In a time when “lockout” is more relevant than “training camp” in NFL news, it’s interesting to hear about a player, a free agent at that, placing his focus on something aside from fame and fortune. For former Patriot Ellis Hobbs, the Ellis Hobbs III Football Camp has all of his attention.
Former Patriot Ellis Hobbs using camp to teach life lessons
Ellis Hobbs was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round
in 2005 NFL Draft. Hobbs stayed with the Patriots up until the 2009 NFL
Draft in which he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for two
fifth-round selections. Hobbs was a part of the 2007 Patriots team that
finished the regular season 16-0 and later suffered a loss to the
Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Hobbs is currently an unrestricted free
agent after his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles.
In speaking with Hobbs, his passion for the Ellis Hobbs III Football
Camp is evident. In fact, it was infectious.
Hobbs explained, “These types of camps are so important because
nowadays, kids’ foundations are so based on the virtual gaming
experience and rarely get any physical activity.”
“Even though the sport entertains, it’s also a great teacher of the
dynamics of life.” Hobbs stated.
2011 Ellis Hobbs III Football Camp, which is open
to anyone between the ages of 6 -18 years old, will take place from
July 18 - 22 at West Warwick High School Field in West Warwick, Rhode Island. A rather far drive from where Hobbs resides now in Atlanta,
Georgia. When asked why he chose to hold the camp over 1,000 miles
away, Hobbs emphasized the importance of the deep-rooted relationships
he built over the years with his former Patriots teammates and also
that there are so many fans in Rhode Island.
“It’s really like a brotherhood among us players and we just all try to
help each other out.” Hobbs was recently in Bryan, Texas to help with
the 4th Annual Ty Warren Life Skills & Drills Clinic.
Warren, along with linebacker Jerod Mayo are just some of the players
set that will lend a helping hand for the camp. The camp promises to
give campers coaching wisdom from players who have experience at the
highest level of the sport.
was most recently part of the Eagles organization.
Hobbs jokingly added, “Whoever is running the camp, their job is to try
to take as much ownership off of the guest coaches as possible. They
are like kids, you just gotta give them a place to stay, feed them and
they’ll be happy.”
The five day camp will run from 8:30 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
The camp will also provide lunch, drinks and snacks for all of the
campers. As it is not contact camp, Hobbs wants to focus on the
importance of honing the foundational skills of the player. These
skills will range from things on the field to life skills and any other
issues players may encounter in the future.
An interesting facet of his camp is his desire to embrace kids’
interest in virtual gaming rather to be completely opposed to it.
“We’ll actually have some televisions and some PlayStation 3 systems
that the campers will have access to during their breaks.”
Not bad for a football camp.
“We want the main function of this camp to be about doing things the
right way. The right techniques, drills and all other tools to prevent
injuries in what is typically a game of violence.”
The daily activities of the camp include individual and small group
instruction, special area skills development (on/off the field) and 7
on 7 flag football. Open to any interested spectators, the camp invites
parents to come and watch their kids as they go through the daily
activities some of their favorite Patriots players.
“I want parents to know that their kids will come out with so much more
then when they came in to the camp.”
And as far as life in the midst of the lockout?
“As a free agent, I don’t really have a team to call home now so I’ve
been able to focus on things like spending time with my family and
taking care of myself.” Hobbs joked, “This is the first time I’ve been
able to enjoy a fourth of July, that includes all the eating.”
When asked about where he’d like to play next, Hobbs explained,
“Location is not an issue for my family and I. I’d like to go to a team
that’s on the brink - I’ve come from two successful organizations and I
only have so much time left on my body to put it to work. Simply put, I
just want to win.”
Ellis Hobbs is one of several players who are using the time off due to
the lockout in a very productive way. Whether it’s coaching the proper
technique for man-to-man coverage or having to deal with social issues,
it’s things like the Ellis Hobbs III Football Camp that is keeping the
passion of football alive.
For more information on the Ellis Hobbs III Football Camp, click
If interested in registering for the camp, registration
information can be found here.
Kisha Tapangan is a contributing writer for PatriotsInsider.com She also maintains her personal blog Necessary Roughness and can be found on Twitter @KishaT. Be sure to check back for regular updates by Kisha
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