BETHLEHEM - Cornerback Ellis Hobbs referred to himself as a dog and an alien in answering a question about how much he wants to prove his first season with the Eagles was an aberration.

No, really.

"There's that dog in me that wants to prove a lot," Hobbs said. "Just listening to some of the comments, as much as you try to ignore it, I'm an alien in this country. You really haven't seen what I can do. Last year was not a season you can judge me off of."

Hobbs was sidelined with a neck injury last November and is set on making it known that he is fully recovered and can still play the game.

"I refuse to be denied what is rightly mine," he said. "I have to go out there and prove it every day, but just my love of the game, it's not about the money, it's not about anything else, but just to go out there and prove that I can play with anybody in this league."

While Hobbs is generally not shy with opinions, he did not want to talk about Asante Samuel, who returned to practice Saturday after missing time with a hamstring injury.

"Next question," Hobbs said when asked about Samuel's return.

The next question focused more on re-teaming with Samuel, after the two played opposite each other on New England's perfect regular-season team in 2007. Hobbs again refused to address Samuel.

"I'm just looking forward to playing with everybody," he said. "Ten guys who want it just as bad as I do and are going to give the best effort and are going to give it everything, body and all. Whoever that is out there on the field, that's what we need."

There is some feeling that a young defense, like the Eagles,' can't blossom into a championship defense right away. Hobbs doesn't subscribe to that notion.

"I like the fact that it is young," he said. "When you have a young mind, you have an ignorant mind, and that's a good thing at times because you don't expect certain things to come your way, so you just kind of go into it blind, kamikaze-style.

"At the end of the day, a lot of times when you see championship caliber football, you see guys go in there with the mind-set of, 'I don't care what's going to happen, but I'm going to give effort.' And effort alone sometimes covers a lot."