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New York Jets' big man on defense, Jenkins, hits big obstacle


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New York Jets' big man on defense, Jenkins, hits big obstacle

by Dave Hutchinson/The Star-Ledger Wednesday December 17, 2008, 8:29 PM

Jets Pro Bowl nose tackle Kris Jenkins knew this point in the season was coming, he just didn't know when. He knew the normal aches and pains, the constant double-teams from all angles and the adjustment of learning a new scheme would all come crashing down on him.

Wednesday, Jenkins said that day has arrived and apologized for not being "Superman" and not being "100 percent perfect every time I go out there." But, he said, teams are game-planning him differently now that they've seen him in the 3-4 scheme.

After dominating opponents for the first 11 games as the Jets' run defense ranked as high as third in the NFL, the 6-4, 360-pound Jenkins has hit a wall and the Jets' run defense has crumbled along with him.

In their first 11 games, the Jets held five opponents to fewer than 50 yards rushing. Against Buffalo in Week 9, the Bills rushed for just 30 yards on 17 carries as Jenkins turned in a dominating three-tackle, 1 1/2-sack performance. Bills running back Marshawn Lynch had just 16 yards on nine carries while nursing a stomach ailment.

In the past three games, however, the Jets have allowed 100 or more yards rushing each time, including a season-high 187 in their improbable, 31-27 victory over the Bills last Sunday. Lynch rushed for 127 yards on 21 attempts.

Jenkins, who was quiet with two tackles, wasn't on the field when Bills running back Fred Jackson carried half the Jets defense for the final 4 yards of an 11-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run up the middle.

"I was prepared for this when I came in," Jenkins said Wednesday. "I knew there would be some adversity in my path and I have to regroup and bounce back. I had a little bit of a rough spell personally against San Francisco and Buffalo. But I think my body is responding well now and I feel fine and I think I'll be fine as the season progresses.

"I'm a year away from 30 (years old). It's not going to look as pretty as it did my rookie year. ... I'm learning my body. It's a different scheme. My body is reacting different to it. I'm taking it all in stride. I just want everybody to understand that you have to work with me some."

Jenkins, in his eighth NFL season, injured his back in Week 3 against the Chargers and was on the injury list with a hip problem last week and this week.

"It's a long season," said coach Eric Mangini. "He's a big man. Big men, they take a lot of wear and tear. It's no different than other guys of comparable size, not that there are many."

Simply put, the Jets defense, which still ranks sixth against the run (90.9 yards per game allowed), will go only as far as Jenkins can carry it. He has been a force against the run and the pass, and several of his teammates have called him the team MVP. He has 40 tackles (eight for losses) and 3 1/2 sacks this season.

Against the Broncos, Jenkins said veteran center Casey Wiegmann beat him with superior technique. But he said the 49ers and Bills simply beat him. Both teams repeatedly controlled Jenkins with double teams, which Jenkins had been beating with regularity all season.

"I wish I could be Superman for everybody and I wish that I could be 100 percent perfect every single time I go out there," said Jenkins, adding that the Buffalo game was a "tough pill" to swallow. "But honestly, I'm learning a new position. Sometimes everything is good. I can go out and do my thing.

"And sometimes things change. We're playing other teams that are very good. ... There are things that I'm confident I'll be able to get on top of but it's a learning experience

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Good article, Jets need him to be dominate again. Miami will run the ball down our throat.

The rest of them need to step up, and Idiotgini needs to give Jenkins time off. Look around the league, star players take a lot of practices off around now. Hell, even rookies take time off. Sometimes a coach will just keep a guy out of a game entirely so that he'll be ready for the playoffs or down the stretch, like Dungy did with Addai just last week.

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The rest of them need to step up, and Idiotgini needs to give Jenkins time off. Look around the league, star players take a lot of practices off around now. Hell, even rookies take time off. Sometimes a coach will just keep a guy out of a game entirely so that he'll be ready for the playoffs or down the stretch, like Dungy did with Addai just last week.

Agree. Jenkins knows what has to be done, why wear him out in practice snaps.

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The rest of them need to step up, and Idiotgini needs to give Jenkins time off. Look around the league, star players take a lot of practices off around now. Hell, even rookies take time off. Sometimes a coach will just keep a guy out of a game entirely so that he'll be ready for the playoffs or down the stretch, like Dungy did with Addai just last week.

Well, Dungy also has a pretty good back up in Rhodes(who's probably even better than Addai at this point). We have a scrub.

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Well, Dungy also has a pretty good back up in Rhodes(who's probably even better than Addai at this point). We have a scrub.

Look at it this way, we lost to the Broncos and Niners anyway, and damn near lost to the Bills. If you take out Jenkins for the Broncos game, and it makes him dominant again for the Niners game, you haven't lost anything, you gained out. But, really, that's facetious because the team needs to be able to step up with Jenkins out. What do you do if he gets injured, just pack it in and give up? The Pats have the same record as us without their MVP QB, and QB is the most important position in football. NT in the 3-4 is probably the 2nd most important, but the point still holds true. You've got to step up.

But even that isn't the problem. Just sit him out in practices and that is enough. The guy has more technique and knowledge than his coaches do, I'm almost sure of that. I was watching tape on him a couple of weeks ago and I was just blown away by it, the guy has a deep knowledge of the position and line technique. He does not need any practice.

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The rest of them need to step up, and Idiotgini needs to give Jenkins time off. Look around the league, star players take a lot of practices off around now. Hell, even rookies take time off. Sometimes a coach will just keep a guy out of a game entirely so that he'll be ready for the playoffs or down the stretch, like Dungy did with Addai just last week.

You are being patently unfair. I recall Jenkins was getting rest during games early on. As for practice, how do you know he wasn't getting time off? Sure, use it to combine the coach's name with some derogatory descriptor but you have no way of knowing how Jenkins is being handled.

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