Second-round pick working on technique

ASHBURN - The play revealed his potential and also his inexperience. Jarvis Jenkins shoved the Indianapolis center back, disrupting a play and drawing a holding penalty. Yet, he knows he could have done more.

This is what the tape, and the coaches, let him know: Just imagine what would have happened had he used better technique. The coaches want him playing with bent knees. On this first-quarter play, which resulted in a Ryan Kerrigan sack, Jenkins' knees were almost straight.

"My coach was emphasizing, 'If you have bent knees and put power behind your legs, think how much you'll push them back,'" Jenkins recalled defensive line coach Jacob Burney telling him. "He said I would have pushed him back two or three seconds faster and knocked him into the quarterback. It's just something I have to work on a little more."

- John Keim

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Position Review: Wide receiver
Santana Moss
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Donte Stallworth
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Terrence Austin
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One play he might bend his knees. The next he might not.

"Jarvis has to be more consistent. He has to do it play in and play out all the time," Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "He's powerful and he can run and he's smart. Once in a while, like every other young guy, he'll have a lapse for a couple plays, but then he gets back up on it."

But while learning, Jenkins was still able to make a play. And that's what has the Redskins excited about what the second-round pick from Clemson can accomplish. At worst he'll be their third defensive end, but that means he'll still play quite a bit.

"Jarvis has come a long way," Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield said. "The best thing about him is his attitude. He takes a lot of criticism from the coaches, but he always has a smile on his face."

However, Jenkins also knows he has a lot to learn. The Redskins have used him at right end, nose tackle and left end, and each spot requires different techniques. When he's over the center, for example, he must align himself right across from him. At end, he positions himself outside the shoulder of the tackle. It's a little thing, but Jenkins must pay strict attention to how he lines up. Then, he also has to remember the proper steps to take at each spot.

He's spent most of the past two weeks at left end or as a nose tackle in the nickel package. But Jenkins must stay current with right end. So he'll keep notes on the other positions.

"If they throw you in there, you have to think quick," he said. "It has to be the first thing in your mind."

Part of his education is found in plays like this one: On the second play of the Colts game, Jenkins, lined up at left end, was upright as he engaged the tackle. That might not have been an issue had the guard not blocked him as well and then moved him out. After watching the film, Jenkins said he knows how to play it better: take a step upfield, that way if the guard blocks, he must do it going backwards.

And he's learning another lesson: if his hands aren't inside the blocker, he'll lose.

"In college I could push guys back," Jenkins said. "If I don't get my hands inside, I won't win. These guys have grip, and they're just as strong as me."