For Tim Jenkins, every day at Rams Park is an opportunity to improve. And hopefully a chance to impress.
“At this point, I’m doing a lot more listening than talking,’’ said Jenkins, a rookie free-agent quarterback from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. “I’m just trying to take it all in, to learn as much as I can about playing at this level. To this point, it’s been an incredible experience. I’m just trying to work hard every day, to learn the playbook and to cut down on the mental mistakes.

“This is a great situation for me. The vets have been great, helping me any way they can, and I’ve also learned a ton from (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti).’’

Jenkins, 22, was limited to six games last season because of injuries but still managed to complete 161 of 301 passes for 1,817 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. A four-year starter for the Skyhawks, Jenkins finished second in school history in completion percentage (58.3), third in passing yards (8,857) and fourth in touchdown passes (47). He threw for a career-high 501 yards in a 50-21 loss to Colorado State-Pueblo, which was ranked No. 3 among NCAA Division II squads at the time.

“We didn’t win a lot of games, but if you enjoy offensive football, we were a lot of fun to watch,’’ said Jenkins, whose school went 8-34 during his career.

The NFL draft came and went without Jenkins’ name being called.

“My agent prepared me for that, talking mostly about signing as a free agent after the draft. That didn’t happen either, which was a little disappointing,’’ he recalled. “But that next Monday, I got a call saying that the Rams wanted me to come to rookie mini-camp for a tryout.’’

That weekend ended up as a one-on-one battle for a contract between Jenkins and Mitchell Gale, who starred at D-II Abilene (Texas) Christian.

“We roomed together,’’ Jenkins recalled. “Seemed like a great guy, but it was definitely a competition. If he studied the playbook until 11 p.m., I tried to go until at least 11:01, just so I could feel like I had an edge. If you’re going to be a quarterback, especially at this level, you have to be a competitor.