John Jenkins

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New Orleans Saints Nose Tackle John Jenkins 

Post-Practice Media Availability

Monday, July 29, 2013

How do you feel two months into your professional career?

“Every day I try to find something to work on so I can improve. I think from a month ago to now I think I’m (progressing) at a positive standpoint.”

What’s the biggest adjustment to life in the SEC or life in the NFL?

“It’s never really an adjustment, it’s just where you fit and finding your role onto a great team. That’s pretty much the biggest adjustment.”

Some of the offensive linemen have described you as stout to go up against. How do you envision yourself and your role on this team?

For those guys to say that it’s a blessing. You got to realize this is a Super Bowl team that I’m on. For them to say that I’m stout means that I’m doing something to improve the team.”

Guys talk about the speed of the game. Do you feel like there’s been an adjustment or do you feel like the learning curve has been smaller for you? How have you adjusted to the speed of the NFL?

“At the end of the day, it’s practice. In practice you’re working on technique and when you get into the game, you’re in a game. The game speed and practice speed are a little different but you can tell the difference between college and the NFL because these guys are professionals. Every last guy on this field is a professional so you can tell the speed is a little bit different.”

Do you feel like putting on those pads finally gets you more acclimated than normal? There’s only so much you can do up front without the pads and it’s been that way up until yesterday.

“Yes, it helped a lot because my position itself, I get to take on two, hopefully three guys. If I don’t have any pads on I’m not making any initial contact it’s kind of like what do I do?”

How different is this defense here than what you did in college and junior college schemewise?

“It’s somewhat similar and somewhat different. I have a lot more responsibilities. I can do things and if I see things, I can react on them myself instead of just being in an assignment defense. That’s pretty much the difference.”

Have you been this big your whole life?

“No. I hit a growth spurt. I don’t know where it came from. My family is small and wide.”

What age?

“Maybe 15 or 16?”

Were you already playing football at that time?

“No. I was a basketball guy.”

Don’t say point guard?

“No, I was more like a power forward.”

Was it the size that brought you to football?

“My friends did. I had a tight group of friends and they told me to come out. Watching them practice by myself waiting for basketball season I was like why not?”

Is there a small athletic guy inside of you?

“Yes. All big guys want to be small at some point.”

But you’ve been small before you hit the growth spurt?

“Yes I know but you can’t do anything about it now.”

How much do you weigh now? I think you’re list at 360. is that right?

“No. That’s a lot of rumors. Nowhere near that. I’m about 347 to 348 now.”

How’s the food in New Orleans compare to the food in Georgia?

“I love the crawfish. I had crawfish when I was in Mississippi so I’m kind of accustomed to it now.”

You said the word responsibility and you mentioned taking on two or three players. Is there pressure on you to have that much on your shoulders?

“Like I said it’s knowing your role and responsibility. I like having that pressure. I like these guys to be able to tap and say, “Hey you’re doing your thing. I need this”. I’m use to that. I had (Kevin) Ogletree when I was at Georgia who would tell me they need the push up front. I like that responsibility and I like that role.”

Looking at this roster do you feel like you can step in here early and make an impact early?

“I’m just working. I’m just learning from these vets. No matter what these guys have planned for me, I’m willing to do whatever (they ask).”

How much of a role did playing at junior college have in where you are now and how much of an impact did it have on you? Can you reflect on your time at Georgia as well?

“It was a blessing to have the coaching staff that I had through the years of football. My junior college had some great coaches, Coach Little Davis, Steve Davis and Dorsette Davis and Coach Campbell. They all guided me in the right direction. Then going to Georgia with Coach (Rodney) Garner and Coach (Todd) Grantham and all those guys took care of me. Now having Coach (Bill) Johnson, he’s one of the best defensive line coaches around and having Coach (Sean) Payton and (Rob) Ryan, it’s just been a blessing. I’ve been set in the right direction.”

When you were sweating it out at Perkinston, Mississippi (Southwest Mississippi Junior College) did you ever see yourself here?

“I would have never thought, but it’s a blessing.”

What’s it like starting over at this level?

“I’m so used to it. Every two years I felt like I was starting over; from junior college to Georgia to here. I’m so used to it, I’m just trying to find my role.”

You don’t mind carrying helmets and shoulder pads?

“No. I’m used to it. I just want to find my role.”

What’s it like being mentored under coach Bill Johnson? What kind of impact has he had on you so far?

“He’s had a great impact on me. He’s teaching me and he’s not one of those coaches that gets in your face and you’re trying to block things out (he says or does). Coach Johnson understands the game. He’s teaching me how to be a student and showing me the way to be an effective defensive lineman. It’s an honor to be under his wing now.”

Is it a good thing how technical he is with the movement and leverage? It’s seems like every step you take to get to the quarterback, he has it mapped out what you should be doing.

“He has some of the greatest (techniques). He’s been a part of some great teams. For him to be that technical let’s me know that I have a lot of room to improve.”