Athletes and coaches routinely bristle when the words that come out of their mouths are published in a way that they don’t like, even if the words are published accurately.
On Tuesday morning, PFT posted an item based on words uttered by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins on Monday regarding zone-read plays. Jenkins said he would hit an opposing quarterback running a play of that type as part of a broader plan to get the opposing team to stop running zone-read plays.
The article pointed out that Jenkins specifically said he wouldn’t hit a quarterback low, but he definitely said that “my way of scaring you out of that run concept is hit your quarterback.”
We presented exactly what he said. Jenkins responded by asking on Twitter, “Did @NBCSports really try to make it seem like I’m out here hunting for zone read QBs? lol I don’t like flags nor fines.”
The answer to his question is no. PFT/NBC Sports didn’t try to make it seem like Jenkins is hunting for zone-read quarterbacks. Instead, PFT tried to passing along comments from Jenkins that were intriguing, especially in light of the fact that a hit on his team’s quarterback during a play that looked like a zone-read run has sparked a controversy that has lingered longer than anyone thought it would.
Maybe Jenkins didn’t like the presence of the word “target” in the headline. Although “target” is generally a fair characterization of an attempt to hit a specific player, “target” sounds a little too much like the terms that were used in the trumped-up Saints “bounty” scandal — and Jenkins was a member of the Saints from 2009 through 2013.
Either way, Jenkins didn’t say he would be “hunting” zone-read quarterbacks, and PFT didn’t say he would be doing that. But he did say he’d hit zone-read quarterbacks in order to get teams to think twice about using zone-read plays, and that’s what PFT said he said.