San Francisco 49ers Rookie A.J. Jenkins Still Here, Not Shaken by Negativity
San Francisco just ended its padless sessions as it waits to enter the 2012 training camp, and already, there has been an awful lot of negativity thrown in the direction of 49ers rookie wide receiver A.J. Jenkins.
Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat carelessly labeled the youngster "the biggest letdown"—no matter that the kid has been a professional for all of 10 seconds and hasn't even experienced his first training camp.
Eric Branch was less critical but still noted this month that Jenkins had continued to display "first-year inconsistency." Regardless of the outside perception of him, Jenkins has remained focused as he continues to acclimate himself to the NFL.
Whether or not he was a first-round pick, Jenkins should not feel outside pressure from the media; he should go at his own pace, doing whatever he needs to do to be better in the long run.
Those three are veterans who are expected to be up-to-speed and ready to contribute immediately. Jenkins is in a studious role, soaking up the offense and whatever invaluable information the coaches and veterans have to share with him. Whether or not he is physically awing the media in padless practices is irrelevant, and it's good that Jenkins knows it.
He is going to continue to work and make sure he is the 49ers long-term answer at wide receiver. It's good to see him already display the mental toughness in combating the negative media attention—he'll need the mental kevlar to compete as a pro.
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