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    • michael89156

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      Jenkins is bullish on the Bucs By Rick Stroud. Times Staff Writer April 24, 2014 9:58pm jenkins042414_13009744_8col_zps746ce1d1.jpgTAMPA — Mike Jenkins thinks about making plays at Raymond James Stadium again, the way he used to as a ball-hawking cornerback for the University of South Florida. He is eager to perform for a Bucs team he grew up rooting for and do it in front of people who have mattered the most. Jenkins let all those emotions wash over him like the Florida sunshine Thursday following a minicamp practice. "I've been all around, but it feels great to come back and play in the same stadium I played in college," Jenkins said. "To have a great atmosphere with friends and family and fans … this is where I made it. It's a blessing." Whether he continues to feel the love depends on how well Jenkins plays. After entering the NFL draft as a first-round pick (25th overall, five picks after the Bucs took Aqib Talib) by the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, Jenkins quickly made his mark. In his second year, he intercepted five passes in 15 games and was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team. "I kind of set the bar real high," Jenkins said. "I probably set it too high for myself." After another decent season, with 55 tackles, an interception and 19 passes defensed, an array of nagging injuries sabotaged his production the next two years before he joined the Raiders in 2013 as an unrestricted free agent. The 5-foot-10, 197-pound Jenkins found his game with the silver and black in Oakland, where he recorded a career-best 65 tackles and two interceptions last season. "A lot of people thought I couldn't play anymore and it felt good for me to go back out there and prove a lot of people wrong," said Jenkins, 29, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Bucs. "I made a lot of plays, I made a lot of tackles, a lot of people thought I couldn't tackle. I just wanted to keep everybody focused and we're going to have a repeat (this year)." That would be fine for the Bucs, who found themselves in the unenviable position of having to release cornerback Darrelle Revis and use his $16 million per year contact to sign three defensive players, including Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner. Jenkins, who played at Bradenton Southeast High School, will have to compete for a starting job with second-year cornerback Johnthan Banks. "He's a great guy," Jenkins said of Banks. "He's long, athletic and he's putting it all on tape. That's all I can really tell about him. He's definitely pushing everybody to be a better secondary. We're just going to keep competing and keep helping each other through the journey." Bucs coach Lovie Smith believes Jenkins has all the qualities to become an effective Cover 2 corner. Start with his ball skills. He has 10 career interceptions and 49 pass breakups. He also is a physical tackler. "I've known about Mike," Smith said. "I remember when he worked out at USF. Good player. Local guy. Even last year as I was out, I watched him a bit. He was a guy with a year left and he had an opportunity to go wherever he wanted to. So we recruited him hard to come here. But he has a good record. I think he had six or seven interceptions for one year. He has good hands, he'll tackle. "But for him, I told it was time for him to settle down. And what better place to settle down than back at home?"

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 8983

      I think it’s great he’s back in familiar territory. He did play well in rayj.

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    • dalbuc

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      Post count: 696

      Remember right before we picked mike mayock said mike Jenkins or devin Thomas, I just think its cool he still ends up here.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 5188

      He was terrible in Dallas.Junkins.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 4057

      I question the Faders scorers giving him 65 tackles. Guy was gutless in Dallas and a liability try to tackle anyone to the point where he passed up tackles not just making bad tackles.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 4623

      I wouldn’t get too comfortable.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 831

      REVIS 2.0!! Holler!

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 4140

      Another player with a different twist…  Everyone on this team has a great shot of getting it right.With all I've heard, the environment is ideal for Jenkins to live up to his draft status. 

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 873

      Having Jenkins as the third corner isn’t bad at all…better than what we’ve had in a long time

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 10626

      I wouldn't get too comfortable.

      Ya, that thought crossed my mind also.  He just turned 29, so he should have a few seasons left in him. He is not Revis, but I think he can contribute.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 1782

      Is he better than Leonard Johnson?

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 257

      From what ive read here on PR, hes not in the running for the nickle CB position with Johnson. Jenkins will be competing for the #2 spot with Banks and will likely be our dime CB

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 61

      Isn’t Verner pretty good against the slot? Might be better to have him slide to nickle like Barber used to do and let Banks and Jenkins take the outsides

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 8044

      From what ive read here on PR, hes not in the running for the nickle CB position with Johnson. Jenkins will be competing for the #2 spot with Banks and will likely be our dime CB

      pretty sure all I’ve read is we wont be in dime very much , if not at all.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 10626

      Isn't Verner pretty good against the slot? Might be better to have him slide to nickle like Barber used to do and let Banks and Jenkins take the outsides

      I don't know if he still has the wheels for that, but it would be nice if he did.  At the very least, he is good depth. And Lovie seems to be in his corner.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 60

      This could very well be his last shot in the NFL. He was a very good CB for USF. I remember a few on here having him graded higher than Aqib Talib. You all know who you are.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 10626

      This could very well be his last shot in the NFL. He was a very good CB for USF. I remember a few on here having him graded higher than Aqib Talib. You all know who you are.

      I think he can contribute, not in a Revis way, but provide good depth. Lovie seems to be a big fan.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 1845

      Having Jenkins as the third corner isn't bad at all...better than what we've had in a long time

      Unless Lovie puts him in front of Banks on the depth chart. >:(

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 10626

      Having Jenkins as the third corner isn't bad at all...better than what we've had in a long time

      Unless Lovie puts him in front of Banks on the depth chart. >:(

      Lovie is in his corner, but I don't think that will happen.  Besides, I think they will run a lot of 3 CB sets.

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