FOR now it’s only OTA’s so I won’t get too ahead of myself here, but FS Malcolm Jenkins has caught the eye of his Head Coach in a good way. The exact word Chip Kelly used was “Outstanding”.
This is what I was talking about months ago when I was hoping that we would grab Jenkins if we didn’t get Jairus Byrd. The guy is just a solid ball player. Nothing flashy, just a pro’s pro.
If we can manage to shore up the middle of our Secondary, we can put a bullet in a problem we’ve had now for a half a decade now. That in itself will help the pass rush, and maybe allow Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis to be more creative with how he calls coverages on routes to the flat and on crosses. Those routes killed us last year, and artificially inflated opposing QB completion rates. Take a look:
RG# vs NFL 60% vs Eagles 61% and 48%
Philip Rivers vs NFL 60% vs Eagles 76%
Alex Smith vs NFL 60% vs Eagles 62%
Peyton Manning vs NFL 68% vs Eagles 82%
She-li Manning vs NFL 55% vs Eagles 46% and 64%
Mike Glennon vs NFL 59% vs Eagles 60% (Rookie)
Tony Oh no! vs NFL 63% vs Eagles 59%
Terrelle Pryor vs NFL 57% vs Eagles 53% (Back-up)
(Scott Tolzien) vs NFL/Eagles 61% (3rd string)
Carson Palmer vs NFL 63% vs Eagles 58%
Matt Stafford vs NFL 58% vs Eagles 40% (Blizzard hampered both teams passing attack)
Matt Cassel vs NFL 60% vs Eagles 74% (Back-up)
Jay Cutler vs NFL 63% vs Eagles 57%
Kyle Orton vs NFL 64% vs Eagles 65% (Back-up)
That’s 9 games where we gave up completion percentages of at least 60%, and every QB who would go on to reach the playoffs, looked better against us than they did against the league in general. You can’t live like that and have deep playoff hopes.
Jenkins will be key in fixing that. His ability to play CB and cover slots man-to-man, will free up the DC to dial up all sorts of things that we couldn’t dare try for the last 6 years. As I figured Nate Allen is ahead of Earl Wolff for the moment for the SS spot, but I don’t expect that to hold up too long at all.