Kris Jenkins told Bob Glauber he thinks he can still play another five to six years.
Jenkins said the technique required of him in Ryan's 3-4 defense will not be as physically demanding as it was in Eric Mangini's system.
"I was in a situation last year where I didn't know everything I was getting myself into until I went out and did it," he said. "It's funny. Now that I know everything that's needed, I won't be in that 3-4 again. I'll be in a different type of defense. It’s a 3-4 in philosophy, but there are roles and responsibilities that different people have. It’s a 3-4 variation."
This is an interesting point, one which may not receive the attention it deserves. Both Mangini and Ryan prefer to run a 3-4 base defense. However, not all 3-4's are run in the same fashion. Mangini runs a traditional 3-4 in which defensive linemen are responsible for filling two gaps and holding the point of attack against blockers. Ryan seems to value pressure from all angles. In his defense, everybody is expected to win a matchup. The linemen are generally expected to beat linemen, not tie up blockers as much. Ryan also likes to mix up his alignments, meaning we will likely see spots where Jenkins will not match up with interior linemen. He lined up Haloti Ngata at end in Baltimore and Kelley Gregg on the nose often with the Ravens to try and create unconventional matchups in the trenches.
Since Jenkins' primary responsibility will be more to make plays than to make sure he takes on a pair of blockers every snap, he might not put the same wear and tear on his body this year as he did in 2008.
In light of this, a gap filler like recently departed Kenyon Coleman looks more expendable than he otherwise might have. Guys whose strength in penetration like say Marques Douglas and Mike Devito might fit the system better. Then again, C.J. Mosley would have seemed ideal, and the Jets only showed passing interest in keeping him around once he hit free agency.