It can’t be easy stepping into a veteran offensive line as a rookie, but Jenkins has met every challenge so far.
“He’s got such a great demeanor, such a great personality,” LaFleur said. “Those guys give him a hard time in that room, as they should. That’s just kind of a rite of passage. To his credit, he’s a tough-minded guy. I think we’ve got a lot of good leaders in that room. They’ve really embraced him and taken him in and done a great job of guiding him.”
Bakhtiari joked that any so-called difficulties Jenkins has endured don’t compare to what he faced from veterans Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang when he arrived on the scene six years ago, certainly nothing “abnormal.”
“No, he’s been good,” Bakhtiari said. “I think I can break the news he already hit his rookie wall and he went through it and he did just fine. Now he’s on the up and up.”
That could be where the Packers’ offensive line as a whole is headed as well. The protection of Aaron Rodgers last week in Kansas City had a few rough moments after six weeks of standout work during which Rodgers was sacked just six times.
For his part, Bakhtiari has been the victim of far more flags than he’s accustomed to thus far, and the fact that the league made offensive holding a point of emphasis for 2019 appears to be no coincidence.
The three-time All-Pro’s reaction would indicate he hasn’t agreed with every call, so he’s not going to overanalyze them to the point of distraction. “I’m going to keep playing the brand of ball that I know,” he said.
The same goes for the entire unit. Its attention is on Bosa and Ingram, and for good reason.
“Again, another test for Bryan and I,” Bakhtiari said. “I feel like every week it’s some sort of duo. I think maybe that’s what the league is going to. Everyone’s got a duo of pass rushers. But we’ll be ready as always, prepared, and out there to do our brand of football.”