The Jets defensive line will recieve a boost this season with the return of veteran nose tackle Kris Jenkins.
However, it was no for gone conclusion that the 30 year old Jenkins would play this season.
This off-season, as Kris Jenkins attempted to return from his second major knee operation, he also conducted an experiment. He told himself, “I’m retiring this year,” and he said he repeated that notion until he believed it.
When a sense of calm enveloped him instead of panic, Jenkins knew he wanted to return to the Jets for his 10th N.F.L. season. He would do so on his terms, for his reasons, extending what he called the “twilight of my career” for at least this season.
“This is the first year that retirement really crossed my mind,” said Jenkins, a defensive tackle who turns 31 on Aug. 3. “You hear people talk about the end, but you start feeling those emotions, and it’s a trip, honestly. You have anxiety issues sometimes.”
He continued: “Look, I’ve been playing football since I was 8. I’m getting tired. Like, I’m not tired of it yet, but I’m starting to get tired.”
The experiment confirmed to Jenkins his lack of career regrets, and he said he decided to listen to his position coach, Mark Carrier, who told him to look no further than the next season.
Jenkins also considered the new direction of his life, including his first wedding anniversary recently and his responsibility to his three young children. All of that played a role, but with training camp now two weeks away, with a season full of promise on the horizon, Jenkins said that one factor, Coach Rex Ryan, registered as most important.
“The biggest thing was Rex,” Jenkins said. “If it had been any other coach, it probably would have been my last year.”
Good thing we have Rex coaching or we could be in big trouble.
As good as it is to have Jenkins back, the Jets need to realize that he is nearing the end of his career and need to replenish the agin defensive line with some young talent.
Mike DeVito is a nice, young player, but other than that the rest of the young players are unproven.
The defensive line should be priority number one for Tannenbaum next offseason.