Curran: Jenkins gives Pats savvy, not speed

Curran: Jenkins gives Pats savvy, not speed
March 29, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Even though Jarome Iginla, Jackie Bradley Jr. and the NCAA Tournament are this week’s local SQUIRRELS!, Patriots’ news simmers on the back burner.
 
A few quick slants:
 
Michael Jenkins is a Craigslist purchase for the Patriots. After playing OK for the Falcons and – for the last two seasons – Minnesota, he’s got very little hop remaining in his step. An NFC GM described him to me Friday as, “really smart, really tough, he just can’t run.” The upside to Jenkins is that, at 30, he’s got the savvy and body type to get position on defenders (not a “high-point guy” I’m told) and that he is a terrific teammate who works hard and will be good for young guys and in the locker room. The downside is he’ll give no yards after catch and is not filling a need as much as he is filling a spot.
 
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The Iginla thing to me seems mildly reminiscent of the Wes Welker situation. (Aside, why didn’t we come up with a catchy name for that drama over on the TV side? “Crisis In the Slot?” “The Welker Ultimatum?”). You have a deal that appears to be near consummation with media entities being fed info from both sides that indicates the player will be in Boston and then it goes poof. It’s not a direct-line correlation, but the way it unfolded and the necessity to explore timelines to understand why it happened as it did is similar.
 
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I keep looking at the best defensive player in college football in 2011 – Tyrann Mathieu – and remembering the philosophy Bill Belichick espoused in Michael Holley’s book "War Room." You take your gambles in the second round.
 
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While we’ve had some tail-chasing over Ryan Mallett already this off-season – especially in linking him to the Cleveland Browns and their new GM Michael Lombardi – the Browns quietly signed Jason Campbell this week to a two-year deal which will have him backing up or competing with incumbent starter Brandon Weeden. That would seem to make a deal for Mallett a bit more remote.