PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Eagles knew they needed to strengthen their defensive secondary, specifically at safety. They addressed that need by signing former Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins.
We know why the Eagles wanted Jenkins, but why did Jenkins want the Eagles? The answer is clear: it’s Chip Kelly.
“I got a chance to sit down with him [Chip Kelly] and talk and the biggest thing that I see and that I really admire is that, he’s a coach that has a clear idea of where he wants this team to go and he has a clear, cut-out plan of how he is going to do it,” Jenkins told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on Friday. “A lot of people can tell you where they want to go, but don’t necessarily know the means in which they’re going to get there and they ask you to buy in and there’s nothing to buy into.”
Jenkins isn’t the first Eagles player to mention Kelly’s plan as a reason for wanting to be with the team. Earlier this offseason, Jason Kelce pointed directly at Kelly for wanting to stay in Philadelphia.
“One of the things that made me want to come here is because, I trust him,” Jenkins said. “And because he has his stuff laid out. He’s very transparent and he’ll be honest with you, and that’s all you can ask for from a head coach.”
One of the reasons the Eagles coveted Jenkins is because of his versatility. He was a cornerack in college, and was moved to safety after making it to the NFL. In this pass-happy version of the league in 2014, that versatility will be needed.
“We [New Orleans] had a void at safety coming up on my second year. So they asked me to move to safety and that’s kind of been my spot. So between all the roster changes—sometimes I’ve been able to get down and play the nickel as well as the safety—those have been my most productive years like 2010 and this past season,” Jenkins said. :There were a couple of seasons in there where I was asked to strictly be in the post and play 20 yards deep and just kind of control traffic and those have been the years where I didn’t produce as much. So, I think that’s the biggest reason I’m really looking forward getting to Philly to where they could use me in multiple roles and I could use my versatility, as opposed to just sitting back deep.”
The Eagles added another former Saints player, Darren Sproles on Thursday. The versatile back is generally believed to be a perfect fit for what Chip Kelly likes to do on offense.
“He’s [Darren Sproles] is going to be exactly what is advertised,” Jenkins said. “You watch him, you see how small he is, you’re like how can he do this, but he is extremely quick. He is a matchup nightmare. He’s way too quick and shifty for a linebacker to cover. You put him on the field with the rest of the weapons that we have on the Eagles and it’s a nightmare.”