Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins tackles some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby.
Q: Describe your mentality on the field.
A: My mentality on the field is almost exactly opposite of off the field. On the field, I’m trying to destroy anybody that lines up across from me. I try and get in a mode where I’m like, “All right, it’s me versus you, and it’s either I’m gonna kill you, or you’re gonna kill me.” Physicality first, all that finesse stuff later, and it’s like “I’m trying to impose my will on you and make you quit.”
Q: Why do you think you’re that way on the field?
A: I remember growing up, moving around a lot. It’s hard meeting new people, and I was a shy kid growing up. Being on the field just gives me a chance to just express myself and just really sort of let loose and just be me out there.
Q: What are your thoughts on Cleveland’s Myles Garrett ripping off Mason Rudolph’s helmet and hitting him with it Thursday?
A: Hooo, that is a big no-no. That’s one of the things I always said, I can’t hit a guy with his helmet’s off. We can get in brawls, but once the helmet goes off, even if I’ve got mine on, I can’t bring myself to do that. That goes beyond competing and stuff. That gets to sort of something I don’t like to be a part of, and I know Myles deeply regrets that. I know he probably got caught up in it, but that’s something you just can’t do. He just got caught up in rage and he did something he definitely regrets.
Q: What was your biggest rage moment?
A: When I do get in my fits of rage, I tend to just bull-rush a guy back sometimes, and those are actually moments where they’re not good because you’re blinded by the rage and you end up, “Sure, I beat the heck out of one guy, but I didn’t do my job.”
Q: What makes you an alpha male?
A: It’s just my upbringing, you know? Being [around] the military, it’s like you always learned you gotta be tough, gotta be respectful, and if anybody disrespects you, you gotta make sure they pay and learn not to do it again.
Q: What drives you?
A: I just want to succeed and do what my dad didn’t get the chance to. He played at Colorado State and then messed up his neck. Try and just [honor] him that way ’cause I know he wishes he could have tried to see if he could make it to this level but he didn’t get a chance to. And also I want to be remembered for being just the hard-working guy, and I don’t want to just be another name in the league, I want to try and be remembered.
Q: With your father in the Army, you lived in Anchorage, Alaska, as a young child.
A: I was there from maybe 2 till right before I turned 5. It was all military families. It was literally just a town in the middle of nowhere. And I remember we went ice fishing, driving the truck on the ice, made an igloo in the backyard …
Q: You had an igloo in the backyard?
A: Yeah, got a little trash can, out some snow in it, and once the water [started] running if it wasn’t frozen, we just would fill it up with water and within like three seconds it’s be a block.
Q: How was the ice fishing?
A: I remember as a kid being freaked out because we had to drive out on the ice for a good bit. I was sitting there as a kid, I’m like, “Man, these trucks can sink,” and I remember asking my dad, “How do you know what ice is safe to drive on?” It’s just snow everywhere, and you can’t see too far. And he’s like, “Honestly, if the car in front of you goes in, that’s when you know the ice ain’t good.” I just remember being scared for the rest of the ride, and I just couldn’t wait to get out of the truck.
Q: You were born in 1994 and left Alaska in ’98.
A: I went through a phase like all through high school and college I did not like tortillas and cheese. There was a huge hill about maybe three times the length of this [fieldhouse] field right to the right of the preschool where we’d all go sledding down. And in the preschool, we would take naps and they would give us like little cheese squares and tortillas to snack on. That was the only time I ever ate tortillas. Growing up I hated Mexican food, I hated tortillas and I hated cheese.
Q: Any other memories?
A: There was big caribou all around the house and at the bus stop before we went to school, and there’d be soldiers posted up at the bus stop because if the caribou got aggressive, they’d have to shoot ’em.
Q: Did you ever eat caribou?
A: Might have. My mom honestly just told me everything was chicken growing up. That was the only thing I trusted. I just started eating sushi about two years ago, and I like the smoked salmon and stuff. I still can’t do the whole raw thing. I didn’t eat bread really until about maybe sophomore year in college.
Q: You bounced from Houston to Columbia, S.C., to Alaska to Monterey, Calif., to Washington state to Georgia. What was that like as a kid?
A: Football was like the first time I had like a family more or less. I always wanted to belong to something. And that’s sorta why I’m so attached to Georgia and that’s always why I wear all my Georgia stuff now, ’cause that’s like the first true like home I had.
Q: Alabama coach Nick Saban paid you a home visit.
A: Alabama was my favorite school all the way till [that] January. I even said in my video Alabama was my dream school, but Georgia’s where I needed to go to.
Q: If you could sack one quarterback in the history of the NFL, who would it be?
A: [Tom] Brady was one of ’em. Thought I had him in the  game. The sly, old man he is threw the ball, didn’t even see the guy, just randomly threw it, to where he knew the running back was gonna be, didn’t know if he was covered or not, threw the ball to [James] White. When I got to the league, I was like Aaron Rodgers is a guy I want to sack, Tom Brady’s a guy I want to just sack. Deshaun Watson was one of ’em ’cause he beat my high school after I left like 62-24, and I was like, “Who the hell is this Deshaun Watson guy?” And come to find out next year when I played Clemson it’s that kid.
Q: Describe Jamal Adams.
A: He can back up his words with his actions on the field. If he says he’s gonna run through a guy, he can actually go out there and do it.
Q: This is your contract year.
A: Actually being up here is what helped me learn to compartmentalize things over my last four years here with everything that’s happened in this team the last four years. Don’t worry about stuff you can’t control and just go out there and play football. Living in this market and playing in this area, you gotta have tough skin. It’s like I’d just rather not worry about it, just play football and stay stress-free.
Q: What about a hometown discount if the Jets wanted you back?
A: That’s another thing I try not to think about. I love [coach Adam] Gase, love Joe [Douglas, GM], love the staff, love the coaches here and love the environment that they provide and I love the fact that Chris [Johnson, CEO] said what he said. I enjoy the fact that this organization from top to bottom has the same mindset.
Q: What do you like about Gase?
A: He is a fiery guy, he’s a competitor, and he’s just a guy you can relate to. He doesn’t BS about anything, and he’s real with guys. He’s a good player’s coach.
Q: Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams?
A: Gregg’s just my type of guy all around. I’m more talk with my fists first and let the words come out later. He has the whole aggressive mindset, and he loves the aggressiveness about the game, and that’s what I’ve sort of styled myself around I’d being aggressive first. He’s a loud guy, and I’m loud on the field. … It meshes well.
Q: Are you a good trash talker?
A: I’m nice as heck off the field, but on the field I’m trying to destroy guys and I’m trying to piss other people off, so in turn they talk trash, and that makes me mad. I’ll start something just to get somebody mad at me so I can get mad back.
Q: What’s the best thing you could do to try to get in someone’s head?
A: I’ll bull-rush somebody back. I remember my rookie year, first game back, my whole job was to keep [Chiefs tight end Travis] Kelce from going out, like no matter what, harass Kelce, drive him back. Drove him back, Kelce said, “You didn’t even make the play.” I’m like, “Hey I did my job, I bulled you all the way back here. You’re supposed to be this Pro Bowl guy,” yada, yada, yada, and then the trash-talking started going back and forth. And then when [then-Patriots tight end] Martellus Bennett caught a pass on the sideline and ran up field, and I came and hit him, and he ran over one of the DBs back then, and just started talking trash to the DB, and I said, “No no no. Don’t talk trash to him, talk trash to me,” yada, yada, yada. It just makes the game that much more fun and that much more competitive.
Q: You have five sacks in seven games. Has 10 always been a target number for you?
A: In college I had five every year, and this is to the point where it’s like, “All right now I’m at the max I ever had in college, and last year with seven was pretty nice,” and now I’m like, “All right, let’s see if we can top that number and just try and get as many as we can.” Be awesome as hell to be a double-digit sack guy, and if not, well I got some more work to do to become that.
Q: Describe former Georgia teammate Lorenzo Carter, who is now with the Giants.
A: When you look at him, he’s what you want in a player. He’s like a created player on “Madden,” that’s what we used to say in college. He looks like how you would build your character playing “Madden” or NCAA. He’s got all the intangibles, he’s just gotta realize that he can do what he wants with guys and win however he wants to. He’s just a heck of an athlete.
Q: Another former Georgia teammate who is a Giant, Alec Ogletree.
A: I watched this guy my rookie year make 20 tackles against Georgia Tech, and I was like, “Holy s–t!” Excuse my French. There’s actually a play where I was about to jump in on a tackle that he had, and he completely duplexed the Georgia Tech wide receiver.
Q: What do you think of Colin Kaepernick’s Saturday workout?
A: Kaepernick was who I had my first sack on … half-sack, ’cause Leo [Leonard Williams] jumped in and stole half of it. So I’ll never forget about Kaepernick.
Q: Do you think he belongs in the league?
A: He brought his team [49ers] to a Super Bowl, I definitely think he can compete for a job in this league. I definitely think he’s got the tools to play in this league.
Q: What was your diet plan that you began last offseason?
A: My biggest problem when I cook, instead of making lunch, I end up making a dinner, so it’s like I ate two dinners instead of having lunch. I just wanted to get a customized meal plan. I’m probably like at 11 percent body fat now at like 265 [pounds].
Q: How does it feel to be one of New York-New Jersey’s most eligible bachelors?
A: Look, if she don’t like sweet tea, she ain’t for me (smile). New York girls, they do know some great Italian spots and they know some great pizza. I will say whatever girl I do end up dating, if they ain’t got thick skin (chuckle), they ain’t gonna make it ’cause Mama Jenkins and older sister are the enforcer and the bruiser.
Q: They called you “The Freak” in high school in Hamilton, Ga.
A: There was another senior named “Beast” already. I was in the office with the head coach, the offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator: “You know what? Look, we’re gonna call you Freak, but don’t go telling your mom we called you a freak. We’re calling you Freak ’cause you’re a freak of an athlete. You’re a freshman but you’re playing out there like you’re a senior.” I loved it, I was a freshman, getting a nickname like that early was pretty nice.
Q: Who was your boyhood idol?
A: Shaq [Shaquille O’Neal]. Growing up, my mom and all the family would call me Baby Shaq.
Q: Did you play basketball?
A: I did, and I played about just like Shaq (chuckle). Couldn’t shoot, couldn’t dribble and strictly belonged in the paint.
Q: Three dinner guests?
A: Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Obama.
Q: Favorite movie?
Q: Favorite actor?
A: Christian Bale.
Q: Favorite actress?
A: Scarlett Johansson.
Q: Favorite meal?
A: Steak and potatoes.
Q: Your very first visit to New York was after the draft.
A: I got off the plane and it was in New Jersey.
Q: So what did you do?
A: I found out later that both the Jets and the Giants are all in New Jersey (laugh).