EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

April 27, 2009

Ellis, it's great to see you ... go

The charade is now done.

All the sycophants and unfettered Patriots followers can end the lies and deceit. The farce that was "Ellis Hobbs — lead cornerback" closed with a whimper with a mere pair of fives.

Hobbs leaves New England with one tangible memory — one painful, awful memory of Plaxico Burress leaving him scorched and broken in the end zone to cost the Pats Super Bowl XLII.

All of you out there, and you know who you are, who whined and groaned when week after week Hobbs owned the top spot in Longo's No Shows, I rest my case with two insignificant fifth-round draft picks.

Hobbs spent more weeks at No. 1 than Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

Over and over, I was told he was good, first by Bill Belichick and most of the time by Hobbs himself.

Let's just say the former Iowa State Cyclone looked in the mirror each day and didn't see the chump that Plaxico petrified. He saw the next Champ Bailey.

Great job by Belichick and the Patriots brass for seeing and realizing this in a timely fashion.

Hobbs had plenty of chances to fill the big shoes when Asante Samuel skipped town before last season. One 16-game exhibition of non-cover skills was plenty.

"The Ellis Hobbs trade was not really something that we anticipated. It was just one of those things that, based on the way things went and where our team was," said Belichick. "From a timing standpoint and moving forward, 'what's the best thing for our football team?' That was just the right move at this time."

The Patriots stepped it up this offseason, banking that Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden offer more than 2008 free-agent pickups Fernando Bryant, Jason Webster, Lewis Sanders and Tank Williams to this secondary, which was and still is a serious question mark.

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