New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins has hailed the opportunity to be a part of an experienced secondary.
Jenkins spoke to Giants.com about already being challenged to play in a less familiar ‘slot’ role after arriving from St Louis during the free agency.
He said: “I’m used to being outside, but I’m coming along at nickel. They are working me in there daily. I’m just trying to help the team.”
“The zone drops, the blitzing, a little bit of everything because I never played the slot. But I always learn in case someone gets hurt. Next man up!”
The 27-year-old will play across from accomplished veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in a pairing that the Giants hope can teach rookie corner Eli Apple a thing or two.
Fans can relish the chance to see Jenkins and other new faces help their side move on from a disastrous defensive season in 2015 as they look to avoid missing out on a play-off spot yet again.
Jenkins will not only strengthen the Giants secondary but also push first round draft pick Eli Apple to progress his game and learn quickly in order to fight for a starting place.
Speaking about Apple, he said: “He’s pretty good. He’s a big corner. It’s just about teaching him where his help is, and his leverage.”
Competition for places means Jenkins will be focused on hitting the ground running as he looks to build on the 10 interceptions he has already made in his four year NFL career.
The former University of North Alabama man has discussed his progress so far having been present for three months of OTA’s, meetings and the Giants minicamp.
He said: “So far, I’m comfortable. I know the plays, I have them down pat. Now it’s just bonding with the safety. Him knowing what I do and how I like to play, and me understanding how he plays.”
The chance to come up against Odell Beckham Jr and eventually Victor Cruz in practice also promises to help Jenkins improve on his overall game and his ability in the slot.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be keen to see Jenkins at his most explosive and instinctive as he looks to better last season’s worst ranked defense in the league.
Though he stands as an upgrade on Prince Amukamara, fans will undoubtedly be cautious over whether Jenkins can justify his $62.5m contract.