In 2017, Janoris Jenkins took a major step back from the previous Pro Bowl version of himself in ’16 with the New York Giants. Last season, his effort was in question as he visibly allowed receivers to beat him and failed to make easy tackles in the open. This was uncharacteristic of the lock-down corner, but the degradation of the locker room aided in Jenkins’s demise and the humiliation of the defense as a whole.
This offseason, GM Dave Gettleman brought in defensive coordinator James Bettcher to overhaul the defensive scheme, signing fresh linebackers to promote a 3-4 defense that dominates the trenches. While the front of the defense was provided support, the secondary still lacks depth and starting talent. Gettleman has been known to leave inadequate aid in the secondary in favor of building through the defensive line.
Being that the secondary is stripped, Jenkins will need to take a bigger role in 2018 and return to his former self. The Giants paid the star corner $62.5 million over five-years with $28.8 million guaranteed. A hefty contract for a player that was only a tad above average for the Rams.
Why was Jenkins’s performance lackluster last year?
Jenkins missed a game in week two of the regular season against the Detroit Lions due to an ankle injury. The ailment never fully healed as he continued through the season despite the injury.
“I came into it [the season] with it, but I didn’t let anybody know until it got worse,” Jenkins said in April.
Zero effort from Janoris Jenkins. Zero. https://t.co/H7M5B0VL9L
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 12, 2017
While the injury certainly played a part in his overall level of play, his effort remained abysmal as you can see in the clip above. This was one week after being suspended for not showing up to practice and not telling anyone where he was or what he was doing.
Although his effort and health were below acceptable in the 2017 season, we should expect to see him return to his former self this season.
With Bettcher, Jenkins will play a man coverage role, which is his strength. We all remember his beautiful games against Dez Bryant. Allowing him to play his game and utilize his strengths on the defense will ultimately help him bounce back from a disastrous ’17. Additionally, he will be back to full strength and will start the season with a fresh start on a new defense.