While most of the focus on the safety positions for this season has been on Jahleel Addae and Derwin James, second-year vet Rayshawn Jenkins is quietly making his mark.
After seeing 15 games as a rookie, mostly on special teams, Jenkins is ready to fill a bigger role in 2018. The fourth-round draft pick spent most of 2017 at the strong safety position behind Addae, but this year he's being used as free safety, a position Jenkins is happy to play, and seeing time with the first team.
"It shows my versatility," Jenkins said. "It shows I can play both safeties. I'm not just a strong safety, I can play both safety positions so Lord forbid, if we ever need me to switch around…then that's what I'm going to have to do."
Jenkins has had to kick into gear quickly during training camp as he's up against a strong receiving corps.
"They keep you on your toes," Jenkins laughed. "You've got speed, you've got deep ball threats like Mike Williams. You've got speed in the slot with Travis (Benjamin). You've got speed outside with 16 (Tyrell Williams). You've got craftiness with 13 (Keenan Allen). So just seeing different toolboxes from different guys, it's very unique."
Working against a talented group during camp has only made his game stronger, which is the ultimate goal.
"You're going to go against the same professionals but different uniforms on Sunday," Jenkins said. "So those guys are pushing you to your limits every day and they're bringing the best out of you. You have to get better when you're running with the ones."
Even though it's not Jenkins' rookie year anymore, he's still absorbing as much knowledge as he can on and off the field.
"I'm out there with the best quarterback I've ever played against or played with and I feel like every rep, I have to make the most of it," Jenkins remarked. "Just being out there with older vets like Jahleel and Casey Hayward, I'm really learning a lot and building the chemistry back there. I trained with Jahleel for most of the offseason…I was in his ear the entire offseason trying to just pick his brain and that was definitely the mindset (to be a starter) from day one actually."
Browse through the top photos from Day 7 as the Bolts faced each other for a blue and white scrimmage.