Struggling After Leaving Foxboro

Patriots corners from Super Bowls past struggling to keep pace after leaving Foxboro. Asante Samuel is fighting criticism of being too soft. Randall Gay is not the starter the Saints hoped for and even Ellis Hobbs is struggling. Here's the latest on one of the trio.

Seven months ago, as he lay on field at Lincoln Financial Field, unable to feel his legs, Ellis Hobbs wasn't sure whether he'd ever walk, let alone play football again.

But after surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, Hobbs not only is walking fine, but is the front-runner to be the Eagles' season-opening starting left cornerback.

"For a brief second, I couldn't move," Hobbs said, recalling the hit he took after returning a kickoff against the Dallas Cowboys last November. "After the fact, you look at it (as being) more scary than when it did happen, because it happened so fast."

The Eagles acquired Hobbs from the New England Patriots in a 2009 Draft Day trade. He was a three-year starter with the Patriots, but couldn't beat out Sheldon Brown last year and spent the season until he got hurt playing mostly in the Eagles nickel and dime packages.

"It was terrible, I hated it," Hobbs said of his situational role. "I've never been in a situation like that before. It was very difficult, but there's a professional side of the game that you have to play the hand that you're dealt."

The Eagles traded Brown to Cleveland in early April and Hobbs will head to training camp as the team's No. 1 left corner.

After sitting out the team's post-draft minicamp, he has been participating in the team's OTAs for rookies and selected veterans the last two weeks.

"I feel like I'm ready," Hobbs said. "But there's no need to go out there and be a hero in the month of May or anytime soon."

Hobbs said he is not worried at all about reinjuring his neck. He said doctors have told him he is no more likely than anyone else to suffer another neck injury.

Hobbs, one of the league's top kickoff returners, said he expects to continue to handle those duties this season, as well as play cornerback.

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