Saints safety Darren Sharper may not get a chance to take down Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on opening night because Sharper could be watching from the sidelines.
Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune presents a strong case that it may simply be Malcolm Jenkins’ time to take over at free safety, whether Sharper gets healthy or not. A converted cornerback, Jenkins has stood out throughout the offseason.
“He’s special,” defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said.
Williams may be trying to light a fire under Sharper, but Jenkins’ play is doing the legwork.
“Darren Sharper had a chip on his shoulder last year. He wanted to
prove me wrong, Mickey Loomis wrong and the Minnesota Vikings wrong, and
he did,” Williams said.
Sharper is currently recovering from microfracture knee surgery. He wasn’t ready for training camp like the Saints expected earlier this offseason. Williams hints that Sharper’s roster spot may not even be guaranteed.
“Now is [Sharper] going to have that chip on his shoulder this year?”
Williams asked. “If he has a chip on his shoulder, his knee will be
fine. And if he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder, he’ll be competing
with you guys in the media business.”