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Janoris Jenkins fits right into Giants new-look secondary

Posted Jul 14, 2016

Giants CB Janoris Jenkins discusses the progress of the team's defensive backfield this offseason: 

The Giants used a lot of their resources this offseason to help improve a defense that struggled last season to get opponents off the field and keep them out of the end zone.

One of those additions was cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

At just 27 years of age, Jenkins is in the prime of his career with 58 starts already under his belt in his first four seasons in the NFL. He arrives from St. Louis having to learn a new defense under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. After three months of OTA’s, meetings and minicamp, Jenkins has made a lot of progress.

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“So far, I’m comfortable,” Jenkins said. “I know the plays, I have them down pat. Now it’s just bonding with the safety. Him knowing what I do and how I like to play, and me understanding how he plays.”

While Jenkins tries to bond with the Giants safeties on the field, he is also gaining chemistry with his fellow cornerbacks in the position meeting room. He loves playing across from fellow accomplished veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

“It’s huge,” Jenkins said. “You don’t have to worry about the other side. You just motivate each other to make plays. I feel like it’s a big positive step as a secondary, and
I look forward it.”

Jenkins has 10 interceptions in his four-year career, while Rodgers-Cormartie has 24 in his eight years in the league. Both hope to pass on their tricks and secrets to Giants rookie first round pick Eli Apple.

“He’s pretty good,” Jenkins said. “He’s a big corner. It’s just about teaching him where his help is, and his leverage. It’s just football, not thinking while you’re out there.”

Jenkins might be asked to do something this year he has never done before: play in the slot.

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“I’m used to being outside, but I’m coming along at nickel,” he said. “They are working me in there daily. I’m just trying to help the team.”
The position brings a lot more responsibility than playing outside.

“The zone drops, the blitzing, a little bit of everything because I never played the slot,” Jenkins said. “But I always learn in case someone gets hurt. Next man up!”
Jenkins has also embraced the challenge of going up against Odell Beckham Jr. in practice every day. They often line up against each other and it is clear both enjoy playing against the best competition.

“It’s just going to make me better, make him better, and make us better as a football team,” Jenkins explained. “The more we compete and have fun doing it, the better a team we’ll be.”
 
Giants fans certainly hope to see that competition pay off, and look forward to watching Jenkins have some fun with opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers this upcoming season.