On the dry-erase board that hangs inside the locker of Malcolm Jenkins at the NovaCare Complex, there are a number of neatly lettered reminders and quotes that greet him every day before practice.
Near the top of the board there is a short list labeled "Goals." The list is a simple one: "Win the NFC East. Make the Pro Bowl. Get DBs sent to the PB."
With the exception of the third one — having his defensive backfield teammates join him on the Pro Bowl roster — Jenkins is having a good season meeting his objectives.
Jenkins and five other Eagles were selected for the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. The safety made the roster once before, in 2015, but this one might mean a little more. For one thing, it is a season of real promise, unlike the final year under Chip Kelly. This Eagles team could have a serious scheduling conflict when the Pro Bowl is held on the weekend between the conference championships and the Super Bowl.
"I don't plan to play in it," said Jenkins, who turned 30 on Wednesday. "We're looking for a bigger game. But this still counts as something big from a personal standpoint. Every player sets out to get that recognition. A lot of guys play this game for respect and this is definitely an honor for me."
There have been times, this season particularly, when Jenkins has gained more attention for what he does off the field, whether the charitable work of his foundation, or his visits to Capitol Hill to discuss social issues in this country, or his liason work with the league to find a common ground on the anthem protests that have sometimes dominated the headlines.
Jenkins is also the team's representative to the Players Association, and has tried to forge alliances on that front as well.
But the day job is still the day job, and that's what the players around the league are voting for when they fill out their Pro Bowl ballots.
"I definitely think I do get a lot of respect for what I do off the field, but probably an equal amount of respect for what I do on the field," Jenkins said. "People understand the amount of things I do on the field. I play different positions. I can match up against receivers, tight ends. I can play in the box, play linebacker at times. I think that stuff is noticed, especially by the guys I play against."
At 6-foot-0 and 204 pounds, Jenkins has the body type to be versatile on defense. He's not so big that he can't run with receivers, and not so slight that he can't play physically near the line of scrimmage.
Having the ability to play all those roles doesn't matter if you don't understand the roles, however.
"He's worked his butt off," said defensive end Brandon Graham. "He can do a little bit of everything and he knows every position. That just adds to his value, because people go down all the time and he can step in."
This is Jenkins' fourth season with the Eagles. Among defensive regulars, only Graham, Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks and Vinny Curry have been here longer. Jenkins has always been a versatile player, but his portfolio has increased dramatically under coordinator Jim Schwartz in the last two seasons.
"It's been kind of ramped up, but it's what I've always done," Jenkins said. "This year was different in the type of plays I've been asked to make. It's been different than in the past, and I've had to be patient and make the plays that come to me. It's been rewarding."
For most of the season, the secondary in particular, and the defense in general, has played well. The last three games showed things needed to be tightened up a little bit, especially after giving up 504 yards to the Giants.
Jenkins promises that will be done, and he plans to be a leader there, too.
"Every game you learn from, whether a win or a loss, a close game or a blowout, there's something you can take from the tape," Jenkins said. "This week, there's a lot we can take from the tape."
If he has time, Jenkins can also update the "Goals" list in his locker. It has been a good season for setting out objectives and then meeting them. There are still a few nice ones out there to strive toward. All of them will be met or missed on the field.
At this time of year, that is where Malcolm Jenkins wants to get his attention.
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