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A.J. Jenkins plans to show he’s in shape

A.J. Jenkins AP

Like anyone who loudly claims he pays no attention to the things said about him on the Internet, 49ers receiver A.J. Jenkins surely does.

How else would the first-round rookie who says “[t]here’s no point” for him to “go on the Internet and Google my name” be so aware of comments regarding his level of conditioning when he showed up for offseason workouts in May?

On Monday, after Jenkins reported for a week-long rookie camp, he said that he’s now achieved the proper level of conditioning.

I’ve made long strides,” Jenkins said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News.  “Obviously, I had criticism when I first came in as far as being in shape.  That’s irrelevant now.  I’m just trying to help the team win, whether that’s playing special teams, offense or being a real good teammate.”

But he still doesn’t sound interested in taking up a former member of the team on an open offer to run a notorious training hill in San Carlos.  Hall of Famer Jerry Rice wants Jenkins to do it, but Jenkins hasn’t even talked to Rice.  Jenkins said Monday that “one day” he hopes to.

Possible translation?  “I’m going to avoid that hill for as long as I can.”

Though in no danger of not making the team thanks to his round-one pedigree, Jenkins easily could fade into the background behind receivers like Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree, and Mario Manningham.  A motivated Kyle Williams could give Jenkins a run for his money for the fourth spot on the depth chart, as could former Jim Harbaugh pupil and fellow rookie Chris Owusu, who wasn’t drafted in large part because of his concussion history.

For now, Jenkins is talking a good game.  “My mindset has really been a lot stronger since the first day of rookie minicamp,” Jenkins said.  “From this day forward, all the way into January or February, it’s going to be a long season, and my mind is ready for it.”

He’d definitely be even more ready for it if he’d run that hill once or twice with Rice.

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8 Responses to “A.J. Jenkins plans to show he’s in shape”
  1. bigdan78 says: Jul 24, 2012 8:16 AM

    Why pass up an opportunity to train with the Best NFL Receiver to ever play the game? Showing up to OTA’s out of shape…..Strike 1…….passing up a chance to learn from the greatest…Strike 2. You better kick ass from here on out!

  2. waxthat says: Jul 24, 2012 9:25 AM

    I don’t believe he’s passed up the opportunity, just hasn’t been in contact with him yet. Cut the dude some slack, he’s only been officially a 49er for less than a month.

  3. 49erstim says: Jul 24, 2012 9:30 AM

    When the greatest ever at your position offers you some help you most definitely say YES! A lot of these 1st rounders show up a little out of shape for their first OTA. That will only concern me if it remains a problem. One way to ensure that it doesn’t remain a problem is to take up the offer of noted endurance guru/greatest of all time WR…Mr Jerry FN Rice! C’mon kid. We’re counting on you!

  4. souldogdave says: Jul 24, 2012 10:29 AM

    I hope this guy isn’t the slacker Crabtree was/is.

  5. brucesf49 says: Jul 24, 2012 11:14 AM

    It’s easy for them to know what’s written about them without looking when reporters ask them about every little rumor 57 times.

  6. forty9asty says: Jul 24, 2012 12:22 PM

    Like most, I was kinda shocked when the 9ers selected him in round one. I kinda thought they were leaning towards Reuben Randle. Now I know it may be hard to compare given the difference in Quarterbacks throwing to them, but I for one will always be comparing the two. Lets hope he pans out and turns into what the staff saw when they selected him.

  7. malbosia says: Jul 24, 2012 1:28 PM

    I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people. I don’t think he’ll make a huge impact as a WR this season but he could help us on special teams. Next season will be his breakout year. I could see him as a Desean Jackson type player. And he needs to just run that damn hill already! I’m not even if good shape but if Jerry asked me to run the hill with him I’d be there in a heart beat!!!

  8. bubba9er says: Jul 25, 2012 10:50 AM

    I bet Chris Owusu didn’t come into camp out of shape… I bet he would run the hill with Jerry too… I bet Kyle Williams would do ANYTHING to forget the 2011 NFC Championship game… I bet Jim Harbaugh feels pretty good about his WR’s effort this season… I bet Crabtree tries harder this year…

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