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Jenkins out to prove he was worth 1st-round pick


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Jenkins out to prove he was worth 1st-round pick

By GEORGE HENRY, Associated Press Writer

2 hours, 18 minutes ago

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Buzz Up PrintATLANTA (AP)—Michael Jenkins just wants to have fun.

Since the Atlanta Falcons drafted the former Ohio State receiver 29th overall in 2004, Jenkins often had to remind himself that football is a game.

Games are meant to be fun, right?

“We can’t deny there’s been a lot of turnover since I got here,” Jenkins said Friday. “Sometimes we’re better than others, obviously. You know, we made it to the NFC championship my rookie year, but ever since then, well … “

Jenkins’ sentence trailed off, but within a couple of seconds, his stoic post-practice mood relaxed when Roddy White ran across the field and jumped playfully on his back.

“Got to keep it loose, baby,” White said. “Got to keep it loose.”

Jenkins will try to follow his teammate’s advice when the Falcons (0-1) host the Indianapolis Colts (0-2) in a preseason game Saturday.

Coming off a breakout season with 83 catches for 1,202 yards and six touchdowns, White moves on and off the field with appropriate swagger. That was rarely the case in 2005 after Atlanta drafted White 27th overall in 2005 or in ‘06 when he eventually dropped so many passes that Ashley Lelie took his job.

“For me, it just got to a point where I let the game start coming to me,” White said. “I quit forcing things, which most receivers can’t help if nothing’s going right for them and the team.”

White essentially was the only reliable weapon the Falcons had in 13 games last season under former coach Bobby Petrino. It didn’t matter if Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich or Chris Redman was Atlanta’s quarterback; White still made plays.

His production in one season wasn’t much less than what Jenkins has given the Falcons in four seasons.

Despite missing three games since he was drafted, Jenkins has career totals of 135 catches for 1,595 yards and 14 touchdowns.

No 100-yard games. No games with 10 or more catches.

Part of Jenkins’ struggles can be traced to his first three seasons when Atlanta had a problematic passing game under coordinator Greg Knapp and a wildly inconsistent quarterback in Michael Vick.

Jenkins caught seven passes as a rookie, but the team rarely used him on offense. His work was mostly on special teams, and Jenkins excelled on each of the coverage and return units.

With the NFL’s leading rushing game, the Falcons didn’t throw the ball much, and when they did, Vick usually had Alge Crumpler, Dez White, Peerless Price and Brian Finneran as his options.

When Jenkins earned a starting job in 2005, opposing defensive coordinators had essentially figured out ways to make Atlanta’s passing game even more dysfunctional. Receivers would face man-to-man coverage from cornerbacks, and a speedy linebacker would be assigned to spy Vick and keep from freelancing outside the pocket.

“It’s no secret that we didn’t have a lot of faith in our passing game,” Jenkins said. “This year, though, you can tell things are different.”

With offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey in charge, the Falcons are taking the traditional approach of using a powerful running back in Michael Turner.

Once Redman or rookie Matt Ryan looks downfield, Mularkey doesn’t want the ball staying in the pocket long. Atlanta’s passing game is all about striking a proper balance in timed routes.

“When Mike, Bill (Musgrave) and Terry (Robiskie) put this offense together, it was based on not just what they know but what our guys can do,” coach Mike Smith said. “Those guys are very talented receivers. That might be one of our stronger groups from top to bottom.”

Jenkins just wants to prove he can put up numbers comparable to White’s last season.

“All of us push each other to improve some part of our game every time out here,” Jenkins said. “You can say it’s my turn, but I feel like it’s always been my turn. At some point, though, you’ve got to just go play football and stop talking about it.”

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I know Jenkins handed another INT to the defense, but did he even catch one pass? I would say, unless something dramatic happens he is at best our 4th WR and I am sorry to say that. He is big and fast, but has shown to have bad hands.

first of all he didnt hand the defense anything.

yes he did catch another pass for 20 yards, but also dropped one.

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I don't have high hopes for him, but White turned from zero to hero in a season, so I guess Jenks might as well. But I'm not counting on it. He has the height/build, but I think perhaps he needs to take the initiative a bit more. For me he's always come across as kind of passive, letting the ball come to him, an stuff like that. Hopefully he can turn his game around.

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I know Jenkins handed another INT to the defense, but did he even catch one pass? I would say, unless something dramatic happens he is at best our 4th WR and I am sorry to say that. He is big and fast, but has shown to have bad hands.

Actually, that INT last week was Redman's fault for throwing into double coverage like an idiot.

Here's to Jenkins. I know he has the potential to do well at some point. For his sake, I hope it comes sooner than later.

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GO JENKINS! u lazy bum

That made me laugh my butt off.....The 2 or 3 sentences before this you were kinda praising him and then you end with that.....Funny as all get out. I'm gald I wasn't drinking milk...... :lol:

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Yeah he has been a huge disappointment after the high draft pick we spent on him, and the huge expectations we have all had for him.

He is just too inconsistent as a receiver so far in his career.

I sure hope he can have a breakout year this year. With his physical skills he could still be a great receiver for us. But I really think this is his last chance to do it for us here in Atlanta. I mean if he can't show us he had the skills this year, then what is the sense of waiting any longer.

He is a veteran receiver now, and should be putting up big numbers for us.

GO JENKINS !

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I want jenkins to do good, be like the game of madden i played last night :lol: Seriously though, i hope he does good, he has the build to easily catch balls.

but unfortunately he refuses to use it. He refuses to use his hands to reach out and snatch a ball out of the air. He refuses to use his size also. He's content with using his body to catch balls and playing smaller than 6 feet.

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but unfortunately he refuses to use it. He refuses to use his hands to reach out and snatch a ball out of the air. He refuses to use his size also. He's content with using his body to catch balls and playing smaller than 6 feet.

Yeah, it seems like he doesnt actually want to play because he dont put foward the effort when i see him play sometimes, i want to see the Jenkins that made one **** of a catch against the steelers again

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I'm a huge critic of Michael Jenkins. I feel that he's grossly underperformed since coming into the league. However, anyone who throws on a Falcons uniform, I'm a fan of. I will always root for him to do well as long as he's here. Do I think he should still be here? No. But he is, so Go Jenkins!

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Jenkins isn't horrible, he was our second leading receiver last year with his best season yet. He just isn't good. On teams with a clear #1 WR, his 53 catches were actually pretty good for the second WR (not counting RBs or TEs). It just seems that on the ones he drops, he makes them playable for the other team. He's clearly our third or fourth best wide receiver and anger over the ones he missed would leave us a worse team than keeping him.

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