WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Let it not be said that Washington Redskins defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins is lacking confidence. After sustaining a knee injury that ended his rookie season before it could begin, the Clemson product is finally ready to make his debut and is vowing to meet the high expectations that have been set for him.
Jenkins received rave reviews in the preseason before tearing his ACL against the Baltimore Ravens last August and neither the fans nor media have forgotten about the promise shown.
“The main thing is to show people that what they got a little taste of last year, to do that all year,” Jenkins told Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday morning. “Everybody is all high on me. I have a pretty strong bullseye on my back to perform and be a big time defensive lineman.”
At just 24-year-old, Jenkins is handling the mounting expectations with no lack of confidence.
“I don’t feel that pressure at all,” he said. “When pressure hits me, I don’t ever fold. I just play my game. So, the main thing just to be that dominant defensive lineman so that when I get on the field they know that I’m for real and I’m about my business. The main thing I’m focusing on is being more powerful and explosive than anybody on the field this year.”
Jenkins is expected to be used in a swing capacity at both left and right end. Although unproven, some feel he may pose a challenge for Adam Carriker’s starting spot on the left side of the line.
However, after making a heavy investment in Carriker this offseason the Redskins may be more inclined to use Jenkins in a relief role.
Although unable to learn on the field, he spent last year studying film with his veteran teammates, including the aforementioned Carriker. For Jarvis, that experience could prove invaluable.
“After I got hurt, I felt it was good for me to get the mental part down of the football aspect,” he said. “Going into meetings with these guys, I’m watching these veterans like Adam Carriker, Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen… when these guys make mistakes in the game and my coach coaches them, I learn that. Now, when I get in the game or in practice I recognize what they made a mistake on, it’s kind of easy for me to not make the mistake because I was in film all year learning from these guys.”
Jenkins has been working with the team since coming off injured reserve, fully participating in team workouts and this week’s OTAs. He, along with the rest of the d-line have not laid a hand on Robert Griffin III… and for good reason.
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” he exclaimed when asked if he hit RGIII yet. “I want to keep my job! I’m not touching RGIII.”