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Giants Q&A: Janoris Jenkins frustrated by Giants' defensive schemes

Janoris Jenkins of the Giants looks on against

Janoris Jenkins of the Giants looks on against the Packers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Mike Stobe

Janoris Jenkins probably is the only high-functioning player in the Giants’ secondary at this point. Is the team misusing him?

Jenkins thinks so. Although top Packers receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard had a combined three touchdown catches Sunday against the softer pieces in the Giants’ defensive backfield, Jenkins was locked down not on an individual player but on a side of the field.

“I’m the only one in the league that don’t travel no more,” a visibly frustrated Jenkins said after the Giants’ 31-13 loss to the Packers.

“I play on the left side of the field all game. I get two passes a game. C’mon, Bro. Everybody in the league who has a top corner, they travel. Rabbit don’t travel no more.”  

Has Jenkins brought up such ideas with the coaching staff?

He said he has not (though presenting them publicly on Sunday certainly is one way to accomplish that communication). “I’m playing within the scheme,” Jenkins said. “I ain’t got to complain. I just want to play football. Sometimes you ain’t got to say too much.” He did add that it was “common sense” to have the team’s best pass defender on the opponent’s best pass option.  

Is Jenkins still a top cornerback?

Hard to say. He struggled in Week 3 when he was used to travel and cover receiver Mike Evans. Since then, he has played fairly solidly, which in a secondary that includes a multitude of inexperienced first- and second-year players plus a 35-year-old free safety in Antoine Bethea probably makes him their best option.

The Giants seem to be embracing the thrown-to-the-wolves approach with their young players, though, so they may see more long-term positives from having Sam Beal or DeAndre Baker or Grant Haley facing top talent than they would get in the short term with Jenkins on them.

“I’m just here to do my job, play football and play for the man next to me,” Jenkins said. “I can’t play everybody’s position. I can only play my side, my field, my man.”   

What did Aaron Rodgers tell Daniel Jones?

The two quarterbacks met at midfield after the game and shook hands. “Hang in there, brother,” Rodgers said to his younger counterpart. “Long career, right? Learn from these days and the good ones too.”   

Did Rodgers offer any insights to other Giants?

He did. “He came up with some good advice after the game, he told me to stick with it and keep grinding,” Saquon Barkley said of his conversation with the former NFL MVP and Super Bowl champ. “He told me there is a C on my chest for a reason, keep believing.”

Rodgers gave a signed game jersey with an inscribed message to Barkley, who walked out of the stadium clutching that jersey. “I’m a big fan of his,” Barkley said. “That’s definitely one of the best ones that I have in my jersey collection.”   

Did the weather play a factor in the game?

Snow fell in the first quarter and covered the yard lines, but before halftime it turned to a sloppy wintry mix of sleet and rain. “Maybe with running routes, if anything, but I felt like catching the ball was fine,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said of the impact of the conditions. “You had some sprinkle in there a little bit, but then it started turning into ice, and ice is fine.” The Giants actually played their best when the snow was falling.

It was linebacker Alec Ogletree’s first time playing in snow in his eight-year career. He said it was better than he thought but added: “I hope it’s my last.”

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