likely than not will be looking for employment elsewhere. No, in this league, you need to do all you can to win now, and if your team is so lucky as to win, worry about the future IN the future. That sure enough is what the Seahawks did, and its what we should be trying to do. Why chase the Steelers when we cant even catch the Saints and Seahawks. Both teams made heavy investments in FA, with the Seahawks only getting LUCKY in the late rounds of the draft, much like the Eagles had been accustomed to. The Seahawks blew big money on a qb who couldnt even beat out a 3rd round draft pick. Seattle also threw away a 1st round pick on a player whos only contribution to the team all season was a meaningless KRTD in the Superbowl. Not to mention the ridiculous money the team paid said player. No the truth is, teams trying to REALLY win Superbowls use their cap space. You never hear about the Packers or the Steelers leading the leagueor even being top 5 in cap space. Wonder why that is.

          • FMWarner

            The Packers and Steelers also have franchise QBs that take up huge amounts of their cap. The Eagles will hopefully be in that situation after next season if Foles plays well again. That needs to be planned for. I’d rather pay a franchise QB than have to let him go because I gave $28 million guaranteed to a safety with two bum wheels. You don’t need to be all world at every position. You need to get by at every position and then excel where you excel.

            Worth noting also that the Packers and Steelers have been irrelevant for the last 2 years. Cap problems and aging rosters perhaps?

      • ABirds

        Bro. Relax! I read this site every single day and never felt it was worthwhile to open an account until you (and a ton of other non-regulars) began posting during FA. Despite the fact that we didn’t make a splash, and overpay for some big name free agents, the team is clearly on the upswing. Chip has very specific things he looks for in a player. And Howie, despite sometimes lacking balls, is very disciplined. This team as built was not going to contend for the SB this year. We need to build the defense and the organization has decided to do so through the draft and not free agency. If you were an actual fan, you’d get on board instead of yelling from Vegas.

        Do I think we did great in FA? No. I would have liked Mitchell in addition to Jenkins and would have liked someone to compete at OLB and depth on DL and OL. Still have to put some faith in the FO. Big turn around last year. Attribute it to luck, the weather, karma, or Santa Claus but stop being such a little b1tch and support your own squad.

        • phillyphanlvnv

          When you say building through the draft… are you referring to the two DT, slot corner and 5th rnd safety we got as building through the draft? Nice solid contributors, but if this team doesn’t land some sort of playmaker on D soon, they won’t be winning ANYTHING ever. Forgot the midget ILB everyone likes because he made a couple plays. I can definitely say that watching the team play last year gave me less heartburn than it had in the previous 2 seasons, what I still recognize is that the Eagles are NOT going to truly be competitive until they do something to fix the secondary. What signing Byrd along with a Jenkins would then do is allow the team to focus the draft on LBs, both inside and out and CB’s which they have much better batting averages with. I NEVER liked Revis, nor the idea of the Johnson’s (both the one from the Skins, or the one signed to the Bucs). I was hoping for one improvement which was that they went hard for Byrd and Ward, although was resigned to the fact they wouldn’t splurge for both. What upsets me is that the Eagles could have put themselves into a much more advantageous position to get into a winning mentality now, and instead punted the ball into the future, which tends to mean that if the team ends up winning less games this next season, they aren’t going to lose any sleep over it.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        PLEASE, dear and loyal 24/7 regulars -

        DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

        (see comment history for clarification).

        thanks.

        • FluxCapacitor

          Yeah…I was really hoping people like that would stay on the other websites and cry rivers together.

        • cliff henny

          kinda wanna see Johnny Geagle in foul mood with extra cup of coffee vs phillyphan go at it. can hear the angry keyboard mashing in my head

      • greenblood0118

        Just how much Howie was involved back then is up for debate since we already know how much of a control freak ol Joey Nickels was…see Cleveland…

      • morgan c

        Solid points. Two bad picks. Cus every other GM in the league hits on 100% of their draft picks.
        Idiot troll. Find another team.

    • Eagles1018

      No disrespect, but I coulda said that. Any of us could. We know what the Eagles are looking for on defense. Furthermore, we would all (most likely) miss tackles playing pro football. Can I get paid too?

      • Andy124

        No. You can’t.

    • NOLA

      Trust me when I tell you, you’re gonna see him playing deep & covering deep for the simple fact dat MJ will be chasing receivers deep after he gets burned on a hitch route. Also, get used to a lot of this as well

      http://tinyurl.com/lvq68s4

  • G_WallyHunter

    Well an encouraging article anyways, hopefully he can walk the walk. He can captain the secondary while Meco captains front7 and would work well there

  • DirtyWaters

    I’m ok with these FAs so far. No big risks. These are FA that still have something to prove unlike those that relax once they get paid.

    • phillyphanlvnv

      A special teamer who got a guaranteed million after one of his worst seasons is not risky? So he has proven that he will never crack a starting lineup, had one of the worst seasons last year for a special teamer, but we guaranteed him $1 mil. Real low risk there buddy.

      • DirtyWaters

        Dude, I’d be happy if we just put a sack of stale doughnuts back there after what I’ve seen the past few years. If Chip likes him, I like him. And yes, a mil is a low risk.

        • phillyphanlvnv

          Chip liked Soap, Chung and Phillips too. Basically, what the Eagles have managed to do is “Spend the Cap Floor and Nothing More.” All this crap about we need money to sign Foles when it’s time to do his deal, when we are sitting on almost 25+ mil alone in cap savings from aging vets getting paid well over what their production merits. Only reason said players are not removed from the roster as of now is that too much dead money is tied into their contracts this season as opposed to next offseason, and that the OWNER feels as though their production overvalues the dollar amount of their dead money. 6 sacks is better than 4 mil in dead money basically. This team Will ALWAYS sit on 20+ mil in cap space, and always tell the fans that it’s in case they see a trade open up or a player become available that they would choose to use it. Even the year of the Dream Team debacle, they still had plenty of cap space they COULD HAVE used on legitimate OL or Safety help but chose instead not to, figuring that Babin, NA and DRC would make up the difference.

          • phillyphanlvnv

            And then the argument that the money not spent now can just roll over to the next season. This is the crux of said argument… If a team saves 20 mil one season into the next then add another 10 mil to the cap…. said team is now 30 mil over the cap. now assume your team uses up that entire 30 mil during that offseason, what then happens is that the next season you will actually be over the cap 20 million assuming there was no increase to the cap. even if the cap increases another 10 mil the next season, you would still be over the cap by 10 mil, which just further proves that any argument of cap saving being saved is an absolute joke, as the team will NEVER use that extra money unless they are willing to assume cap issues into future seasons.

          • DirtyWaters

            Up vote for replying to your own comment.

          • FMWarner

            You can’t slam the Eagles for managing the cap well. And any and all arguments that an NFL team is “cheap” in the salary cap era are nothing but hot air. And dollars spent is no indicator of success unless you have brains behind that spending. Here are the top 7 teams in terms of payroll spent from 2004-2008:

            1. Cowboys
            2. Seahawks
            3. Redskins
            4. Colts
            5. Vikings
            6. Texans

            Is that who you want to emulate? From 2004-2008, who on that list aside from the Colts would you trade places with? Meanwhile, two of the most successful teams of that time period, the Patriots and Giants, come in 10th and 19th on the list.

            It’s not about the money. It’s about who’s spending it and who you’re spending it on.

    • phillyphanlvnv

      Losing 2 safeties and replacing them with one safety who is equally as bad isn’t considered risky. Truth is, if Chung wasn’t broke up, he absolutely WAS the best safety option, but the Eagles know he will NEVER be the guy he was coming out of college, so they replaced him with a player, who matches Chung’s RECENT level of play, but isn’t damaged.

  • oreofestar

    Please I hope we get the 2010 Jenkins

    • Johnny Domino

      I’ll take any Jenkins not named Izel.

  • oreofestar

    We turned a 5th round pick into a serviceable safety and the absolute trash that was Allen into average so hopefully this staff can do great thinks with Malcolm

    • phillyphanlvnv

      So I’m still confused on who the hell is covering the middle of the field if Jenkins is going to be playing slot and Wolff in the box.

      • DirtyWaters

        Donnie Jones.

      • southy

        Why does Wolff have to be down in the box? Kid ran a 4.4 and has a 39 inch vertical, and was just as good in coverage in college as he was in the box.

        Not to mention the fact that Chip isn’t looking for SS/FS. He’d rather have two safeties that he can move around.

        • phillyphanlvnv

          Because most teams that actually know what their doing play a system where one safety plays over the top and one in the box. You know, kind of like the system the SEAHAWKS ran. You know, a REAL CHAMPIONSHIP DEFENSE.

          • southy

            The Seahawks also run a 4-3 under defense, and we’re going to run a 2-gap 3-4. FIRE BILLY DAVIS! His scheme is all wrong!!

          • phillyphanlvnv

            Pits DC runs the same system, but knows the value of TRUE safeties, ala Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, or now Mike Mitchell. Ravens ran a 3-4 but had Ed Reed and Bernard Pollock. An over the top safety and an in the box, smash your head in safety. Most teams run with safeties that are specialist. One that hits, one that makes plays, which can at times include making big hits. You guys are way to bought into this mess, which we are only rolling over for another season, with the hopes that the players we get in the draft, push the team over the top one way or another.

    • anon

      Servicable? He barely played and made tons of rookie mistakes, our safety play was just generally soo bad that he looked good.

  • Tim Greene

    Surprising no one has brought this up yet….everyone I have heard/everything I have read critiquing Jenkins says he is good in the slot….I wonder if this move may free Boykin up to spend more time on the outside…just a thought

    • phillyphanlvnv

      So if Boykins moves outside, who is going to replace Jenkins in the deep safety spot? Wolff is supposed to operate his best in the box.

      • Will

        Maragos?…Keelan Johnson maybe…lol…Jenkins is a special teamer no worries…lol…

        • phillyphanlvnv

          LMAO

  • Joe Thomas

    Im rooting for him.

  • PhillyBirdNy

    Now we draft Ha-Ha at 22 and we are set at the safety position.

  • Dante Inked UP Lovings

    I though boykin was our slot or nickle?

    • anon

      Every player should be able to play every position – doesnt matter if it’s well or not.

      • Dante Inked UP Lovings

        He’s a okay player eagles shoulda gotten Corey graham also then I woulda feel a little better but this only shows they building in the draft with isn’t bad at all but IMA be piss if they don’t get a stud saftey or a big time player

        • anon

          Graham like everyone else got paid too much $$

          • Clamdigger

            Waaaaaaaahhhh.

  • Eagles1018

    Eric Decker to the Jets. I guess their GM didn’t see the Pats signed Revis…….

  • southy

    Let’s not forget that part of missing a lot of tackles is attempting a lot of tackles. Kendricks led the league in missed tackles a year ago. This year he’s shown the potential to be a tackling machine. Maybe Malcolm just needs some DeMeco in his life.

  • jesse

    Hey what’s a good link on an up to date site for remaining FA listed by positron and rating? Also I hear Philadelphia isn’t the only town looking for a All pro saftey apparently Arizona is now amongst the three other states looking for pro saftey Darren Sharper after his apparent cross country rape spree

  • Reggie Trevis

    We need to get past New Orleans (which we havent been able to do in years), but we take a player who they dont want anymore and let them get a safety that is better than him. I’m not convinced that this will result in “getting over the hump”… Just saying

  • Andy124

    Well, I enjoyed the interview at least.

    I’m reminded of when Davis made comments to the effect of how we were playing extremely vanilla defense last year and that he planned to spice things up as we added the right pieces and guys got more comfortable in the system. I look forward to seeing how that plays out.

    I’ve also convinced myself that he is much better for Wolff’s development than the other guys we had on the roster.

  • MattE

    I think this will work with a guy like bucannon in the draft and wolff in the mix to. Byrd had plantar facitis (sp?) which was a major red flag to IMO.

    Bottom line Chip does more with less and i trust the Chippah over any move Howie makes or doesn’t make.

  • Corey Dawson

    I really like the cornerback background, we’ve sucked at covering tight ends for a few years now. With him on the TE or second slot WR, Boykin on the first, our secondary’s overall man coverage skills might take a nice jump. Still don’t like the pure man match-up on any big time #1 WRs, but those are the games when you run more zone, double coverage, or 2 deep. He’s not the run stuffing, big hitting safety we all know and covet from the Dawk days. He’s the other guy.

  • TheNest

    I’m starting to warm up to you Malcolm. Don’t let is down!!!

  • mtn_green

    Didn’t the saints move their receivers around so eagles defense had to have a safety cover a wr. Jenkins would’ve helped solve that problem.