Rookie CB Jenkins remains a work in progress for Rams

Dan Arkush
November 15, 2012
Rookie CB Jenkins remains a work in progress for Rams

We hear Janoris Jenkins’ one-game suspension for a violation of team rules (for either missing a team curfew or arriving late for a team meeting, according to our sources) was the last thing the Rams wanted to see from the second of their three second-round draft picks.

But despite Jenkins' off-field mishap and a definite decline in his performance in recent weeks, we also hear that the pluses still outweigh the minuses for the rookie cornerback who showed enough to become an instant starter opposite free-agent addition Cortland Finnegan.

“He’s got pretty good ball instincts, which he showed with that interception on the goal line (in the Week One upset victory) in Detroit,” one team insider said of Jenkins, who got off to a strong start this season before leveling off. “He’s also a pretty good tackler, and he’s certainly physical enough.

“But he’s definitely had some issues, giving up four TD passes in his last three games. He takes chances, and his technique and concentration have been lacking. He’s been getting beaten on double moves with regularity, and since the Arizona game (in Week Five), teams have been targeting him and staying away from Finnegan. Until he shows that he can handle those double moves, that will probably remain the case.”

Having Finnegan as a willing mentor should help.

“He’s got to just keep playing,” Rams assistant head coach Dave McGinnis recently said of Jenkins. “Sometimes, in this league, as a corner, you’re going to struggle. That’s an on-an-island position, and the only way to get better is to keep doing it. He’s got to continue to work at it, which he will.

“(Secondary coach) Chuck (Cecil) and (assistant secondary coach) Brandon (Fisher), they are working with him. Cortland works … it’s a process. I do know this: As I said, everyone on this defense — coaches and players — take personal responsibility for our performance and for our actions, and he’s no different.”