Second year player Jelani Jenkins has been one of the more pleasant surprises for the Miami Dolphins in 2014. Jenkins, who found his way into the starting lineup when Dannell Ellerbe went down for the season, has racked up 105 tackled, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 pass deflected.
For Jenkins, this season has been all about growing as an individual and as a player and is looking forward to his continued development heading into the 2015 season.
“Just experience. I’m able to play a little bit faster I’m used to being out there, being a lot more comfortable. It’s not a new thing, it’s not something that’s shocking, it’s something I’m used to,” he said. “I think I just learned how to play comfortable. Learned how to relax, not worry so much about making a mistake, just play fast, play aggressive, play decisive. I think that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned.”
Having over 100 tackles in a single season is no easy task and Jenkins is proud of the fact that he was able to accomplish it. He noted that looking back at training camp, he didn’t expect it to happen this way but nonetheless, he is happy with his progress.
Jenkins will be penciled in as one of the starting linebackers heading into 2015 but the bigger question is in regards to those who will play around him. Will the Dolphins move to a 3-4 or stay with a 4-3? Will Koa Misi stay in the middle or will he be moved to the outside? These are all questions that we will have answers to as the early part of the offseason unfolds but at least we know the team has one budding superstar ready to take the next step.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs