SAFETY Malcolm Jenkins has stayed in the news during the 2020 offseason. He returned to the first team that he won a Super Bowl with (New Orleans). He worked out with new Eagles SS Will Parks, mentoring his replacement, despite not being teammates. He’s recently demonstrated peacefully, for the social cause that he has spent years advocating for.
He has said repeatedly and pointedly, that he considers Philadelphia his home.
I was sick and salty, moody, and disgusted when the Eagles let him get away. I knew we’d regret it. I knew we’d see it come back to rub our collective noses in it. I just didn’t think it would happen so fast, and so nationally. My current level of butthurt looks like this:
Real talk. Can we just trade and get him back please? The sheer amount of egg on our faces, is already outweighed by whatever the Saints would ask for in return for him. Every time he pops up on the local news, or NFL Network, or CNN, I want to cram GM Howie Roseman’s head in a pencil sharpener.
Have you noticed how we Eagles fans are very excited about the Offense this year? But when the subject of our Defense comes up, suddenly it’s “Excuse me. I have something in the oven”, followed by us sprinting from the room. Which in hindsight, was a bad way to end the prostate exam. (I never went back for my clothes, because I was too scared to discuss our LB situation.)
The leadership vacuum created by Jenkins’s absence is massive, and anyone who tells you different, has no idea what they’re talking about. Most of football is mental. If football were all about measurables, JaMarcus Russell would be a Hall Of Famer and you wouldn’t even know who Joe Montana was. Taylor Mays would be a perennial All-Pro, and Brian Dawkins would have had a two year career.
The ability to lead and to inspire is a rare gift. On any roster of 53 men, you may have 39 solid alpha types, and still only 2 or 3 true leaders. During seasons of adversity and injury (including our 2017 Super Bowl win), Jenkins was the linchpin of the team. Mentally keeping players in the fight. Being accountable and holding people accountable. (Fuck Orlando Scandrick! Sorry, I had to stop that right there, before that even got started.)
The odds of the Eagles bringing back Jenkins are virtually non-existent. It’s just me throwing a coin in a fountain, with my eyes closed and my fingers crossed. It’s also me, trying to have a conversation that inspires people to participate in a discussion about football again. To welcome opinions on a subject that brings us joy, and healthy debate.
While I’m not the leader that Malcolm Jenkins is, I can aspire to inspire. Like Jenkins, I choose to use the sport of football as a rally point. To utilize my small stage as a scribe, to bring people to a common table. One where we can laugh, debate, and bond over a love that is bigger than all of us, and even bigger than our rivalries
True leaders find ways to maximize their tools and bring their people together. I have no doubt that the Eagles will find new voices, and that new leadership will emerge. It’s a solid locker room with a solid culture, which promotes the building of leaders. I just wish we had this particular leader back.