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December 28, 2007

Jenkins on life in the NFL, the good, the bad

Carolina defensive tackle Kris Jenkins has always been one of the more outspoken Panthers, and he touched on various things in a long-ranging interview this week. When asked if his concerns about the team have been taken care of, though, he paused and then burst into laughter.

"Oooh," he said. "To be honest I do not want to answer that question because…I just don’t want to answer that question. I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s a good question for me to answer going into the offseason, so I think I’m going to pass on that one. You have to forgive me but I am just a player."

So Jenkins, who had a solid season at defensive tackle and is signed through 2009, was asked about his personal situation.

"A lot happened this year, for me personally. And I don’t know what it is; I guess it’s the story of my life—I have these soap opera moments and everything is so laced with drama and good times and bad times. But I guess that’s just my daddy’s fault. He raised me to be able to look in the mirror and judge myself and be able to see what I can do better in a situation and make myself a better person.

"And in these past couple of years, I’ve just had so much growth, just with a lot of things. And one of the biggest things I learned toward the end of this year is that when your perception changes, the things around you change because your perception changes. I think the biggest thing I got out of this year is learning how to be a professional. I’m still just as passionate about the game as I have been; I am the type of person that I am going to put my all on the field. If I can’t do it, then I can’t. But as long as I can I’m going to put my all out there."

Much of that growth included coming to terms with the fact that Carolina was actively shopping him following the 2006 season.

"I just realized that certain things sometimes are better left unsaid. It’s just a different way of doing things," Jenkins said. "Because the reality of what I learned this year is that the NFL, sad to say, is not like high school was, it’s not like Pop Warner. It’s a business. It’s not the pure game anymore. It’s not the game that I grew up on, and I had to come to grips with that very quick."

— Stan Olson

Posted by Observer Sports on December 28, 2007 at 06:39 PM | Permalink


Fox better hope this team believes in him as a coach anymore,Its never good when that happends.

Posted by: #1 Fan | Dec 28, 2007 6:54:26 PM

I bet that he's finally realized that the NFL "field officials" work for Dallas Cowboys, INC.
I used to deny that, until last Sunday. God help the NFL.

Posted by: Ron Z | Dec 28, 2007 6:55:31 PM

Where you been, Ron Z? This must have been the first Dallas game you have watched. And I can't make out what "1# fan" is trying to say, but it sounds like he's bashing his favorite team's coach. Thank goodness he is a "#1 fan" or he might be... oh, too late! He/she must be from North Carolina. Nothing but positive attitudes toward others around here! As far as Jenkins goes, he should have been traded for a 2nd rounder. That would have helped the coaching staff keep some respect from their players. I wonder if management had anything to do with not following through on that....?!?

Posted by: SYRPIS | Dec 28, 2007 8:41:24 PM

They need to gut the coaching staff and front office, then blow up the roster in order to rebuild with young talent. This team is way past its prime. They have some guys with alot of talent that they could build around like Beason, Marshall, and Moore. Keep some key veterans to guide the younger players and this team could be back in winning form sooner than most people think.

Posted by: BDUB | Dec 28, 2007 9:06:01 PM

Injuries are NO excuse!,All teams have them,SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT,This team is Way too good for this mess,They have no business bein in this situation,Oh-And just a 1#Fan for MOST OF THE TIME WINNERS! NOT MOST OF THE TIME LOOSERS!,Like MY 03and05 Panthers,Not this Who ever they are righ-now,And I'll say it agian,Mabe they dont TRUST Fox anymore,This is a BIG problem,No-one plays their best,And then look what happends (Womp Womp)!

Posted by: #1 Fan | Dec 28, 2007 9:30:42 PM

Kris Jenkins aint the problem round here. We are lucky to have players like Jenkins who get fired up to play. It is obvious that he has a fire in him that players like Peppers hasn't this season. We've got a good foundation on D...Beason, Marshall, hard-hitting Harris. The only reason this team isn't going to the playoffs this year is because Jake Delhomme was absent. Take a look at Jake's numbers last year...he was passing for nearly 300 yrds/game vs. this year when we probably passed for an average of 150 yrds/game. It seems pretty clear where the missing link was this year.

Posted by: Hooover45 | Dec 28, 2007 9:55:05 PM

I just scanned thru the stats from last year to see how accurate my previous post above is...it appears that with Jake last year we probably averaged a little over 200 yrds/game, but this year we averaged less than 150 yrd/game. It still seems clear where the drop off was this year. Let's hope Jake returns nearly 100% next year, and the Panthers will return to the playoffs.

Posted by: Hooover45 | Dec 28, 2007 10:15:29 PM

Jenkins believes his own BS. He stinks, he is all talk. Go away, be happy, let's get a run stuffer in him. He and Maake can take Zoolander and eat him or something.

Posted by: Willy | Dec 29, 2007 12:26:52 PM

#1 Fan,
It is hard to follow what you are trying to say. Do you have Turrettes that suddenly makes you type in all cap's? For those who are not as urban as you appear to be, could you please clarify the use of "Womp Womp"?

Posted by: Willy | Dec 29, 2007 1:46:50 PM

It's a "Debbie Downer" reference from SNL, Willy. Anyway, I just finished watching the Patriots/Giants game. I was excited about watching history in the making until I saw the referees in action. My mind went back to the first playoff game this "Dyanasty" had back in 2001... the Oakland game where the "tuck rule" was introduced. The game was literally over at that point, and the next thing ya know, Pats are marching down the field (with help of more questionable penalties). Watching the Pats is like watching the Cowboys! Can either group of talent win on their own merit?!? In short, I did not watch history in the making today... instead, I watched paper champions embracing biased officiating with passionate (and steroid enhanced) jeers. The officiating was so horrible, even I was emabarassed. The thought of it all makes me physically sick. I'm really considering giving up my favorite pass-time after tonight's debacle.

Posted by: SYRPIS | Dec 30, 2007 12:07:53 AM

Come on, you are just angry. They win, they are better coached than everyone else, and real players want to go there, will take less money to be there, just so they can get that Super Bowl ring. These guys are good, have won multiple Super Bowls, and adapt to the changing game. Did you notice how Belichek talks to the defense after every series, how he pulls players aside? He is not just a coach, he is a motivator. Watch that Fox, you used to have that, now you are rich, fat, dumb and happy. You have become complacent.

Posted by: Willy | Dec 30, 2007 12:59:28 AM

The true problem with this team, and the subject that Jenkins is wary of discussing, is that the players have lost respect for the coaching staff, most especially Coach "Foxy" Fox. Until the coaching staff is drastically overhauled, along with the ejection of Marty, we're going to be seeing more dark seasons. As for the questionable ethics and calls of the officials, you must realize that the NFL is no longer about the game anymore, but about the business of making money. As with any other product line, this product (namely, the NFL) is managed and produced with intention and manipulation. Certain strategies are put into play that affect the product/teams, and their marketability. It doesn't take much foresight to see that the NFL will be a strictly pay per view league in the future. By 2012 or so, you'll have to pay in order to see any NFL football games, with the free games (courtesy of the major networks) being replaced by the NFL Network and its fees. Sigh.....Remember when NFL football actually used to be about football, and not about the egomaniacs (like T.O.) and the marketing? What a bummer.

Posted by: Sammy | Dec 30, 2007 1:19:00 AM

Just read an article on espn.com where John Clayton said officials were calling an average of only 1.33 offensive holding penalties per game this year and offered that as a reason for the spike in offensive performance league wide. Anyone wanna take a guess as to why Julius Peppers' numbers mysteriously dropped this year?? I'm not saying that's the sole reason, but c'mon, 1.33 per game??? That's including BOTH teams. I mean even I have watched countless NFL games this year and wondered where's the hold??? I know it happens on almost every play, but if the NFL is going to ignore it altogether then perhaps we should think before crucifying pass rushers.

Posted by: Christian | Dec 30, 2007 1:20:25 AM

I think the fact that last night's game was on "free" TV is proof that the NFL will never be completely pay-per-view. They didn't give us that game for us, they gave it to us because they are not getting the subscriber pressure on the cable companies that they expected. They don't want to come off as the bad guys. If they tried to go pay-per-view, they would lose fans in droves. The average fan is simply not going to pay more money on top of the cable/satellite TV subscription and any "package" costs for HD, etc. At least I know I won't. Last night's broadcast was a 4 hour long commercial for the NFL Network.

Posted by: UncleJim | Dec 30, 2007 9:22:48 AM

Yeah, Christian...Peppers gets held every play (TWICE, MAYBE), but guys like Mario Williams, Patrick Kerney, Jared Allen, and Osi Umenyiora don't. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that Peppers' motor and personal motivation are NONEXISTENT!

Posted by: Michael Procton | Dec 30, 2007 8:40:15 PM

I think Jenkins is still very much needed on the defensive line as is Julius Peppers. We have a couple of more up and coming players that have made considerable contributions as well. I do wish that Coach "T" would mix things up a little and throw a 3-4 sometimes and drop Peppers into coverage. More blitizing packages will help too. I believe our biggest concern is in the secondary where only Marshall and Harris are locks for a starting position in 2008. This is where we should go to FA or the draft first. We could use another linebacker but we do have the makings of a good linebacking corp. Dan should retire to save what body he has left. The way he throws himself around out on the field is conducive to injury and is proven with games played of 13,11 and 11 the only double digit years out of seven.

Jake Delhomme may never be the same after Tommy John surgery. But being the same is only average. I think we should continue to develop the younger QB's. I believe we had a turnaround year at tight end and have some really good players to platoon. That cannot be said about the wideouts. Colbert is a total bust and Carter is too inconsistent with glimpses of good. Our O line may need a little 4th and 5th round help in the draft but I think we have a good core there. We also need a burner to return kickoffs and punts. Robinson is much too tentative as he approaches the wedge. It may not be his fault (ST coach)but he didn't show me anything this year. ST coach...GONE...Hurney...GONE...Coach "T" if you can't get this talent fired up, ...GONE.. You can catch me at stevegilmore@bellsouth.net if any further analysis is needed.

Posted by: Steve Gilmore, Huntersville NC | Jan 2, 2008 11:08:13 AM

What are you talking about, Steve? Between Lucas, Marshall, and Gamble, we have 3 legitimate starters at corner. As for Morgan, it's HIS body...you have no right to legislate how he should treat it. Jake Delhomme? AVERAGE? The guy is one of the 15 highest-rated QBs in NFL HISTORY, and he was 3rd in the league before he went down. Ryne Robinson showed many flashes late in the season when the blocking actually opened some holes, and that's no new theme. The blocking on kick returns has been terrible ever since Scott O'Brien left.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jan 2, 2008 1:58:35 PM

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