When the New Orleans Saints drafted Malcolm Jenkins in the 2009 NFL Draft, I have to admit I had a slight bit of disappointment. I was really hoping that we were going to draft LB Brian Cushing or LB Clay Matthews out of USC. I quickly shed that disappointment when I watched his interview just a few minutes after he was drafted.
There he was in a nice suit and his Saints Draft hat. As they interviewed him, I was impressed with how well spoken and polite he was. He never dropped the smile he had on his face and kept expressing how eager he was to get to work in New Orleans. First impressions were being checked off and Malcolm Jenkins started to grow on me.
After having a great career at Ohio State University as a Cornerback, some analysts suggested that Malcolm Jenkins could make the move to Safety if need be. But as all rookies do, usually work begins on Special Teams. Jenkins had to finish up his degree at Ohio, but as soon as he graduated, he was New Orleans bound.
Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams gave the incoming rookie zero slack. Jenkins had to miss a few days of training camp to finish his degree but that was no excuse for Gregg Williams. It was reported that Williams made Jenkins run 100 “up downs” to catch up with his teammates. A local high school football coach said that “up downs” are basically “shuttle runs from hell”.
That was quite evident, because when I opened up the Sports section of my local paper, and there was a picture of Jenkins being hosed down with sponges full of water. His eyes were closed and you could tell he was spent. But in the picture you also saw Jenkins physique. Chiseled muscle and veins bulging in his arms, Jenkins looked like he could ,as my Dad says, “put a hurtin’ on somebody”.