Michael Jenkins aiming to make his mark with Patriots
|05.08.13 at 12:38 pm ET|
When it comes to veteran receivers hoping to revive their careers in New England, there’s been no shortage of candidates over the last decade-plus. Sometimes, it works (David Patten, Donte’ Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney) and sometimes, not so much (Joey Galloway, Chad Johnson).
Into this mix comes Michael Jenkins, who will start his 10th season in the league this year, and his first with the Patriots. The 30-year-old, who caught 40 passes for 449 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Vikings, is a 6-foot-4, 214-pounder out of Ohio State who spent seven seasons with the Falcons and the last two with Minnesota. His best years came in 2007 and 2008, when he caught a combined 103 passes for 1,309 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jenkins is well aware of both the successes and failures that veterans have had when it comes to getting acclimated to the New England passing game. And while he can’t speak to why some of his predecessors failed — instead, he can only control what he can control.
“I can’t say why they’ve struggled before. I just try to do my part in studying, kind of be well-rounded, knowing all the positions within the receiver position, and just fit in where I can,” he told reporters earlier this week. “You’ve seen stuff, [but] you never know what’s going on internally; I’ve always considered myself a quick learner and being able to pick it up, so hopefully that continues to happen for me and I can pick it up.”
The New England receiving corps is in a state of flux, as there’s only one receiver (Julian Edelman) currently on the roster who caught a pass from quarterback Tom Brady last season. Jenkins is part of a group of newcomers at the receiver position that includes former Bills receiver Donald Jones and ex-Rams wideout Danny Amendola, as well as a group of rookies that includes second-round pick Aaron Dobson and fourth-round selection Josh Boyce.
Jenkins is the oldest receiver on the roster right now.
“It’s different,” he said of being the veteran. “All of a sudden a couple of years ago in Minnesota I was the oldest guy in the room. But we got a lot of great guys here, willing to work, and I’ll just help out the young guys when I can and do my job.”
Jenkins has no illusions as to what might await him, other than the fact that he hopes to be a “contributor” to the New England passing game.
“Everybody’s competing, everybody’s working together now to get stronger, get faster in the weight room,” he said. “I have no predictions on what that may be, so just knowing my stuff and knowing what I need to do and get those things done, and we’ll what happens.
“It’s a great organization obviously; being in the league for a long time you see what they’ve done over the years, and I’m just hoping I can come in and help,” he added. “It’s been great, still learning names, trying to remember everybody, from medical staff to the trainers and everybody. But it’s been good so far; everybody’s been real receptive and I’m glad to be here.”