Malcolm Jenkins knows Saints head coach Sean Payton all too well. After all, he would start and play his first five seasons with New Orleans. But on Sunday, up 38-7 in the fourth, Payton and the Saints went for it on fourth down. Not only did they go for it, but Drew Brees found Alvin Kamara for a 37-yard score. The man at fault for the touchdown? None other than Philadelphia’s Jenkins. So he got upset, and promptly flipped Payton off.
Still, he didn’t mean anything by it.
“I’m a competitor,” Jenkins told Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune following the loss. “I love Sean to death, and I know what type of guy and what type of coach he is. And so that was more so personal between me and him. We talked after the game; it’s all good.”
For what it’s worth, Payton didn’t want to embarrass Jenkins. In fact, that’s the last thing he wanted to do. He just wants to win. Unfortunately, the casualty would be his former safety. A safety he wishes was still with the Saints.
“Malcolm is a tremendous player. I hate that he got out here. That was probably as a big a personnel mistake as we’ve made in my 13 years here,” Payton told Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune.
Ultimately, the Saints won 48-7 on Sunday. In doing so, they all but put Philadelphia’s season to be. The defending champions are playing like anything but. On the other hand, nobody can stop Payton and his Saints. Jenkins knows all about that, though.
“I know Sean. He’s one of those people that they’re going to go for it, and I understood that. … I got a lot of respect for what they’re doing, especially Sean.”
Up next, the Saints host the struggling Falcons Thanksgiving night. If the Rams lose tonight against the Chiefs, New Orleans is in the driver’s seat in the NFC. As for the Eagles — Jenkins and his team have plenty of work to do. At least they host the lowly Giants on Sunday.