It’s the Look in his Eye – Darryl Hobbs’ Focus is on the Game of Football
(7 February 2001) — Darryl Hobbs is a smart man. His intelligence is on the field of football.
Hobbs learned how to play football early. He is from a football family with cousins like Arthur Wittington, Michael Bates and Mario Bates. Only one can imagine the intensity at family barbecues.
Darryl didn’t even know that the Liberty Bowl was now nicknamed “The Asylum.” Why? Because the recent nickname given to the stadium that has nothing to do with the game on the field. The “football” is Darryl Hobbs’ focus.
When other players are thinking about the XFL spring-boarding their careers into the NFL, Hobbs is thinking that he now has a chance to break open on a football field and catch some spirals – a chance he didn’t always get in the NFL.
“I like to play the game, I want to make plays. The problem with the NFL was I was behind Tim Brown and didn’t get a chance to make plays,” Hobbs said. “Right now I am with the Memphis Maniax and I play for the Memphis Maniax. Right now I am trying to help the Maniax get to the championship game.”
Darryl had a good game last week against the Birmingham Thunderbolts, catching 2 passes for 67 of the teams 173 passing yards. One of those passes was a 49-yard touchdown strike from Maniax quarterback Marcus Crandell.
Hobbs, a wide receiver, knows that he can do well by establishing a playing relationship with his quarterback. Hobbs commented, “Being an ex-quarterback I’ve always felt something for the quarterback. When I am out there running routes trying to get open, I know that being a quarterback if a receiver is just out there just running around, sometimes it just creates turnovers and gets the team into loads of trouble. I just try to do the right thing and let Marcus know by my play that I will be in the right place at the right time when he wants to throw me the ball.”
“Marcus has responded really well, he is mobile and he can get out of the pocket. During the game he took a hit and was dazed but he shook it off and responded well. Marcus will be a top quarterback in this league,” Hobbs added.
The Maniax did have some modest success with the passing game last weekend, which was what the they were looking for. “We saw certain defenses that left an outside technique on us with no safety in the middle. We didn’t throw the ball much, but when we did we were successful,” Hobbs explained.
Darryl Hobbs has always been a football player with a strong focus on the game. Much of his football savvy was learned from his time with the NFL.
Mike Ditka was Darryl’s coach when he played with the New Orleans Saints. Darryl has good things to say about Ditka’s mentoring.
“I was out fielding punts. It was fourth down. Ditka came to me and said ‘Darryl I like the look in your eye. Don’t worry about anything. Take care of things on the field and everything will take care of itself.’ And I believed him. I respect Mike Ditka and he is a great coach.”
To the veteran Hobbs, being a player in the XFL is pretty much the same as any other league.
“The only difference in training camp was that we didn’t get any money for it,” he said.
When asked about the cameramen on the field, Darryl was quick to respond. “They don’t bother us, we hardly know they are there. We have actually used them for piques and rubs.”
As for all the XFL style hoopla off the field, Darryl Hobbs had this telling comment, “We don’t let it affect us. When all the cameras and fireworks are over it’s our job to play football. And Vince McMahon let us know that. He told us — don’t get caught up in the fireworks and the introductions of your name – just play football.”
And Hobbs does just that – and with his family name on the back of his jersey. When asked if he could put anything else besides “Hobbs” on his jersey, Darryl commented, “I couldn’t do that.”
Keep in mind that Darryl has strong family connections. His wife Tye will be in attendance at the Maniax home opener this weekend.
“She can’t wait to get into the Liberty Bowl,” said Darryl. As well, Darryl’s aunt and uncle, who live across the street from the Liberty Bowl, will make “the trip” to see Darryl play this weekend. Darryl’s Uncle is also a well-known Reverend in the Memphis community, and they will be looking for a player with Hobbs on his jersey to be running his routes, focused on the game of football, and waiting for that perfect, red and black spiral to slip into his arms as he runs full speed down the field.
- Number – 80
- Position – WR
- College – University of Pacific
- Height – 6’3
- Weight – 180 lbs.
- Born: May 23, 1968
- Last Club: Montreal Alouettes (CFL)
- Hometown: Victoria, TX
- XFL P.A.S.S.: No. 414 overall pick by the Memphis Maniax – 2000
Hobbs is a six-year NFL veteran and played with the Raiders, Saints and Seahawks. In 14 games with New Orleans and Seattle in 1997, Hobbs caught seven passes for 85 yards and a pair of touchdowns. From 1992 to 1996, he played with Los Angeles and Oakland, and was the second receiver along side Tim Brown. He caught 87 passes for 1,087 yards and six touchdowns over those five seasons. Before joining the XFL, Hobbs played briefly with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL in 1999.
A Texan born and raised, Hobbs grew up like many kids admiring the Dallas Cowboys. In particular, he was a fan of playmakers Tony Hill and Drew Pearson who played the game with class, and whose heroic catches drew excitement to the sport. Hobbs emulated their game-play throughout college, where he made a name for himself as a leading receiver at Pacific University, and was a favorite target for quarterback Craig Whelihan, who coincidentally now joins Hobbs as a teammate with the Memphis Maniax. The reunion has made Darryl feel right at home in Memphis, and he is ready for the opportunity to shine in the XFL.
Hobbs views the XFL as an opportunity for breakout players, who have never been afforded a chance to demonstrate their ability, to step up and unveil their talents. And judging by the front page of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, prominently displaying a picture of Hobbs after the league’s opening weekend, Hobbs is one of those players. In the Maniax home opener against the Bolts, Hobbs caught two passes for 67 of the team’s 173 passing yards, including a catch that resulted in a 49-yard touchdown. As a veteran receiver, Hobbs has the hands that will unquestionably create a tremendous threat to the opposing secondary. However, it is Hobb’s breakaway speed that will yield the yards-after-the-catch that will keep the fans at the edge of their seats.
Hobbs’ determination to excel as the leading receiver in the XFL stems from his home life. He is a genuine family man and is motivated by his loving wife Tye. And with other former NFL standouts in his family, like cousins Arthur Whittington, Michael Bates and Mario Bates, one could only imagine the intensity of a football game at the family barbeques.
“I like the look in his eye.” — 1997 Sports Illustrated- Mike Ditka, at the time coach of the New Orleans Saints, commented during practice about how he was impressed with Darryl Hobbs who he had just acquired in a trade with the Oakland Raiders,