Safety Rayshawn Jenkins was underwhelming in his first year with the Jacksonville Jaguars but he bounce back and made several huge players last season. Head coach Doug Pederson recognize the impact Jenkz has on defense and had nothing but good things to say about him when he met with the local media on the first day of Organized Team activities.
"He's been in a great frame of mind, his leadership, his toughness we saw last year", Pederson said when talking about Jenkins. "Just understanding the defense like we talked about, that leadership on the field".
"I see it every day that we're out on the grass and he's one of those guys that you lean on from my standpoint, and you ask a lot of those guys because they're starters and they're valuable to your team and he's done a nice job," Pederson said.
A fifth-round pick by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017, Jenkins signed a four-year contract worth $35 million with the Jags in 2021. He was expected to shore up one safety spot and become a veteran presence but failed to make any big plays and even showed poor sportsmanship when he was ejected from a game for punching San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings.
But then, Jenkins put it all together and became that player the Jaguars hoped he would be when they inked him, making game-changing plays against the Dallas Cowboys and the Tennessee Titans. Because good memories are always worth revisiting, here's his game-sealing pick 6 against the Boys.
Jaguars S Rayshawn Jenkins benefited from the arrival of Doug Pederson
Jenkins is proof coaching matters and if you don't have the right man at the helm, you won't be able to get the most out of your players. Looking back, you will be hard-pressed to find any players that shined when Urban Meyer was in charge even though he often talked about helping players reach their potential.
Conversely, many players that underperformed with him at the help bounced back when Doug Pederson arrived, Jenkins was one of those players and he himself recognizes it, "we got information coming to us, our coaches do a really good job of making sure we know what's coming and we're prepared going into the game".
Jenkins was one of many players that noticed how much of a difference having a competent head coach in place makes. Fellow safety Andrew Wingard echoed his sentiment, and so did outside linebacker Josh Allen. Other players that were on the Jaguars roster in 2021 and are on the record talking about how Meyer failed to put them in a position to succeed are wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. and Marvin Jones Jr.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are now entering Year 2 under head coach Doug Pederson and they should pick up where they left off last season. Having players you can lean on such as Jenkins should make it possible if he plays the way he did last year.