Jenkins has 1st practice with Saints

Jenkins has 1st practice with Saints

Saints first round draft pick cornerback Malcolm Jenkins was rudely welcomed to football in south Louisiana. Jenkins during a special teams period had to take off his pads and get cold-water sponges on his neck and drink fluids due to the heat. 

According to one Saints official, the heat index on the field in the morning practice reached 124 degrees.

“I had to kind of sit out for a little bit get used to the heat and everything with the pads and you know I got back in there and finished practice,” Jenkins said of his first workout in humid conditions. “I’ve been down here working out over at Tulane in the heat trying to simulate it but you know you come out the first day and throw on these pads and a helmet with a visor and everything it adds a little bit a element to it and it’s something I got to get used to.”

Jenkins ended the longest holdout by a Saints rookie late Sunday and checked into the team hotel at 12:30am, anxious to get his pro football career started. “You know I wanted to get into camp. I was really pressuring them to try and get me in here and I didn’t want it to take as long as it did but you know business is business,” Jenkins said after practice.

Patience was the number one issue Jenkins says he had to deal with during the negotiations, as family members and his agent expressed to him that waiting for the right deal was prudent. The football player in him however was antsy, so much so that last week, Jenkins had told his representatives that he wanted to be in camp on Wednesday. “I told them that I was going to be ready to take whatever, but after talking to them and talking to my parents and things like that and just everybody advising me just to be patient for a little bit, and hold on,” Jenkins said. “Towards the end of the week things started picking up as far as the negotiations so I just let time take its toll.”

Jenkins holdout lasted 10 days and the cornerback missed a total of 14 practices. Still, the rookie believes his biggest obstacle will be conditioning and not the playbook. “I’m not behind at all. I know the playbook, studied it day in and day out. They didn’t really install anything new since the spring,” says Jenkins of what his learning curve will be. “Really I just got to catch up physically and get into football shape.”

Last year’s first round draft pick defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis said at the start of camp, his toughest challenge was getting into football shape after a long lay off. Rookies haven’t played football at an up tempo speed since the bowl season.

“Last time I had shoulder pads on was January 5th. That’s a long lay off and to come back and not really doing anything and jump into two a days that’s a lot,” Jenkins adds. “It’s going to take me a couple of practices to catch up to speed but I’m confident it’ll be there.”

Jenkins expects to be ready for the Saints preseason opener on Friday inside the Superdome against Cincinnati and feels that despite the holdout can and will be a big contributor to the Saints on defense this season.

“My personal goals are to start. I mean I think I’m good enough to, I know they’re some good guys in front of me, everybody’s working hard so it’s not going to be something I’m just going to walk into,” says Jenkins. “My personal goal is to start, I mean I want to be the best I can be but if that doesn’t happen, I just want to contribute as much as I can.”


CB Tracy Porter did not practice in the morning. Porter was seen with an ice pack wrapped around his right knee following Saturday’s scrimmage. Porter had no visible wraps or braces on his leg this morning.

WR/ KR Courtney Roby left practice with a slight limp following a special teams drill.

by: Gus Kattengell

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