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Kris Jenkins in His Own Thoughtful Words

Posted by Randy Lange on June 4, 2009 – 2:32 pm

We’re still in that gray period, that interregnum, between the regimes of Eric Mangini and Rex Ryan. Until the season starts, reporters still will have questions about the two, and those "compare and contrast" queries are always dangerous thickets for a player to venture into.

But Kris Jenkins knows how to handle Uncle Charlie, knows how to smack that yakker into the gap.

Dennis Waszak, my good, hard-working friend from The Associated Press, framed his question after Wednesday’s OTA practice along the lines of reminding Big Jenk that he said at the end of the season that he didn’t think Mangini should have been relieved of his command, but asking if the big nose tackle can see the good that has come with the start of the Rex regime.

Jenkins’ answer was thoughtful and fair all around and gives some insight into what the players think about the end of one "era" and the beginning of another, as opposed to how fans and reporters may see it. Here is his lightly edited, off-the-cuff response:

"Honestly, you have to look at it on a timeline. You know, at the time they let Mangini go, we didn’t know about Rex Ryan, we didn’t know what was coming, we didn’t know anything that was going to be going on. All we knew was that our coach had got fired. and when you look at the situation … I felt he got judged, no offense, according to your [reporters'] standard instead of the football standard. You understand what I’m saying? I’m not trying to bash anybody or put anybody down, but when you have people on TV telling you what’s wrong with a coach when they’re not in the locker room … then what they’re basing his losses on isn’t the reality of the situation.

"And the reality of the situation is we did some great things, and we had a skid at the end. Now was it a bad deal? Yes. Was it something serious? Yes. In my personal opinion, did I think it was enough for him to get fired? No. And that’s what I was speaking about. I was speaking my personal opinion.

"Now that was then but now we’re at now. I think that everybody from Woody Johnson to Mike Tannenbaum to everybody involved made probably one of the best decisions that they could’ve made for the Jets as far as moving forward. I really think their selecting him was better than getting this facility built, if you want my opinion on that.

"It’s not a situation where I’m going to slight my old coach or put him down, but at the same time I’m going to give credit where credit’s due. Rex is a heck of a football coach. And that’s it.

"Right now the only thing I can do is be a defensive tackle. So I’m going to play for my team, I’m going to play for my coach, I’m going to support my team, I’m going to support my coach — and I hope to have fun doing it.

"So that’s the reality of the situation, that’s why I’m here, and I’m just trying to enjoy it until there’s going to be a time where I’ll be sitting down watching the guys on TV."

The other topic that Jenkins held forth on was the team concept to help the young and old on this team to do something that everyone wants done. Again, Jenkins in his engaging patois cut right to the heart of the age-old question of why experience matters.

"We’re getting old," he said, referring not to the Jets as a team but to certain selected veterans such as his soon-to-be-30-year-old self. "The chances that we have to take a shot at that Super Bowl ring are getting smaller and smaller by the day. So since they’re getting smaller, we’re going to take it a lot more seriously. And since we’ve been around this, we understand what it takes for that chemistry to be there in order to have a legitimate shot.

"And we see that, so that’s why we feel good about it."

The Science of Splat

We mentioned Jenkins’ appearance, taped last season, on Fox’s "Sports Science" in March. For anyone who didn’t see it and wants to see a 360-pound man throw a 160-pound "lab rat" such as John Brenkus, the show’s host, like a shotput, check out the video here.

Washington Back at Headquarters

Today’s OTA practice was not open to the media, but we can report that proud papa Leon Washington was back in uniform. Washington, who returned Monday after three weeks away from voluntary practices, was absent from Wednesday’s workout because his fiancée, Charity Young, gave birth to a son, Noel.

The practice was a short one, with the players beginning around 10:30 a.m. and ending an hour later. The players then showered and dressed and headed for three buses that took them to the team’s "Jerseys Off Their Backs" event with about 30 businesses in the Florham Park-Madison-Morristown area. Tim Carlson will have a report on how the outing went for Friday morning on newyorkjets.com.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 29 Comments »

29 Responses to “Kris Jenkins in His Own Thoughtful Words”

  1. By jet80 on Jun 4, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Randy noticed that Kyle Link is still on the roster was just curious if they signed him back.How has our new safteys Leonhard and Cook been lookin out there so far?

  2. By scjoe on Jun 4, 2009 | Reply

    I couldn’t agree more with Jenkins interpretation on why Mangini was let go. I believe that the media, and the fan base in general went a long way in determining Mangini’s fate. I think he was backed into a corner with the signing of Favre and became the scapegoat in the end, that is sad. So far, I like what Ryan is doing, but he better be prepared to “walk the walk”

  3. By Randy Lange on Jun 4, 2009 | Reply

    Sorry, jet80, I don’t handle the roster directly until you point out something like that. Kyle Link has not been re-signed. I’m updating now.

  4. By Ira on Jun 4, 2009 | Reply

    Randy, The big fella really spoke his mind and it all makes sense. People are different and so are coaches and their styles. In the end it’s all about winning. I hate to compare but this is very much like when they went from Groh to Herm. And i hope Jenkins and the other veterans get that ring real soon.

  5. By Chris on Jun 4, 2009 | Reply

    Randy, any word on how FA center Parenton out of Tulane is doing?

  6. By Ray on Jun 4, 2009 | Reply

    Of all the people to be able to handle these kind of questions Jenkins was not the first to come to mind. But since he has been here his is the quote I look for in interviews on touchy subjects. Without stepping on toes he gives answers that you don’t have to read between the lines to figure out. And as you said he nailed that question!

  7. By Randy Lange on Jun 4, 2009 | Reply

    Chris, I’ve got nothing for you on Michael Parenton yet. But it’s early.

  8. By Row on Jun 4, 2009 | Reply

    Eric, while a great man, was a pitiful coach when it came to roster moves, and who was playing on the field. He always put personal relationships over progress, and it caused him his job. Jenkins knows this. Rex has the right attitude for this team. IF we can squeeze a play making WR into this club, despite Sanchez, it will be a miracle. I can see a superbowl coming… Go Jets

  9. By carl on Jun 4, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Randy, I’am sorry you missed a good time today!To see D’brick and Brad Smith coming off the bus crossin the street to hang out was pretty cool! Nice job P.R. Dept.My 10yr old and his buddy could’nt stop talkin about it!Both of them play in the PeeWee league.Thank you Jets and Mr.Johnson that was one of the best times being a life long Jet fan I ever had! Cheerleaders on Mon.see yeah there?

  10. By Ira on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    Row, You have to wonder if Vilma was still on the roster how Rex would’ve used him? I just read that G.Williams the DC with the Saints is building his D around the talents of Vilma. I am happy for Vilma. Just hope he as an off day when the Jets play them.

  11. By Old Rogue on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    Randy – This blog post started with the word, “interregnum” (on a Jets blog? I chuckled), and just got better. No breathless prose, nor sour criticism – just good reporting and great quotes. The video interview with KJ was a priceless bonus. This blog is the best of the best – keep it up.

  12. By Randy Lange on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks, Rogue.

  13. By Alan on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    True that, Mangini doesnt know how to work Rosters, he just gave away Vilma, and John Abraham like that. But we do need some new ends, Ellis is getting old, im hoping Douglas will do us a solid on the other side of Jenkins.

  14. By Ira on Jun 6, 2009 | Reply

    Alan, They didn’t give away Abraham. They got Mangold with that pick they got for Abraham # 29 in 06. But i will say they have never replaced Abraham and it has hurt them. Maybe with Rex’s style they will be able to get to the QB even though they don’t have a premier pass rusher.

  15. By MIchael on Jun 6, 2009 | Reply

    hey randy past the word to kris jenkins that was the coolest video of him pusshin the little guy.Beast

  16. By Michael on Jun 6, 2009 | Reply

    maybe this is me but anyone else miss coles 87.Man i have his jersey and things of him.I as one of his biggest fans and i am a teenager and when i play i always call my self coles and when i play Qb i call my self chad pennington, Miss those Guys maybe this is just me.

  17. By raenray on Jun 6, 2009 | Reply

    Alan, They didn’t give away Abraham. They got Mangold with that pick they got for Abraham # 29 in 06. But i will say they have never replaced Abraham and it has hurt them. Maybe with Rex’s style they will be able to get to the QB even though they don’t have a premier pass rusher.”……….IRA we do have 2 great pass rushers . Bart scott is one and david harris who led the team in sacks even being

  18. By *62 on Jun 6, 2009 | Reply

    The Jets will make life for QBs much less enjoyable than in Mangini’s or Edwards’ schemes. Ryan, like his Dad, is a defensive madman.

    The fact that Rex’s Dad wears one of the only Jet SB RIngs is also a good thing, karma-wise.

  19. By Ira on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    Harris and Scott will get their sacks but they aren’t premier pass rushers theyre LB’s. Harris has 6 sacks in 2 yrs and Scott has 16 in 7 years. Abraham has 84 total while getting double digit sacks 5 times in a season. Last year he had 16.5 sacks. Scott and Harris will be good for about for about 16 together. Abraham is a stud pass rusher.

  20. By Drew on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Randy…work filtered the site for some reason (maybe because I spent all day blogging lol) As to Jenkins comments…This is exactly like Groh to Herm Ira…. You have a strict coach leaving and a player friendly coach coming in…. I liked Mangini and I was pulling for Rex when Mangini got fired but if Rex dosent win (he will win) the players will cry for a strict guy. It always happens.

  21. By Drew on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    Alan?? Gave Abe away? Do you see #74 in the Pro Bowl wearing a Jets jeresy? I liked Abe but he was NEVER on the field….and got huge money…. Ira I believe C Pace can be a top end rusher. If they actually let him rush. Plus like raenray stated B Scott and Harris can rush when needed. Maybe we can get this Gholsten guy going huh? Man I hope the light goes on for VG this year!!

  22. By Jets Fan Tom Since '64 on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Drew, where’d you get the idea that you can’t be a friendly coach AND a strict one? Or that Mangini was ONLY strict and Rex is ONLY friendly? Mangini was the least qualified coach the Jets ever had and if you want to get psychoanalytical about things, I think his “strictness” was a big cover, consciously or not, for his incredible lack of knowledge about how the game is played. Good riddance!

  23. By Mike Jet Vet on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    OK very good points made by Kris Jenkins I respect all he said .. Now here’s my take on it & what I believe he thoughtfully left out . Mangini had 3 years to develop us into winners defensive guru was his fortay & I know every1 would love to blame it all on BF ..But let me say after the collapse of our defence his D!! last 6 games sealed his fate for fans & management alike respectfully Kris J

  24. By Ray on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    ’64 Tom, I believe the least qualified distinction would go to Sweet Lou Holtz. But I agree otherwise, I don’t get the feeling Rex is going to be so player friendly that they will ever be able to walk all over him. Herm was actually a little strict his first year but got softer each passing year after.

  25. By Mike Jet Vet on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    Cont. Kris Jenkins was a part of that collapse ..That being said 4 every1 again blaming BF he started the season with no training camp still got us to 8-3 &I believe the threat of him being in the backfield was 1 of the reasons T-J lead the AFC in rushing ..I am willing to bet any1 he will not even come close this year then will realize how truly wrong he was in throwing #4 under the bus

  26. By Jets Fan Tom Since '64 on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    I’m with ya, Ray! Without going overboard, I’d say Rex has a little Lombardi in him, tough as hell and just as warm. Holtz, yeah, that was a disaster and I thought so at the time because most college coaches then were no way ready to jump to head coaching in the NFL. And I’m sure you remember he treated the players like kids. Herm was tough with the PRESS, which I thought was LONG overdue in NYC!

  27. By Ryan on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    hows my man dwight lowery doing? What do you think his role is gona be this upcoming season?

  28. By Larry on Jun 8, 2009 | Reply

    Ira. Good point about Abraham. But if we think back he never played a full season due to injuries that always seemed to come when we needed him the most. Then his main concern was his monetary value. I know a guy has to think about his health and future, but Abraham was not a team player.

  29. By Tony B on Jun 9, 2009 | Reply

    Larry to say a guy is not a team player because he s looking out for his future well its just not right.Never lose sight of fact that first and fore most football is a business and we as fans sometimes lose site of that. In Abraham s case he was promised a new contract if he stayed healthy for a whole season which he did. Then when he ask for his contract the team choose not to pay.

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