In many ways for Malcolm Jenkins, the 2020 NFL season has been a successful return to New Orleans.
Jenkins, a saint from 2009 to 2013, stepped up his critical work and presence in the community, while continuing to award scholarships through the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation and speak out against social, economic and racial injustices. And he helped the Saints win the NFC South Division title for the fourth year in a row with a season that has become progressively more productive.
Safety ended its 12th season with a career-high tying three interceptions, a career-high tying 2.5 sacks, 10 assists defended (his biggest since ’15), seven tackles for a loss (most since ’15), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, six quarterback hits and 91 tackles.
Yet despite the successes, the season has been anything but normal given Covid-19 protocols and precautions.
“Last year was a bit awkward for me because everything was closed, we were a bit isolated as players trying to get through the season,” Jenkins said. “I haven’t really had a chance to go out in town.
“Now things are starting to open up, I can’t wait to see the people, the sights and what I’ve missed since leaving.”
Without a doubt, he is also anxious to get back on the field, first because New Orleans ended their unsuccessful season with a loss to Tampa Bay in the divisional playoff round, and second because Jenkins and his secondary teammates will have a new coach.
Aaron Glenn left after last season to become defensive coordinator for Detroit, and Kris Richard is the new high school coach. Richard won a Super Bowl in that position with Seattle.
“A lot of defense is about intensity and coverage,” Jenkins said. “He’s someone who’s going to push this group with that intensity, a group that has a ton of potential. He needs someone to always push the best of us. I think he’s going to be a good one. addition. “
Jenkins was asked if Richard’s intensity matched that of Glenn, who often seemed to be as involved in training as the defensive backs were.
“AG is an intense former player,” Jenkins said. “AG, you think he’s going to come out of the locker room with a helmet on. But Kris came in here with crampons like a player (laughs). All you have to do is show the direction you want us to run. (laughs), but he’s there, he feels like he’s in it.
“That’s what you want as players. You want to feel that your coach is as invested in it as you are throughout the work of drilling, of being individual, of what you do in a game.”
This should help ease the transition as high school seeks to be more of a game creation unit.
“I don’t know if it pays to shake things up, but if we were to replace AG and take on another coach, I think Kris is someone who was a great addition and a great addition,” Jenkins said. . “This is something, even myself, one of my biggest worries when we lost AG – the biggest worry was who are we going to fill this void with?
“When I heard Kris’s name I think I was excited. I’ve been with him (at the Pro Bowl), he’s very respected. I know what he brings to this type of play and I thinks his personality will go well with the guys we have in there. “