Malcolm Jenkins is done with celebrating last year. This focus is on this season.
The Philadelphia Eagles safety says he doesn't need to be reminded that his team won Super Bowl LII by the sign in his team's locker room.
“I hate it, personally,” Jenkins told Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic. “My focus is all on adding another ‘I’ to the end of that. And so it’s great. But I’m well beyond celebrating last year’s accomplishments because they don’t mean anything this year, they don’t get us anything. I said it earlier this offseason, it’s not boxing where we get to hold the belt and somebody has to come beat us and take it. We don’t have anything. We’re at the bottom just like everybody else.”
Jenkins, 31, believes the Eagles' chances to repeat are greatly aided by the team's preparation.
“It’d be hard for me to think that anybody outworks us, and I think that’s just the culture that we’ve created in the weight room and on the practice field,” Jenkins said. “That’s just what we do."
Head coach Doug Pederson doesn't intend to use his starters in Thursday night's final preseason game against the New York Jets, but Jenkins thinks his team will still be ready for their Week 1 encounter with the Atlanta Falcons because of the intensity of his coach's practices.
"We’ve been practicing pretty hard with the starters to get I guess a little help with conditioning or just make this a heavy workload week knowing that we have a little bit more rest," Jenkins said. "And then it’ll be a normal work week next week."
Even though there are new additions to the Eagles team (like defensive end Michael Bennett and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata) and there have been a number of departures (including wide receiver Torrey Smith, tight end Brent Celek and linebacker Mychal Kendricks), Jenkins believes that the team culture that made them successful last season will cary over into the new campaign.
"The biggest thing is you maintain your standards and culture of working hard and preparing," Jenkins said. "And then you create an environment that’s highly competitive. When you do that, you’re constantly getting better or you’re getting exposed. And that’s what we’ve done."
A native of East Orange, NJ, Jenkins is heading into his 11th NFL season and sixth with the Eagles.