Sunday, November 18, 2012

Short but not small - TJ2K12

"I was 5-8 and wasn't growing."

Dealing with that bit of reality during his sophomore year in high school, Tim Jennings decided to quit basketball and give football a try. It turned out to be a decision that has served him quite well, you think? He may be short, but Jennings has been absolutely huge for the Chicago Bears during the first half of the 2012 NFL season, making big plays on a regular basis. When he had 2 INT and 2 PBU in a victory over the Colts in the season opener, I just thought it was an excellent game against a rookie QB playing his first game. Nothing special. But no, Jennings was just getting warmed up. After picks in Weeks 2 and 3, he was named NFC defensive player of the month for September. And in October, in Week 8, he made one of the Bears' biggest plays of the season - a pick six with the Bears trailing the Panthers in the 4th quarter.
I never thought I'd be doing a piece on Jennings, a cornerback now playing his 7th NFL season. Of course, I never thought he'd ever be leading the league in interceptions either.
But when NBC put up that graphic on the screen last Sunday that Jennings, in just 9 games so far this season, had already exceeded the total number of career INTs he had gotten in his first 6 seasons, I figured I needed to do something.

I didn't even have to search for anything. It was right there in Sunday's Chicago Tribune - a nice little article on Jennings (which I didn't know about until I finally read the paper on Monday) detailing his rise from too-short basketball player to too-short football player to likely Pro Bowl football player. Please click on the link below to read the article.
As you probably know already, Jennings added two more picks in the Bears' 13-6 loss to the Texans, increasing his total to 8 (!) for the season. And it's not just the picks. He has 10 PBU as well. Keep it going, Tim! I just hope I'm not jinxing you by doing this piece.
Honestly, even after the way he has played this season, there won't be any talk about him being one of the better CBs in the NFL. If there was a draft of all the CBs in the league, Jennings wouldn't be picked in the top 20. He is a good player benefiting from the talent around him, and he's having a career year. Let's just take it for what it is and enjoy the ride while it lasts. And maybe (hopefully) at the end of the season he'll have to skip the Pro Bowl because he'll be playing in that game they have the week after the Pro Bowl.


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