Giants' Jenkins embracing a versatile role

After winning the Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers in 2010, defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins is chasing another ring this season with Big Blue. Find out how the defensive lineman can help put New York over the top this upcoming season.

Cullen Jenkins was brought in by the Giants as a free agent because of his ability to stop the run, but that's not his only talent. Jenkins is also an adept pass rusher who has recorded 16.5 sacks in his past three NFL season. That's great news, because with Jason Pierre-Paul on the mend from back surgery, the Giants need more than just run stoppers on their defensive line.

Jenkins is willing to move from his more traditional inside tackle position to outside on the end if the Giants need him there.

"Each position has its benefits," said Jenkins when asked about which position he likes more, "I like being able to move around and go to different spots, I like to spend a little time outside at end at times and also be inside at tackle at times."

The Giants have never been shy about moving their defensive lineman around when the situation called for it. Veteran defensive end Justin Tuck used to do it all the time to make room for pass rushers Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul on passing downs.

According to Jenkins, each position on the line requires a different mindset.

"Yeah, you definitely have to change over your mindset that, you know, when you move in the different positions, you have to approach each one of them with a different attitude as far as your steps, reaction time and stuff, what type of blocks you can get," Jenkins added.

That would be a lot for a rookie like Johnathan Hankins or Damontre Moore to handle, so look for Jenkins and Tuck to be the guys playing multiple positions this season. Their versatility will make it easier for the Giants to get young pass rushers like Moore in the game where they can do the most damage.

In the meantime, Jenkins is learning as much as he can from Tuck, whose nine years with the team makes him the most experienced Giant behind Eli Manning and David Diehl.

"He's been a big help," said Jenkins of Tuck. "Especially coming in and you're learning a defense, obviously I went through the offseason, but you're still trying to get familiar with everything. And then you're not just learning one position, you have to learn the whole defensive line with everything that comes with it. He's been helpful, we've talked at times, he helps me out with stuff if he feels like I'm struggling a little bit."

Once Jenkins gets up to speed, his versatility and veteran presence will be vital to the success of the defensive line.


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