Chief Concerns: Stephen Brown
“You know, things happen. I’m looking forward to this opportunity,” said new Chiefs’ receiver A.J. Jenkins. “I’m very excited to be working with Alex (Smith), a quarterback who I’m very familiar with. I’m just very excited.”
The first thing people did was pick the trade apart, make fun of both players Jon Baldwin and A.J. Jenkins.
It’s harsh, but the material was there, both Baldwin and Jenkins helped provide it.
Jenkins is the first player since 2000 to be traded the following season after being taken in the first round, and he still doesn’t have an NFL catch. Baldwin busted his hand as rookie getting into a fight with veteran running back Thomas Jones. It’s been ups and downs for Baldwin ever since.
Andy Reid wasn’t laughing Tuesday when he called Jenkins a “smart” player with “good hands”. Reid said it with a straight face, he meant it.
“AJ’s strengths. We’ve studied him quite extensively while he was at Illinois,” said Reid on Jenkins. “His strengths are his ability to run down the field, he’s got good hands, he’s a smart kid and a good person. That’s what I remember from when he was at the college level, so we’re bringing that to the mix. (Donnie) Avery is starting next right now, so that’s how we’ll start. AJ will get his feet (on the ground), and we’ll just see how things work for him from there.”
“I think AJ will fit in and it will give both of them a fresh start on a career. I look forward to working with AJ, and I wish Jon the best of luck with his new start.”
Both Baldwin and Jenkins have been referred to as trash, busts, and other peoples crap. Not much nice has been said about either player.
The only person to say good hands has been Andy Reid.
“Misconception? I don’t know,” said Jenkins when asked what has been the biggest misconception about him and his career in San Francisco after practice Tuesday. “Right now I’m just looking forward to coming out here and being the best (Chiefs player) I can be. I’m just ready for the opportunity.”
When asked about Jenkins Alex Smith said he has lots of potential.
“What I’m telling you guys. I thought he was a great teammate,” said Smith about what he told the coaching staff about Jenkins. “I thought he worked really hard. He put the time in and he was a professional. He’s talented, he’s really fast. A guy with a lot of potential.”
Jon Baldwin had/has potential too, I still think he does, but it’s untapped. Baldwin never unleashed it. Baldwin’s 24, has time yet, just won’t be in Chiefs red.
Jenkins is 23… turns 24 in September.
It’s a tough spot; these players have eyes and ears. It’d be hard to not hear what’s being said about them. They’re human. Once labeled a bust, hard for a player to shake it, that perception sticks.
Alex Smith knows, because he’s still fighting the label.
“When I first got there (San Francisco), Alex and I were working out a lot together and talking a lot about offense, trying to get me up to speed on offense,” said Jenkins about Alex Smith helping him. “It’s kind of like the same thing now. I mean he’s been here since the offseason, so now he can get me up to speed again with the playbook. We just keep on working and keep on doing what we do.”
If anyone understands what Jenkins is going through it’s Smith.
“I thought A.J. did a great job when he came in. He was a great kid, came in hungry,” said Smith when asked what happened to Jenkins in San Francisco. “It was a different situation there last year when he came in. That’s a veteran team with a lot of pieces in place. So it wasn’t his job from the jump. He came in and had to battle for it. I could say, I think it was a deeper roster there. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out. He’s got a ton of talent, a lot of speed, so I think the change is doing some good.”
Kansas City has the opposite problem; their roster isn’t deep at receiver. It’s thin, they need help. Donnie Avery is Kansas City’s number two opposite of Dwayne Bowe according to their current depth chart.
“One of the things John (Dorsey) and I talked about was that we have to feel comfortable. We know that AJ is going to have to come in here and learn, so we had to feel comfortable that Donnie was a legitimate starter, and we felt that,” said Reid about Avery. “We felt that when we brought him here and since he’s been here, that he could be a quality starter on our football team. We were able to do this and we feel comfortable doing this. Donnie has tremendous speed, and he’s got a lot of experience and he’s shown in this offense that he can do some nice things.”
Behind Avery is second-year player Devon Wiley. Last season Wylie was hurt off and on and didn’t produce much, finished 2012 with 53 yards receiving.
Wylie’s best season at Fresno State was 56 catches, 716 yards, and one touchdown. Behind Wylie is now A.J. Jenkins. Backing up Bowe is Dexter McCluster and second-year player Junior Hemingway.
“You’ve been around this for a long time, things happen in different places and sometimes a fresh start is good for guys for whatever reasons,” said Reid on a new place and new scenery for Jenkins. “Sometimes you have to switch fields and (working styles) or whatever it might be. You get a fresh start and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. We’ll give him a shot and see how it goes.”
When asked if the west-coast style offense suits his skill set better than the power-type game that San Francisco Jenkins said… “I guess we’ll find out.”
“I want to contribute as soon as possible,” said Jenkins. “If it’s this game or next game, I want to contribute as fast as I can.”
When you think about it, this whole team has something to prove. Everyone. Reid, Smith, and now Jenkins.
Like Reid says, sometimes fresh starts are good for people for whatever reasons, him included.
As a Chiefs fan there’s no reason not to root for Jenkins. Chiefs fans want Jenkins to succeed in Kansas City, the Chiefs need him.
Good day, Chiefs fans!