Monday, November 11, 2013
Cullen Jenkins eager to face the Packers
By Matt Ehalt
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When Cullen Jenkins was asked Monday if playing against the Green Bay Packers has any extra significance to him he said, "No."
But as he did so, he shook his head up and down. That was the real answer.
"It will be a special game for me," Jenkins then admitted. "I don't have too much animosity towards them."
For the first time since leaving the Packers via free agency following the 2010 season, Jenkins will play against them when the Giants host the Packers this coming Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Jenkins played for Green Bay from 2004 to 2010, winning a Super Bowl ring with them.
"Any time you play against a team that maybe you felt they kind of looked past you, thought they would replace you or move on or didn't want you, whatever the reason is, you kind of have a little feeling where you want to prove them wrong," Jenkins said. "Show them that you still got it, and what better way to do it than if you're playing against them."
Jenkins signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent, and became a force on their defensive line during his seven-year stint in Green Bay. He recorded 29 sacks in those years, including seven in his final season with the team. The Packers won Super Bowl XLV that year.
Green Bay opted not to lock up Jenkins with a long-term deal, and the veteran ultimately signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Jenkins said Monday that the Packers had young linemen behind him who they wanted to give a shot to.
Winning that Super Bowl championship still sticks out to Jenkins, though. "You never forget that," Jenkins said. "Seven years with a team, that's a long time. It will be the first time playing them since I left. It will be a little difference for me."
Instead of facing Packers All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, Jenkins and the Giants are slated to go against third-stringer Scott Tolzien. Jenkins said he would have liked to have had the chance to sack Rodgers.
"It's always nice to add a different quarterback's name to the list for your career, and I kind of was looking forward to having a chance to add him to this list this year," Jenkins said. "It is what it is. It isn't going to affect how you play, you're still trying to get back to whatever quarterback it is."
Sunday's game will mark the third time this season Jenkins has gone up against a former team. He's already played twice against the Eagles, who released him just two years into that five-year pact.