New Orleans Saints Safety Malcolm Jenkins
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Is it fair to say the last two weeks, you have settled in with your game after the Raiders game?
"I think each week is different based on scheme and what we're doing. I think that's the goal for everybody. It's still a work in progress with me where I understand the defense a little better and play a little faster and just want to continue that."
You're 12 years in, you've played a lot of football, you've been with a lot of these guys for a while now, but even then it still takes time to figure out where your place is on a defense?
"Yes, especially on a defense like this and a team like this that has had success the past few years. I'm not coming in to change everything or become a savoir. For me it's learning this defense, seeing how I fit in, even just learning how to play with certain guys, what they're good at, how they do it, how they see the game. Those things come with time. This group has been at it a longer than I've obviously been here. We'll continue to get tighter as we move forward."
Drew Brees is going against the team where he started his career. When you were with the Eagles going against the Saints in 2015, what's it like for a player to go against a team where his career started?
"I think at this point, it's been a while for Drew. I know for me, you definitely want to have a great game. You definitely have the memories and kind of have the chip on your shoulder when you had to leave. Like I said, Drew's been in New Orleans for so long, I doubt that's much motivation for him right now."
There isn't a whole lot of film on Justin Herbert since he's played three games, but what on the film stands out to you about him?
"He's taking shots down the field. I saw the big plays he made against Tampa. He has the ability to stretch the field. He's mobile enough that they run some different style offenses with him that we don't see on a weekly basis, so there is a talent there. From what I've seen at least, he's going to be a solid quarterback in this league, just hopefully not on Monday night."
P.J. Williams was telling us yesterday that your fresh perspective and ways of doing things has opened up some eyes of new ways to do things for the secondary. How important is that open dialogue and collaboration process in the meeting room?
"For me, it's everything. The ability to share information and see things the same way and to put yourself in the best position possible to have success on each play is the responsibility of defensive backs, especially safeties. I think P.J. similar to what I've done in my career, literally having had to play virtually every position in the secondary, it's important for you to learn the defense in its entirety. It's been cool to watch young players like him kind of take that next step in understanding not just one position but the grand scheme of things and really start to develop their game."
Are the Saints playing you any different than they had in Philadelphia with all the sub packages and allowing you to play close to the line or is that something you've done a lot of in recent years?
"I've done a lot of it. One year I felt like I played (line)backer more than safety. So, being kind of that guys that moves around the defense, goes to different spots is something I enjoy doing, keeps me engaged and active near the ball. Yes, we will continue to build those out."
Have you figured out what you've struggled at in the red zone this year as a defense?
"I think penalties has been one of them and then we've done good on first, second and third down and then those critical plays on fourth down inside the five, we've had probably three touchdowns on the goal line where we are beaten on play action passes, discipline and our eyes. The biggest way you don't give up touchdowns in the red zone is to not get in the red zone and for us that's eliminating some big plays here and there, but really penalties that move teams down into that area."
It's been a couple years for you when you've had to leave the field in terms of not missing a defensive snap since the 2017 regular season finale? How much pride do you take in that?
"I take a lot of pride in it. I work really, really hard to keep my body together to be available and accountable for my teammates. I think you respect those guys who are constantly there and constantly available, because we know as players what that takes in this league. It's something I take great pride in."
Your take on how Patrick Robinson stepped up last week and really made a difference?
"He got a game ball. He was one of our defensive players of the week. Just the way this league goes, any point in time, an injury can force you into that limelight. He is a former first round draft pick, somebody who has as much talent as anyone else on our roster and can play good ball and we needed him last week and stepped in and had a big game."
What are your impressions on Marshon Lattimore on and off the field?
"My whole goal is to make Marshon Lattimore the best corner in this league and I think he already has what it takes, it's just about going and doing it week in and week out. We're putting those expectations on him and he's stepped up to the challenge. He has all the tools. It's just the consistency of doing it week in and week out."