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Saints still looking to FS Jenkins for spark

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

Big plays have been in short supply for the Saints’ defense, which is part of the reason the team is 1-4 at its Week Six bye.

While several veterans on Steve Spagnuolo’s stop unit have disappointed, Saints FS Malcolm Jenkins raised expectations in the offseason when he said he thought he would have more opportunities to make plays in Spagnuolo’s defense than he did in former coordinator Gregg Williams’ system. Jenkins, 24, is supposed to be entering his prime playmaking years, but, of the 799 passes attempted vs. the Saints since the start of the 2011 season, Jenkins has not picked off a single one of them.

In his first season (2010) as the team’s starting free safety, Jenkins had two interceptions, 12 passes defensed, forced a fumble and had two fumble recoveries. However, in the 20 regular-season games in which he has played since, Jenkins has zero picks, 11 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

We hear the Saints could not be more pleased with Jenkins’ leadership — his teammates voted him a team captain before the season — but he and other defenders are going to have to start creating more turnovers for the Saints to rebound from their poor start.

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