Ex-Patriot Ellis Hobbs says he's not done yet

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Ex-Patriot Ellis Hobbs says he's not done yet

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran Ellis Hobbs has a lot to offer off the football field. You just hope he doesn't jeopardize that by trying to get back on it. On Thursday, the former Patriots cornerback said that - contrary to reports earlier this offseason - he has not retired from the NFL because of the scary neck injuries he suffered in each of the past two seasons with the Eagles. "It's so funny, everybody starts fabricating things and with this lockout going on, everybody's pulling for stories but I haven't officially made any announcements," Hobbs said on WEEI's Big Show Thursday afternoon. "(I'm) waiting on doctor reviews to let me know if I can or can't play. If a doctor can come back to me and tell me, 'You have no more harm or danger then the next guy of getting hurt,' then I'm totally back in the game. But if they tell me, 'You know what, it's life threatening. You need to sit down and find a new career,' I'm fine with that too. I'm financially secure. I would only come back for the love of the game." It was reported in February that, in the wake of two neck surgeries in the past two years (one of which required doctors to go in through the front of his neck, move his voice box to the side and insert a cadaver vertebra) Hobbs had retired. And at 28, that seemed a wise move. Not only is Hobbs "financially secure" he's also a terrific asset. One of the main reasons we had him on Thursday was so he could hype his football camp being held July 18-22nd at West Warwick High School. Hobbs' directive at the camp is not just directed at football for the kids who show up but various life skills as well. He's got a sincere commitment to making sure that kids are armed with information about how to approach life in general. But if a team doctor is willing to sign off on Hobbs coming back, he will do it. "At the end of the day, I don't think a doctor or a team will bring me on with that kind of risk if I'm not 100 percent," he said. Hobbs is very conscious of the myriad physical issues NFL players face in their lives after football. And it wasn't until listening to the interview again that I wished I pressed him harder on why he'd risk his long-term health simply because he "loves" playing. Two other noteworthy nuggets from the interview: Hobbs doesn't get the fiscal irresponsibility many of his NFL peers exhibit, saying, "With the amount of money we run into as professional athletes, as entertainers, there's no reason why we should have any excuse for not having a dollar at the end of the day with just a little bit of discipline."Also, he isn't living and dying with every report on lockout progress.
"I thinkI speak for the majority of us we really - because we understand that it's a business and we understand that these things take time and how intricate it is - we really don't care," he stated. "Get the job done. Whenever it's done, it's done. ...Whatever, do what you have to.
I can only control what I can control and that's taking care of my body, training myself to be ready. ...When this thing is over, all documents are signed, we get the official press release, that's whenI want to be back involved. Until then, don't email me, don't text me, don't call me about the ifs or whats. I just want to be by myself and enjoy my family.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Rob Gronkowski appears to thoroughly enjoy himself at Daytona 500

Rob Gronkowski appears to thoroughly enjoy himself at Daytona 500

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski attended the Dayton 500 in true Gronkowski form.

He appeared to be there promoting Monster Energy drink, and was therefore hanging with the Monster Girls, who were also promoting the drink. Gronkowski's herniated disc injury, which required surgery in December 2016, does not seem to be slowing him down as he gets warmed up for the Summer of Gronk.

During the race coverage on FOX Sports, Gronk delivered a speed limit joke, which is sure to make the 13-year-old in you chuckle. (You can watch it here.)

[H/T NESN.com]

Curran: It's time to let the air out of Deflategate

Curran: It's time to let the air out of Deflategate

I think it’s time. Time to let the Deflategate wound scab over. Time to exit the active, raging, teeth-gnashing, petition-signing, lawsuit-filing portion of the program and let the hate follow its natural course into a slow-boil loathing.

If you are of Irish descent, you know how it works. Clear a big-ass space on the grudge shelf. Put Roger Goodell, Jeff Pash, Mike Kensil, Troy Vincent, Ryan Grigson, Jim Irsay, every shiv-wielding owner, all the cluck-clucking media and the legion of retired players and exiled GMs from Marshall Faulk to Joey Porter through Marty Hurney and into Bill Polian up there. Turn off light. Leave room.

When you need to piss yourself off -- in traffic, mowing the lawn, waiting for your coffee -- fetch ‘em down, blow the dust off and when you’re in a sufficiently foul mood, return grudge to shelf.

You rode the roller coaster. You’ve been there, done that and have all the T-shirts.

I came to this conclusion a few days ago, when ESPN’s Cari Champion interviewed Rob Gronkowski and asked about Goodell visiting Gillette. It was like playing “Get the Stick!” with a big goofy Lab. Champion threw the leading question, Gronk fetched -- tail-wagging --  and returned with a slobbery response that was completely implausible but still designed to dominate a four-hour news cycle.

"The fans are nuts, they’re wild, and they have the Patriots’ back no matter what,” said Gronkowski. “They have [Tom Brady’s] back. I’m telling you, he won’t get through the highway if the fans saw him. I don’t even think he can even land in the airport in Boston because Patriot fans are the best fans, they’re the most loyal fans. I’m telling you, they might just carry out Roger themselves. They couldn’t even get to the stadium in Foxboro if he landed in Boston."

Gronk’s just doing what he thinks he’s supposed to do. And Champion is, too. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Watch these mooks up in New England get all pissed off: “Hey, hey, Chowderhead . . . Roger Goodell . . . . ”

“F*** that guy, he better never show his face in Foxboro! But I want him to come to Foxboro so I can boo the ever-living s*** out of him and maybe barricade Route 1 like Gronk said we would!”

See? Works every time.

The irony is that the person mainly responsible for turning up the burner on this is Robert Kraft.

In May 2015, Kraft said at the owners meetings in San Francisco, “I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months. I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us, and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric, and we won’t appeal.

“Now, I know that a lot of Patriots fans are going to be disappointed in that decision, but I hope they trust my judgment and know that I really feel at this point in time that taking this off the agenda, this is the best thing for the New England Patriots, our fans, and the NFL, and I hope you all can respect that.”

Well, that blew up like an ACME bomb. And -- from that moment on -- Kraft has tried to recoup the fanbase that believed he sold them out by issuing a succession of calls-to-arms that the region has dutifully responded to.

The most recent was throwing down the gauntlet to Goodell by expressly inviting him to the 2017 season opener.  I mean, it would have been a conversation point anyway, but now it’s metastasized into something that will be discussed throughout the offseason, ratcheting up in early September and hitting a crescendo on opening night.

There is appeal to seeing Goodell squirm while knowing the Maras, Rooneys and Irsays will be sipping highballs and lamenting the caddish treatment of Poor Roger. But I still like the football better.

Conversation about the historic import of SB51, the legacy of Brady and Belichick, prospects for the league in 2017? I’ll take those rather than an ESPN “personality” who spent a weekend in Newburyport at a friend’s wedding telling everyone what the mindset of the New England sports fan is.  

But that’s not what we’re going to get. There will instead be ever-escalating predictions of the terrors Goodell will be subjected to fueled by interviews with tatted-up kids from the mean streets of Marshfield who wanted “Hoodie” fired when he let Revis sign with the Jets.

Unless . . . unless the region en masse decides to let its loathing mature. Mature to the point that when the carrot gets dangled in its collective face it doesn’t leap at it with teeth bared but instead says, “No thanks. Already full.”

Yeah. I don’t think it’s gonna happen either.