Redskins defensive end Jarvis Jenkins obviously wanted to play last season. But the fact that he tore his right ACL so early helped him -- at least when it came to working out. Jenkins didn't have to spend the entire offseason rehabbing his knee.

Instead, he also was able to focus on strengthening it, as well as working hard on his upper body.

"That's what my dad talked to me about," Jenkins said. "?'It's in God's way you got hurt, but this gives you a chance to get your upper body strong like you always wanted.' I had to take a positive out of that.

"I was doing upper body six days a week. I feel more explosive and powerful, and I definitely feel a lot quicker. Just getting my upper body strong will help my game this year."

The other positive: Jenkins said his right knee is stronger than before. That will come in handy when he's working on the right side -- as he mostly has done in the OTAs with Stephen Bowen still sidelined -- and pushing off that leg.

"I'm definitely more explosive off my right leg because I've been training so hard," he said. "It's stronger than my left."

Before his injury, Redskins coaches anticipated Jenkins becoming their best linemen by season's end. The best way for the Redskins' defense to improve is for their front seven to apply even more pressure than a year ago. A healthy Jenkins would help achieve that goal.

"I'm more than eager," he said. "I'm ready to put some pads on."

- John Keim