A day after coach Ben McAdoo and the players held a “brutally honest” meeting in which lack of effort in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers was a major topic, cornerback Janoris Jenkins vehemently denied on Thursday that he didn’t give his best effort in that game.
“I went out there to play football,” Jenkins said. “Played to the best of my ability. It wasn’t lack of effort, it was lack of technique.”
Jenkins appeared guilty of failing to make a real effort to tackle Garrett Celek on a 47-yard touchdown catch-and-run, and also not to make a good effort to tackle a running back later in the game.
“When he broke the long one I was really thinking try to strip the ball. It turned out the other way around,” Jenkins said. “The one where the running back stuck me out my feet got caught up underneath me.”
If you watched the game live or reviewed the tape of the plays in question, it’s hard to buy what Jenkins is trying to sell here. Even though other players on Wednesday said watching the tape and seeing some teammates not give their best effort was difficult, Jenkins did not appear fazed.
“It was just like every other week,” he said. “You come in, call out your mistakes, admit to ‘em, fix ‘em and move forward.”
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said Thursday that he and Jenkins did meet this week, and Spanuolo also offered Jenkins the technique defense.
“Janoris and I talked, he obviously agreed he didn’t have his best game and he realizes that. We had a good talk, really good. He wants to do that, he’s ready to go, I love that guy. He’s all in, he gives everything he’s got,” Spagnuolo said. “He missed a few tackles, it was more technique than anything, we thought when looking at it and I’m sure he’ll be better this week.”
Jenkins didn’t want to hear questions about why fans might be upset with his performance on Sunday.
“Sometimes you ain’t gonna have the best game,” Jenkins said. “One out of 36 (a number that was odd because Jenkins has played 83 career regular-season games, I don’t care what they say.
“People don’t know football, so they don’t understand. They just go off what they see.”
Maybe it’s piling on, but in listening to Jenkins speak it was pretty hard to see anything other than a player who really is unapologetic for the less than acceptable effort he gave against the 49ers.
Technique? Jenkins is one of the most physical and best tackling corners in the league. It’s hard to buy that he suddenly couldn’t get his technique right.
Jenkins’ stance also wasn’t surprising. Jenkins wasn’t apologetic about failing to return to the team on time or notify coach Ben McAdoo, and didn’t appear fazed by the suspension that resulted.
The view here is that Jenkins’ performance on Thursday was just as embarrassing as his play on Sunday.