Janoris Jenkins stated today during media hour that his performance Sunday was technique related, not effort related:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –Janoris Jenkins said today reports of his lack of effort were greatly exaggerated.
In the aftermath of the Giants' 31-21 loss last Sunday in San Francisco, the sixth-year cornerback became a lightning rod for media and fan critics who said he didn't cover receivers to the best of his ability or tackle ballcarriers when he had the chance.
In his first public comments since the game, Jenkins today said those allegations are false.
"It's football," Jenkins said. "I played to the best of my ability. It wasn't a lack of effort. I just think it was lack of technique and just stay focused."
Jenkins was the closest defender to Marquise Goodwin when the 49ers receiver caught an 83-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Beathard. "Hey man, I got beat," Jenkins said. "I can't put it on nobody else. I got beat. I understand when I play good, things are going good on the other end. So I just put that on me.
"I mean, I'm a DB. Every game is not going to be perfect. I know that, y'all know that. He came out, he took me deep. Nice caught ball. Just move on and keep playing football."
Jenkins was asked specifically if some of the missed tackles, including on tight end Garrett Celek's 47-yard catch-and-run, were due to a lack of effort.
"No, I think it was lack of technique," he said. "Like when he broke the long one, I was really thinking try to strip the ball, but it turned out to be the other way around. And then the one where the running back (Carlos Hyde) stuck me out, I think my feet got caught up under me too much, and I just reached with my left arm."
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was also queried about Jenkins in his weekly meeting with reporters.
"Janoris and I talked," Spagnuolo said. "He obviously agreed he didn't have his best game, and he realizes that. We had a good talk, really good. He wants to do that, he's ready to go, I love that guy. He's all in, he gives everything he's got. He missed a few tackles, it was more technique than anything, we thought, when looking at it and I'm sure he'll be better this week (when the Giants host the Kansas City Chiefs).
"When you're talking about a missed tackle, I mean, I think he was trying to make the tackle there. A guy stiff armed him, he didn't do a good job knocking down the stiff arm. We always talk about, if you get your feet in front of your hips, you've got no balance, you can't make that play. And the one that he missed on the edge, I thought that was part of it. I don't know what other plays you might be talking about, but I've got no problem with – I've got a problem with missing tackles, but I don't have a problem with his effort."
Jenkins remains confident in his ability and defiant about what happened last week.
"They question one game?" he said. "Question the other 36. Question the other 36 games. Out of one question the other 36 games. … Sometimes you aren't going to have the best game. Everybody knows that. One out of 36 games, I don't care what they say."
Jenkins believes he will play much better against the Chiefs. So do his coaches and teammates.
"He's had two good days of practice," coach Ben McAdoo said. "Has been playing fast and aggressive like he always does."
"Janoris is able to do that anytime, come out and play way better football," safety Landon Collins said. "He knows what he can do, he knows what he wants to do and what he wants to be. So, definitely he'll come out and be better."
*The Giants had one bit of good injury news today; defensive tackle Damon Harrison returned to practice on a limited basis after not participating in the workout yesterday. Harrison hurt his ankle in San Francisco and hopes to play against the Chiefs.
The three other players who didn't practice yesterday all sat out today: offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back), and linebackers B.J. Goodson (ankle) and Kelvin Sheppard (groin).
Cornerback Eli Apple also did not work today as he was excused for personal reasons.
The other players limited in practice were defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (knee), defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (ankle), linebackers Devon Kennard (quad) and Calvin Munson (quad), guard D.J. Fluker (knee), and cornerback Donte Deayon (ankle).
A look at the playmakers of the Giants' upcoming opponent