There are some shots being fired by a cornerback towards a wide receiver going into this Sunday’s Redskins-Giants game this Sunday.
No, Josh Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. are not involved. While there may be some simmering dislike between the two they both stayed on the high road during their sessions with the media on Wednesday.
I’m referring to Janoris Jenkins, the Giants’ newly acquired big-money free agent cornerback talking about DeSean Jackson, the Redskins big-money free agent wide receiver.
Jenkins, who played his first four seasons for the Rams and he has never faced Jackson since he came into the league in the 2012 draft. Jackson was out injured when the Rams and Redskins faced off in 2014 and 2015 and Jackson’s Eagles weren’t on St. Louis’ schedule during Jenkins’ first two years in the league.
But Jenkins believes he knows plenty about Jackson’s game. He doesn’t think he is capable of actually running pass routes.
“It’s different when you can go against a guy who has speed and quickness and that can run routes,’’ Jenkins said, via the New York Post. “But with DeSean I just think he’s kind of fast. A deep guy. I don’t see any digs or dig returns. Nothing like that.”
Certainly it’s true that Jackson likes to go deep. Since he came to the Redskins he has 29 receptions for 20 yards or longer. He has eight touchdown receptions of 40 yards or longer. The deep pass is Jackson’s calling card.
But Jackson does have more to his game than the fly pattern. He has 95 receptions as a member of the Redskins so the math tells you that 66 of his catches went for less than 20 yards. And that doesn’t count plays like the short pass he took from Kirk Cousins on the Redskins’ first series against the Cowboys. He zipped up the sideline for 28 yards after catching it.
“You have to stay on top of all his routes because he likes to go deep,” Jenkins said. “He’s a vertical guy. Just stay on top.”
I think the Redskins will be very happy if Jenkins does that. They should be able to move the chains with some shorter passes to Jackson if Jenkins just plays soft.
And while we’re on the subject, I wonder if Victor Cruz is going to call out Jenkins if he doesn’t follow Jackson from side to side during the game. Last week the Giants’ receiver said that Norman, being one of the highest-paid corners in the game, should have asked to follow Antonio Brown from side to side. Jenkins isn’t too far behind Norman in terms of the average annual value of his contract (Norman is first in the NFL, Jenkins is seventh).
Perhaps Jenkins should trail Jackson during the game.
He might find that it’s not as simple as it seems.
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