Washington Redskins coaches “have said several times that [DE Jarvis] Jenkins has been behind the other defensive lineman throughout the offseason program.” They expect that Jenkins will struggle to re-adapt to an NFL routine during training camp.
ESPN.com’s NFC East blogger Dan Graziano made those comments in his blog post yesterday in response to readers wondering about Jenkins’ offseason progress. That comes as no surprise to Jenkins and should not be to hopeful Redskins fans. Jenkins caused quite a stir with his athleticism in last year’s training camp, then he injured his ACL in a preseason game and was lost for the entire 2011 yeason.
Hog Heaven has anticipated his return for the promised boost it offers to the pass rush. Graziano’s post is a reminder that getting that boost will be a process, not a given.
Jenkins was cleared for all football-related activity last April, but has acknowledged he has a long task ahead of him.
“When you’re out of football for eight months — not really on the field playing — it’s going to take a little bit of time to get back into it,” Jenkins said for a Washington Post story. “I’m focusing on getting more in football shape, playing plays back-to-back and learning not to make mistakes when I’m tired. . . . Honestly, it’s like having another rookie season. I played three [preseason] games, but that’s not enough. I didn’t get the gristle of the full NFL season.”
In effect, Jenkins is requeing his rookie season. Redskins coaches and players are excited by what they see — the same speed and athleticism that wowed them last year. Jim Haslett expects Jenkins to be a big part of Washington’s defensive rotation now and in the future, according to Graziano.
We are resetting our Hog Heaven expectations for Jenkins. Look for him to be most effective in the back half of the season. Until then, Washington’s linebacker corps must carry the weight.
Redskins DE Stephen Bowen had arthroscopic knee surgery during the offseason. The Redskins expect him to be ready for training camp.
The strongest, deepest part of the defense is the front seven, given the young talent seeded by recent drafts and veteran players London Fletcher and Adam Carriker. With defensive question marks in the Redskins’ secondary, the front seven is the only unit competitive with NFC East rivals.
Michael Lombardi attributed Carlos Rogers’ six interceptions last season to San Francisco’s better pass rush compared to Washington’s. I am counting on Jenkins to bring the same effect to the Redskins. The secondary will appreciate it. We are just have to wait a bit for it.