Two rarities occurred for Jets rookie linebacker Jordan Jenkins on the same play during team drills at Thursday's first practice of training camp.
He came down with an interception. And then he got up and ran with it.
"I was supposed to have somebody in the backfield, and I saw him block so I backed off to try and read the quarterback's eyes," Jenkins explained. Then he leaped and batted Ryan Fitzpatrick's toss into the air.
"Part of me said, 'Man, I wanted to get that pick,' " he said, thinking it was incomplete. "Next thing I know, I dived and I caught it. And I was about to stay there on the ground and I looked up and everybody started chasing and I said, 'I'm going to have to run.' "
Jenkins was accomplished enough as a four-year Georgia 'backer to be named the Bulldogs' defensive co-captain and Defensive MVP as a senior and then selected in Round 3, 83rd overall, by the Jets. But one thing he never did in a game was get a pick — rarely dropping into coverage, he had no interceptions in 52 career games.
And of course because it was his first pro interception of any kind, his initial instinct came from college ball — he caught it on the ground so he was down.
But Jenkins is picking up the pro game just fine as he works at both outside LB positions.
"I thought I had a couple of good rushes today," he assessed. "Overall, I'm a big critic of myself. There's things I need to work on. I'm still a bit rusty. I've just got to improve my rush angle and be more efficient."