Jenkins: 'I love criticism'

July 30, 2012, 12:46 am
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SANTA CLARA -- Receiver A.J. Jenkins came off the practice field Sunday, unaware that his coach had given him a huge endorsement earlier in the day.Jenkins went through just his third practice of 49ers training camp, so his football career is in its infancy. Yet, apparently some negative media reports on Jenkins' play in the offseason prompted Jim Harbaugh to voice support for the first-round draft pick.Jenkins spoke with reporters after Sunday's practice:Knowing your coach has your back like that, how does that feel?
"That's good feedback from him. I'm working as hard as the next man is. Me being a rookie, obviously coming in with great receivers like Randy Moss, (Michael) Crabtree, (Mario) Manningham and Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams, so you really have to be at our best every day because the level of competition is so high. But right now, I feel pretty good with what's going on."You come in as a rookie with a lot of proven veterans ahead of you on the depth chart? How do yo view that?
"It's great. It's a great opportunity for me. Coming into a situation where you have players who have won Super Bowls, and future Hall of Famers, I don't see a downfall in that. Obviously, if I have to wait a year or whatever, I'm going to gain so much insight from those types of players. I'll keep working hard."Do you have the patience to wait your turn? Are you a patient guy?
"I'm a very patient guy. I learned that in college. When I went to school (Illinois), I wasn't the starter right away, so it's like college here. I have to wait my turn. With guys like Moss and Crabtree and Manningham and proven vets like that, what do you expect? You have to wait your turn. It's all good."Can you tell a difference in yourself as a player from the time you were draft until now?
"A lot. I can tell a lot of difference, as far as maturity level, as far as the expectations of myself, everything, just how my mindset is going into football. I've gained a lot of football knowledge the last two months. It's been outstanding so far."How have your expectations changed?
"Sky high. That's what I see myself doing in this league. It's aim for the moon."Have you tuned out the criticism and focused on your game?
"I love criticism. That kind of drives me. There's no hard feelings. People are going to say what they're going to say. People are going to love you regardless or they're going to hate you regardless. it doesn't matter what people on the outside world are going to say about me. If I thought about their comments so heavily, I wouldn't be here right now."

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