Jarvis Jenkins’ final two seasons in Washington didn’t go quite as well as he had hoped. In 2013, he was suspended for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, and in 2014, he played all 16 games but finished without a sack.
But then last year happened. Jenkins, who signed a one-year deal with Chicago last March, became a regular in the Bears’ 3-4 defense, finishing with a career-high 32 tackles and a career-high 4.0 sacks.
“Well, the main thing was just to prove people wrong,” Jenkins, a free agent, said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Obviously I didn’t have the season I wanted in Washington. I had a lot of growing up to do. I had to reevaluate myself as a player and get my confidence back. Going into the organization with Chicago and (their coaching staff), they gave me my confidence back. That’s one thing you need to be a good player. Your confidence level has to be up. I just went out there and played ball like I normally did and it was successful for me. I didn’t finish the season like I wanted to, but at the end of the day, I definitely wanted to be back with those guys. There’s no other team I would rather be with than the Chicago Bears.”
Jenkins, who starred at Clemson, has taken a more professional approach to the game, focusing more on technique and film study than ever before.
“In football, you can be more athletic than any guy in the NFL,” he said, “but if they out-technique you, that athletic ability goes out the window. I had to do the little things right, study offensive slides, formations. That was something I didn’t do as a young player, and if I would have thought about that and I would have applied it more when I was a young player, I wouldn’t be in the situation I am now. But I’m still young. I’m 27, I’m in my prime and I’m definitely getting that right now.”
After performing at a high level last year, Jenkins would love to return to Chicago – as long as the price is right.
“At the end of the day, we all know it’s a business and you have to go where business takes you,” he said. “But my first priority right now would be Chicago.”
Jenkins, who spent three years in Washington, was also asked about Robert Griffin III’s feud with the front office. DA wondered if Griffin was treated unfairly, but Jenkins thought both sides were at fault.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say he was treated bad,” Jenkins said. “Maybe it was handled (poorly), but at the end of the day, we’re players. We get paid to play and we have to perform. That’s what it comes down to.”
RG3 has certainly dealt with injuries and adversity in his short career, but Jenkins sees better days ahead for the former Heisman winner.
“I’m good friends with Robert,” Jenkins said. “I was texting with Robert the other day. He still has high spirits. He still knows he’s one of those great quarterbacks in the NFL. . . . The potential is there. He has to go out and get this confidence back. I’m telling you right now: Once he gets his confidence back, he’s going to be through the roof.”