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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.
By Tom E. Curran