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October 24, 2018

Safety Blitz with Malcolm Jenkins: A week in the life of the Eagles Pro Bowl DB

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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 lone, shadowy figure walking out to his car out in the NovaCare Complex parking lot is often the same one it’s been the last four years—Malcolm Jenkins. The times sometime vary, depending on the days, though the days are usually long, far more cerebral than what you would expect, and basically what goes into a common day for an uncommon NFL player.

A typical day during the season for Jenkins, the two-time Super Bowl champion, usually starts at 6 each morning. He gets to the NovaCare Complex by 7, eats breakfast and watches some game film. The Eagles defensive backs start their meetings at 8:15 a.m., and from then on, it’s meetings, walk-throughs, with possibly a break or two for lunch or snack time, until 11 a.m.

Practice goes from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., followed by more meetings until 5-5:30 p.m.

“I usually don’t leave until 6:30, or 7 at night,” Jenkins said. “I usually go back to watch extra tape and get some extra work done on my body. It’s a grind, it’s a 10- to 12-hour day, basically, or the way I treat it. For me, I basically go 7-to-7 on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Friday is like a half-day, with afternoon meetings and Saturdays are usually light.

“The average NFL week is a balance between preparation and recovery. Mondays and Tuesdays are recovery days. You have a day off after games, where we’ll lift as a team, watch the previous game and evaluate. Then we’ll preview our next opponent. Wednesdays, on a normal schedule, is when the meat of preparation begins. Wednesdays are the hardest days. We go through first and second downs. Thursdays come, we speed it up a little more and usually take the pads off and we break down third downs, and some crucial situations.

“Friday we put the whole package together, where we’ll do Red Zone, short-yardage and two-minute drills. Saturday you try and get your body right from practice and get ready for the game with a quick walk-through.”

Jenkins, who is in his 10th season, says the typical NFL week has been the same the last decade. Schedules vary by teams, and by individual players.

“For me, it’s about being consistent and getting into a routine,” Jenkins said. “Each individual player makes their week into what they want. Not everybody does all of the things that I do. Some people show up right on time and leave right when the day is over. It depends on what you need to get done. I like to put my work in at the facility. A lot of guys will put their added work in outside the facility.

“They’ll watch film on their iPads at home, or take care of their bodies, whether it’s a massage or seeing different specialists outside the facility. It’s a constant drill of preparing your body and recovering, with defensive preparation between that. If I stay late, I’ll eat there. Other days, like every Thursday night, the defense gets together and goes out to dinner somewhere in the city.”

Not this Thursday.

It’s because the Eagles will be leaving Thursday night for London, England, for their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium this Sunday.

Jenkins said Sunday’s 21-17 loss to Carolina came down to the Panthers’ fourth-and-10 conversion at the Carolina 31 with 2:06 to play and the Eagles up, 17-14. It’s when Cam Newton hit former Eagle Torrey Smith, who broke free from Jalen Mills and went 35 yards to the Eagles’ 34, ultimately setting up Carolina’s winning score.

“We couldn’t get off the field,” Jenkins said. “That was our best chance of winning on defense and creating a play. It’s one of those things where we have young and new guys in detailing small things. But looking back, there was nothing really too eye-opening that I can look at say that’s the reason why we didn’t come up with the win.

“I wouldn’t agree we stopped playing. They made adjustments and Cam got the ball out of his hands. We didn’t stop playing. You’re [up] 17-0 and it feels good, but when they go the second score, we had to make that last stop and we couldn’t get off the field.”

Now the Eagles, who are 3-4, face a Jacksonville team that is in desperate straits.

The Jaguars, thought by many as the AFC favorites before the season, have sunken to 3-4 after losing three-straight games. Jacksonville hasn’t scored more than a touchdown in its last two games. Things were in such disarray in the Jags’ 20-7 loss to Tennessee last Sunday that quarterback Blake Bortles was benched after going 6-of-12 for 61 yards and losing two fumbles.

“To be 4-4 puts us in a good spot and a lot better than 3-5,” Jenkins said. “Our division is still well within our grasp, even though we’ve played only one division game. We have to play the guys [within the NFC East] twice, and the meat of our season is still in front of us. I know Jacksonville likes to run the ball and I don’t know what [Jags’ running back Leonard] Fournette’s status is yet [Fournette didn’t practice on Wednesday].

“We’ll have to get off the bus ready to stop the run. We have to make sure Blake Bortles, who has games when he plays really, really well, we have to make sure that that doesn’t show up on us. With their defense when they’re playing their brand of ball, they make sure to keep games tight.

“We have to be able to play a game that might not be the prettiest, and it might be close, but we have to come up with more plays than them. At this point, no one is giving us a chance to do anything. We’re not the Kansas City Chiefs blowing everybody out. I got what [Eagles’ head coach] Doug [Pederson] was saying [after the Carolina loss about the pressure being off]. We’re not the sexy story right now. We can just play ball and focus on us.”

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.

More Safety Blitz: Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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