Hobson displays the footwork of a prizefighter
Since entering the NFL in 2003, Jets' linebacker Victor Hobson has sustained an annual improvement in nearly every defensive statistical category. To cap off his fourth professional season, Hobson reached the 100 total tackle plateau for the first time. Hobson's on-field progression can be traced back to achievements off the field during what may be the most crucial time of a professional football player's career - the offseason.
But before he embarks on another challenging workout program, the 6'0", 252-pound 'backer will enter a phase of rest and relaxation.
"I just plan on relaxing for the most part, winding down," said Hobson. "This is just a little chance to get away from football and spend some time with yourself. I will start to work out again about the end of this month. That is when I'll get on that regimen – I don't want to take too much time off where I come back out of shape."
The term* vacation *is loosely defined. For Hobson, it means getting away from football.
"I travel a little bit. I spend time with the family - my parents especially," said the Michigan alum. "It is just a chance to get away from everything and not to focus on football for the little bit of time we have off."
Hobson has correctly identified the right time to fire up the offseason engine since he entered the pro ranks. Last year, Hobson came to camp in great shape and flashed during a difficult summer.
"Luckily, I did come back in very good shape last season," Hobson said. "But it was definitely a very hard camp. I think the fact that I came into camp in very good shape got me through it."
After the summer session, Hobson spun together his best season for the Green & White. In 16 regular season starts, Hobson tallied 100 tackles – 66 of the solo variety. His six sacks demolished his previous career-high of two, and the Englewood, New Jersey native even returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown against the Bills in September.
Many athletes have their own unique plan of attack and Hobson is no different, as he has stuck with the same routine now for the past couple of years. Rather than hire a trainer, stick with a certain lifting partner, or stay around the Long Island complex, Hobson has used his own personal workout program, and his production confirms its efficiency.
"When we come back here in March, we have to follow the team's workout program, but I do different stuff on my own," he said. "I have been doing it for a couple of years. I actually work out twice a day sometimes. I do some boxing and stuff with weights too, so it's two different kinds of training. I have always loved boxing. I'm not in there trying to beat Mike Tyson - it's just a great way to stay in shape really."
Whether Hobson can train his body to be able to take on Tyson or not, he will be physically prepared for another bruising campaign. Last season, the players were unaware for the most part as to what to expect from Mangini and a new coaching staff. Now, roughly a month after his first season under Mangini, Hobson has a strong grasp of team expectations; but that doesn't mean he won't turn down the notch on his preparation.
"It changes just for the fact where you know what they expect of you as far as a coaching staff," said Hobson. "But you can never get content as a player - you always have to strive to get better and want to do better things."
Hobson strived to improve his consistency and approach last year in reference to each game, each practice, each meeting and each lift. Coach Mangini preached this discipline all season long and Hobson feels as though his game benefited greatly.
"I was trying to improve each and every time I stepped out onto the field," he said. "I was blessed to be put into positions where I was able to make plays and I had to take advantage of those opportunities. I just tried to progressively get better."