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New England Patriots Links 6/08/11 - Practice Squad WR Darnell Jenkins Talks Lockout: "It's Very Difficult."

Tom E. Curran reports the NFL lockout has hit practice squadders hard, like Pats wideout Darnell Jenkins.

"It's very difficult," admitted Jenkins. "It's a good thing I'm not a big spender or anything like that. I tell my family all the time, we have to be careful here. But we put some money away . . ."

"But budgeting is very important. I make my money through the season. When the season is here, the money is here. With no season, there's no income."

"I pay for my own training and the bills, and I saved up a good amount of money to make it," he explained. "We knew we would go through this problem so I did my best to save. And I'm a homeboy. Every now and then, you'll see me out getting something to eat if my wife doesn't cook, but other than that, I'm in the house playing Xbox."

"Brady is more of a coach to us younger guys," said Jenkins. "Brady works at a very fast pace and likes to get the feel of Wes [Welker], Deion [Branch], Julian [Edelman] and Brandon [Tate] and working a lot with them. When we did our camp with Brady, we got a feeling of what it will be like when we come back [from the lockout], but we got a lot of work done with all three quarterbacks (Brady, Hoyer and Jonathan Crompton). Our bond on this team is strong. We have positive leaders and we got a lot of great chemistry."

"I'm just waiting on the opportunity," said Jenkins. "Me getting older, it makes me just work harder. I feel I'm ready to go and can do anything the team asks me to do. I understand I have to know all the positions because I'm fighting for a spot on the team. I know physically and mentally I'm ready to step in when my number is called."

Christopher Price notes former Patriot Ellis Hobbs would entertain a return to New England if doctors say he can play.  He is holding his football camp for kids this summer locally.

"Barring how I left, whether it was on negative terms or there was a sour taste in my mouth ... a lot was made about that when I left," Hobbs said. "[But] Bill actually signed something for my son for his birthday after I was traded. 

"Look at it from my perspective — he’d be offering a job and I’d be offering a service. It’s just one of those things where you try and keep the personal as far out of it as possible."

"This area stuck with me and I believe I stuck with the people," he said. "A friend in the New England area who I still keep in touch with said that a lot of people were always asking about me. I keep in contact with a lot of Patriots fans on Twitter, and I’ve found that the saying is true: once a Patriot, always a Patriot."

Hobbs is using his time this offseason to work on the Ellis Hobbs Youth Football Camp and Life Skills, which will be held from July 18-22 in West Warwick, R.I., for kids between the ages of 6-18. (For more information, check out his site, Hobbs said the goal is not to simply provide on-field teaching, but to let them know that what they learn in sports can often be applied to real-life situations.

"There’s a lot of kids out there who are lost, kids with single parents and from broken homes who have a lot of talent but can’t make their way in the world because they might not have the social skills necessary to survive in the real world," he said. "My mission is to show people — and kids especially — that sports and life go hand in hand.

"If the fans are that closely into you and what to know what’s going on with you, obviously you have a good fan base. This is just a way for me to say thank you to the people of New England and a way to give back."