Freeman Will Get To Feast On A RookieNovember 20th, 2009
The Saints have major injuries in their secondary.
Maybe they don’t need a secondary, with as many points as their offense rings up. But nonetheless, the Bucs have the opportunity to go after a rookie cornerback with an ankle injury making his first start, reports Mike Triplett, of the Times-Picayune.
That rookie would be Malcolm Jenkins, the Saints 2009 first round pick from Ohio State. Before the Saints last game, Jenkins was burned mulitple times in very limited action.
Jenkins saw the most extensive playing time of his young career Sunday, first filling in as the nickel back because of Jabari Greer’s groin injury, then moving into an every-down role after Tracy Porter suffered a knee injury early in the third quarter.
He held up well, not giving up any significant plays in the passing game or in run support. This week, he’s expected to follow up by making his first career start at Tampa Bay.
“He did well. He did really well,” Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said. “And I tease him a little bit this week as he steps up again in this role that it’s a rookie quarterback (Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman) against a rookie corner. So we’ll see who steps up the most and how they do.
“But he’s progressing very well. He’s stayed healthy (after a nagging ankle injury). And what I hope you and the fans will get to see is that he’s one of those rare cornerbacks that’s physical like a safety. Not only can he play the cornerback position, but he plays it in his aggressive style, like a safety or a small linebacker. And that’s what attracted me to him when I started watching the college film, anyway.”
If the Bucs have any chance to win Sunday, they’re going to have to light up the scoreboard — a lot.
Joe’s not sure whether the running game will ever return, but the opportunities will no doubt be there for Freeman down the field. Joe’s tipping his Caybrew in the direction of Greg Olson, hoping he gets mighty aggressive on Sunday.