There’s nothing that tests a player’s resiliency more than losing at the highest of rates. The New York Giants have been the epitome of disaster for three consecutive seasons, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been through it all, featuring on one of the worst defenses in the league as the organization fights to regain its respect in the NFL.
JIt’s hard to blame Jenkins for his lack of effort at times on the field, considering the lack of reinforcement management has provided him with. He has been a consistent corner for the Giants, but his latest comments screamed frustration and demise.
“First of all, you’ve got to use your weapons,” Jenkins said last Sunday. “It’s common sense. Football is football. I’m the only one in the league that don’t travel no more. I don’t understand why. But I was traveling the other years. I don’t understand.”
Jackrabbit has a point — defensive coordinator James Bettcher has failed to utilize him most efficiently. Jenkins hasn’t followed the opposing team’s top receiver, but the reasoning seems to revolve around the Giants’ youth-movement. GM Dave Gettleman has made it a priority to develop the younger players on the team to understand their scheme and long-term plan.
The New York Giants have a plan, but it’s hard to watch:
Ultimately, providing rookies DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Corey Ballentine, and Supplemental draft pick Sam Beal with ample experience is essential. Bettcher has been tasked with matching them up against top pass-catchers and playmakers, forcing them to adapt and understand the nature of competing against some of the NFL’s top players. There’s no better way to understand what’s required of you if you have no standard for competition, and that’s the reality for the Giants at 2-10 on the season.
However, Jenkins’ frustration is justified, as he desires to be on a winning team that isn’t playing around his strengths to prioritize youth development. Bettcher responded to Janoris’ comments, ensuring that their relationship has not faltered:
“Since I’ve been here and had an opportunity to work with him, he has competed on a daily basis for me and for his teammates,” Bettcher said. “You’ll see him grabbing our young corners and leading them around and making points to them of what he’s looking at, of what he recognizes. He and I have a really good relationship.”
Life on a losing team is a tough one, especially when an individual player is being underutilized. Despite the downward trend of the franchise, Jenkins has been a leader through it all, suffering amongst the remaining veterans that have experienced the downfall of one of the most valuable teams in any sport.
He has still managed to become a lowkey leader in the locker room for the rookies, which is all the Giants can ask of him aside from locking down No. 1 wideouts. Jenkins wasn’t punished for his comments towards his usage. He will play in a regular fashion against the Eagles on Monday night.