"The criticism is still going on," Jenkins said. "They say we are a question mark. Everyday in practice we are just trying to prove them wrong. No matter what people say we are trying to get better. We will just be quiet and handle our business on the field."
Last season, Darnell Jenkins was primarily used as the slot receiver. He finished the year with 25 receptions for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Jenkins enters the spring as the first-team flanker and first-team kick and punt returner. He is excited so far by what he has seen from the offensive scheme.
"The role of the receivers this year is to just have the ball in our hands," Jenkins said. "In situations other than third down, they are going to be getting us the ball on first and second down to open up the offense more. More balls are being thrown our way and more plays are being made. We are spreading it out more and taking it one day at a time."
Not only does Jenkins have to get familiar with a new system, he must learn from a new coach—Marquis Mosely.
"Coach Moseley is a cool dude," Jenkins said. "We just met him and our relationship is good. He is calm, he doesn't really like to yell. He just coaches us and lets us handle our business. He wants me to make my routes crisp, come out of my break faster, get the right route depth, and block better."
Jenkins' goal this spring is to, "give 110-percent and try to score every time I touch the ball." This offseason, Jenkins has seen extreme improvements in the weight room under a new program by Coach Swassey.
"I am 193 pounds right now," Jenkins said. "Last season, I was at 178 pounds. We are lifting heavier weights. He says he wants us bigger and stronger because we are already fast. I have just been lifting heavier and eating right. I will probably be at 185-pounds for the season after summer training. The added weight has not affected my speed either."
On Saturday, the first scrimmage took place of the spring. Punter Brian Monroe, who has practiced with the receivers before has been getting more reps with the unit this year. So far, Jenkins has been impressed with Monroe's raw talent.
"Monroe is just an athlete man," Jenkins said. "He is like Hester, just a different breed. Hester is just a little quicker than Monroe. Monroe just have to get more reps and learn how to adjust when the ball is in the air. When he learns the coverages, he will be just like a regular receiver."
And how did Jenkins do in the scrimmage?
"It went really well, because the other receivers getting open helped me out a lot, so I could not get double teamed by the defense," he said.
David Lake is a Staff Writer and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org