Anyone who's ever been on a job interview has been asked to assess his or her strengths and weaknesses. The most common and clichéd response to the latter is something like, "I'm a workaholic."
Well, Janoris Jenkins is not the type to hide behind a cliché.
Asked on a conference call what the strong points of his game are and which parts need improvement, the New York Giants' new $62.5 million cornerback said his strengths are in man coverage and the thing he'd like to improve is to "just stop being lazy at the end of games or whatever."
That's a surprisingly honest and circumspect bit of self-analysis by a professional athlete, and it required further explanation.
"Just relaxing, thinking about the ball not coming to my side, and focusing more on the game," Jenkins said. "It's just a mind thing, easy to control. Playing on this level, some things are going to happen and you've just got to improve, man."
No one should judge a player based on an introductory conference call in March. But Jenkins' honest assessment rings especially poorly in the ears of Giants fans, whose team lost six games last year in which they held the lead or were tied with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter. If there's to be a point of emphasis for the Giants this year, it's likely to be on the importance of finishing off games.
Of course, Jenkins knows he'll be expected to produce at a high level to justify the contract he just signed and help improve a Giants defense that ranked last in the NFL in 2015.
"Coming to an organization like this, you always feel pressure," Jenkins said. "But I'm coming to work and get better at things. I'm going to get the guys excited, talk a little trash, have a little fun. Leadership comes by actions and not just talking. We're going to try to build a family vibe on the defensive side of the ball because the more of a family you are, the better team you'll be."
Especially if you don't get lazy at the end of games.