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September 12, 2018

Safety Blitz with Malcolm Jenkins: Seeing Buccaneers score 48 points was 'eye opening'

Eagles Malcolm Jenkins

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Malcolm Jenkins is a two-time Super Bowl champion and veteran NFL safety. Each week this season he'll sit down with PhillyVoice's Joe Santoliquito to bring you Safety Blitz.

The NFL is a pass-fail league. It grades success quite simply: ‘A’ for victories, ‘F’ for defeat. There are no aesthetic points rendered for style and quality of play.

Though the Eagles won a sloppy game in their season opener against the Atlanta Falcons, they still won, beating a playoff-caliber team without its A-game.

To Malcolm Jenkins, that’s what counts the most.

“It’s hard to win in this league, especially against teams like [the Falcons], who are well-coached and have talented players,” said Jenkins, who continues to be the NFL’s most versatile player, playing six different positions against Atlanta, weakside linebacker (Will),  middle linebacker (Mike), free safety, strong safety, left corner and nickel slot. “Did we play a perfect game? Definitely not. But we made enough plays to win the game. It’s much better to correct the mistakes we made after winning than taking an ‘L’ to turn things around.

“We’re 1-0. But 1-0 isn’t what we set out to accomplish. It’s one step in what is a long, long trail. We played well defensively, but on special teams, we had too many penalties. Though we played well on defense, we still gave up big-chunk plays, where we gave up five plays that went for over 20 yards, which is something that we try to limit. Offensively, we started to run the ball well in the second half, and our defensive line played strong. Even late in the game they were still humming. That is going to be a difference this year—our d-line having a little juice later in games.”

Jenkins feels the coverage mistakes the Eagles made, which came on curls and deep routes, are correctable moving forward. There were also a few long runs that leaked out, which Jenkins says the Eagles will certainly address.

What’s next are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, surprise 48-40 upset winners over the playoff-contending New Orleans Saints. Bucs’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick carved the Saints’ secondary up for a career-best 417 yards passing, including four touchdowns, a rushing TD against 0 interceptions for a 156.3 rating. In his last game against the Eagles, on Sept. 27, 2015, Fitzpatrick passed for 283 yards and two TDs as a New York Jet in a 24-17 Eagles’ victory.

Whether or not the 35-year-old out of Harvard with the mountain-man beard can duplicate his season-opening feats against the Eagles, who sacked Matt Ryan four times and forced the all-Pro quarterback into making desperation errant throws, is dubious.

Whether the Bucs can score 48 points against Malcolm Jenkins and Philadelphia Eagles is another question.

“I hope not,” Jenkins said. “They did put up 48 points. After watching them, it was definitely eye-opening. They didn’t [score 48] by accident. They made plays. The last time we played them a few years ago, we went into that game thinking that this team takes a lot of shots downfield. It’s easy to see that storyline remains the same. They’re attacking the deep end of the field.

“They have guys making plays on the ball. Their quarterback isn’t afraid to sling it around. We look back at our game against Atlanta, one of the things we want to improve on are those chunk plays. It’s definitely going to be an opportunity to right some of those mistakes. And I’m sure they watched the same Eagles everyone else has, so they’re going to have a plan [for dealing with the Eagles’ pass rush]. Pressure like that makes it a lot easier for us to have success on defense.

“I can’t imagine they won’t prepare for us up front.”

The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation 5th Annual Blitz, Bow-Ties & Bourbon Charity Fundraiser

On Monday, Lincoln Financial Field hosted the Fifth Annual Malcolm Jenkins Foundation Blitz, Bow-Ties & Bourbon Charity Fundraiser. Each year, the function has been growing, and this year the event drew a record crowd. Current Eagles Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, Jordan Hicks, Ronald Darby, Chris Maragos, Zach Ertz and Chris Long were there, mingling with the crowd, signing autographs and taking pictures.

“It was a tremendous turnout, and a great time and we raised a lot of money,” Malcolm said. “The auction went well, and having it at the Linc was a giant help, and with our sponsor, Fanatics, it will help grow the program more in future years here in Philadelphia.”

“People have seen the work that we’re doing and as we grow, the venue has grown because of the support that we’ve been receiving,” said Gwendolyn Jenkins, Malcolm’s mother and president of the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation. “It’s nice to capitalize on the Super Bowl success and we’re hoping to continue having the event at Lincoln Financial Field. It’s a beautiful facility and it’s a venue that’s open to all.

“I think we’ll hit our marks and our goals this year.” 

Follow Malcolm Jenkins on Twitter @MalcolmJenkins and Facebook at Malcolmjenkinsnfl

Visit Malcolm's clothing store, Damari Savile: Born in the City of Brotherly Love, Damari Savile provides made to order suiting for those looking for a more stylish fit for their wardrobe. Located at 709 Walnut Street.

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