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Raiders training camp 2023: Nate Hobbs excited to be healthy

Las Vegas’ third-year cornerback is looking for a big season

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders
Nate Hobbs
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A freak incident in a charity softball game cost Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs an early chunk of training camp.

Now, Hobbs is hoping he has better overall health as he enters a critical third NFL season. Hobbs missed six games in 2022 in an second NFL season that wasn’t as strong for the 2021 fifth-round draft pick. He did have a surgery after his rookie season, so he is excited for better health this season.

“Definitely makes a little bit of a difference because coming off of a surgery, you can’t get started right away like you want to, can’t go jump into whatever you want to full speed. Being in rehab, that’s the worst part,” Hobbs said after a recent training camp practice. “Six o’clock, seven o’clock rehab for me. I don’t really care coming off the injury – that’s fine, but it does take some time off. But I feel great. I’m just blessed to be here in Vegas again with the guys and to experience another year.”

In addition to his overall health, Hobbs wants to see better production from the cornerbacks and he is excited that will happen. led by the July signing of veteran Marcus Peters, the cornerbacks have had success in training camp thus far.

“Man, MP [Marcus Peters], I just think his football IQ is on another level. His instincts, his feet, body position,” Hobbs said. “A guy like that, he just brings a whole new energy to our defense and there’s nothing like having a vet back there who can just see everything, it’s crazy to me. It’s like he’s in practice and in a walk thought, so slow ... I’m always asking him questions. I played with Casey Heyward, Desmond Trufant. I played with Rock [Ya-Sin]. I played with some pretty good cornerbacks over the years, and I just tried to pick their brain apart. But MP [Marcus Peters], it’s like his mind work on another level with that stuff and he trusts his instincts and he sees it before the quarterback is even going to throw and it’s crazy. So I try to pick his brain apart. But that’s not normal at all, some of the stuff he does is superhuman at the cornerback position. If you get a pick in the league, you get 30 picks, you’re superhuman.”

Hobbs hopes Peters helps the Las Vegas secondary forge a identity that it can win games with.

“Game changing plays. When you do that every day in practice, you create a habit. When you create a habit, that’s just who you are, it’s your psyche,” Hobbs said. “You don’t know any better, so in a game you see the ball, your mind is going to say, ‘Punch it’, without you even having to do it. So when you’re conscious of it in a game, it just makes it all better. I think that’s what 53 for the Colts [Shaquille Leonard], that’s all he does. That’s his psyche, so that’s why you see him getting all those balls out.”