NASHVILLE – The Titans secondary will look a lot different in 2021, and it will include former Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
The Titans and Jenkins on Friday agreed to terms on a multi-year deal early in free agency.
Jenkins wants to do his part.
"It feels great (to be here)," Jenkins said during a video conference call on Friday. "I got welcomed with open arms. I just feel like I was a part of the missing piece. They have a run game, they know how to control the ball, a nice front, linebackers pretty good, just got (Bud) Dupree. I feel like I can come in and give leadership and that veteran mentality to the back-end guys."
Jenkins, nicknamed "Jackrabbit", has 26 interceptions in his nine-year career with the Rams, Giants and Saints. He started 14 games in New Orleans last season, including the playoffs, after he was claimed off waivers by the Saints from the Giants late in the 2019 season.
Jenkins, 32, was released by the Saints earlier this week.
He wants to help the young guys in Tennessee, and he said he's good with playing man-to-man or zone. But he admits he loves playing man-to-man most.
"I am excited – I have been in the league nine years," Jenkins said. "(In my career) I've shown up and played football and made sure the younger guys understand what is going on and made sure they never lose confidence. That is what I am here for, and we're going to have fun.
"Wherever I go I am going to be a baller. I am going to ball, and I am going to continue to ball and just lead."
The 5-10, 190-pounder, Jenkins had three interceptions in 2020, one of which he returned for a touchdown in a Week 1 victory over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2020, Jenkins also posted 43 tackles and 12 pass defensed, and he now has a total of 118 in his career.
Jenkins, a second-round draft pick with the Rams in 2012, has started a total of 128 games in the regular season and four more in the playoffs.
Among NFL players since 2012, Jenkins ranks first in passes defensed (119), first in defensive touchdowns scored (9) and fourth in interceptions (26). Jenkins has registered two or more interceptions in eight of his nine NFL seasons.
Earlier this month, the Titans released three of four starters from the secondary at the end of last season – cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson, along with safety Kenny Vaccaro.
Jenkins played his final college season at North Alabama after spending three seasons at Florida, where he played in 40 games with 36 starts for the Gators and was a member of 2008 national championship team.
He made it clear on Friday he wants to be known as "Jackrabbit" or "Rabbit."
Jenkins said he plays with a "chip on my shoulder" because he's from a small town.
"When y'all was calling me Janoris, I almost got upset," Jenkins told reporters. "Just refer to be as Jackrabbit if you guys don't mind, or Rabbit. I have been going by that ever since I entered the league.
"I am from Pahokee, Florida, a small town near West Palm, and we are just known to chase rabbits. …. My coach (in college) started calling me 'Jackrabbit," and after that I just ran with it."
CB Janoris "Jackrabbit" Jenkins at Saint Thomas Sports Park signing with the Tennessee Titans. (Donald Page)
See the Best Photos from CB Janoris Jenkins' ten-year NFL Career with the St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, and New Orleans Saints. (AP Images)