- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
- Holiday cheer: Airline grants Christmas wishes for 250 unsuspecting passengers
SNYDER: Jenkins is like a new gift for Redskins to unwrap
The Washington Redskins didn’t have a second-round selection in this year’s draft, having packaged it in the bounty for the No. 2 overall pick. But you could argue that Washington had a second-round draft pick in the bag - defensive end Jarvis Jenkins.
His return to good health could dampen the sticker shock in landing Robert Griffin III.
Jenkins participated Monday in his first full-speed, 11-on-11, drills since tearing the ACL in his right knee last preseason. A black brace was the only reminder of the fateful play Aug. 25 against Baltimore, when he tried to change directions while pursuing halfback Ray Rice and heard a loud pop.
Jenkins was moving up in everyone’s eyes before his injury, impressing coaches and teammates with his power and speed. There was talk that he might have been the team’s best defensive lineman in camp, and he figured to play a prominent role in his first year out of Clemson. At 6-feet-4 and 309 pounds, he had everything the Redskins wanted along their defensive front.
If there’s a positive side to every situation, including a blown knee, Jenkins has found it. Although he couldn’t bear to watch practice during the season, because it pained him so much, he attended all the team meetings and film sessions. He soaked up the coaches’ comments as they critiqued his teammates. He memorized their mistakes and took mental notes on the corrections.
Now he recognizes plays, formations and offensive linemen’s tricks much quicker than a year ago, when he was “a rookie running around with my head chopped off.” But he didn’t just improve mentally during his long rehabilitation. Since he couldn’t work out on his lower body for a few months, he spent extra time increasing his strength from the waist up.
“My bench press is higher than it’s ever been,” Jenkins said. “Coaches can tell that I got stronger. Coming out of the combine I did 19 [repetitions] at 225 pounds. Now I can do 225 pounds like 32 times. It was a real blessing just to focus on getting my upper body strong.”
He couldn’t focus on anything except his disappointment at first. But once he stopped feeling down, he rehabbed with a vengeance. Jenkins would arrive at the facility at 7 a.m. for treatment and then attend meetings from 8-11. When the team hit the field, he’d hit the weights and rehab some more until going home at 1 p.m.
Jenkins said the routine “got kind of old,” but it paid off. “They gave me some treatment stuff to do at home,” he said. “I might take a nap, wake up and do more rehab on my knee. I did a lot of self-rehab, and that’s why I got back so fast.”
A huge assist goes to his brother Johnny Bradley, who stayed with Jenkins for four months after the injury. The family had planned to visit and attend for the Redskins‘ final preseason game, against Tampa Bay. They arrived from South Carolina on a Saturday - two days after the Baltimore game. His brother didn’t make the return trip.
“I couldn’t drive for a month or two so he hauled me around after my surgery,” Jenkins said. “He had to bring my food upstairs. It was just hard for me. When I got back on my feet, he went home. I thank him for that.”
The entire organization should send a thank you card. There’s no question that a healthy Jenkins will be a significant boost for the defense.
“Having him as part of the D-line rotation is going to be a strength for us,” linebacker London Fletcher said. “It’s like adding another draft pick this year.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Deron Snyder is an award-winning journalist and Washington Times sports columnist with more than 25 years of experience. He has worked at USA Today and his column was syndicated in Gannett’ 80-plus newspapers from 2000-2009, appearing in The Arizona Republic, The Indianapolis Star, The Detroit News and many others. Follow Deron on Twitter @Its_Ball_Good or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SNYDER: With John Wall’s return, Wizards’ blueprint beginning to unfold
- SNYDER: RG3, Junior Seau evidence of NFL’s negligent culture
- SNYDER: Alabama’s excellence built to last under Saban
- SNYDER: Russell Wilson beats RG3 at his own game
- SNYDER: Terp tested: Turgeon has team ready to take on ACC
Latest Blog Entries
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Oregon fails to sign up single person on health care website as states struggle
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Global economy, the civilizing power of markets and public morals.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow