Malcolm Jenkins began his Friday interview on the Rich Eisen Show on Peacock by saying, “I haven’t really paid a ton of attention,” to his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Then, the veteran safety who spent six seasons in Philly, went on to show that he really has been paying attention, even going as far as to call himself an Eagles fan.
He’s been paying close attention especially to the Carson Wentz saga, which has been well-watched soap opera since the quarterback was benched in the second half of a game in Green Bay on Dec. 6.
Jenkins said the Eagles have given Wentz “too much leeway.”
And by doing that, Jenkins added, “It didn't make him a better player. I don't think they did him any favors by trying to protect his ego or trying to really protect him as a player as opposed to - just like every other player - keeping it performance-based and really being real about what he needed to improve on.”
Jenkins’ comments came on the same day the Eagles introduced their new head coach, Nick Sirianni.
“Whoever was going to take over that job in Philly was inheriting some work,” said Jenkins. “(Owner Jeffrey) Lurie made comments earlier that hinted that they’re going into a rebuilding phase. I know players on the team and as a fan base, you never want to hear that. It sometimes muddies up what the priorities are.”
The offseason priority seemed to be fixing Wentz, but Sirianni wouldn’t commit to whether or not Wentz would even return, and this was after having a conversation with the quarterback shortly after taking the job.
You would think that if Wentz told him he was excited to get started, Sirianni would’ve shared that information, but he wanted to keep all conversations with Wentz, Jalen Hurts and every other player he spoke with private.
"As a teammate and friend of Carson, I think that it always starts with performance and he hasn't performed up to the expectations that everybody's had for him and I don't think he would say he's played up to his own expectations,” said Jenkins.
“They've got a situation where obviously with all that went down with Carson Wentz this year, a lot of money invested into him, and then you have Jalen Hurts come in and really take command of the offense, ignite a little bit of juice into the team - and that's not the first time that that's happened from a backup quarterback obviously in Philly - so it's one of those things where something has to change.”
If anybody knows Wentz and the situation, it’s Jenkins.
He was there in 2016 when the Eagles drafted the QB second overall in 2016 and spent four years with Wentz before leaving for the New Orleans Saints last March.
His comments on the situation certainly didn’t paint the previous coaching staff or the front office in a good light.
"Whether you put that onus on the coaching staff or you put that onus on the players that are there, but I mean there's obviously going to be a lot of work to be done there, but they've got great leadership, they've got players in that locker room that are a prideful group and what you hope to see is that at least from a fan - I even call myself an Eagles fan - you just hope that the competitiveness that the culture and the egos of what that team stands for at least stays in place.”
Jenkins didn’t make Wentz look good, either.
“Every player should go into the offseason evaluating what they did well, what they didn’t do well, you look to see improvement year after year,” he said. "But if that's not the case and you don't see it and there are no changes and it's not being addressed, as a player you almost feel like, 'What are we doing?' To do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity.
“And unfortunately, I think that a little bit of that has taken place over the last two years and obviously this offseason shows that something had to change in a major way. And Carson is still there and regardless of who they bring in to coach him and get him better, he's still going to have to improve as a player in order for that team to have success."
Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.