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Randall Cobb Emerges as Contributor in Green Bay Packers Victory

The Packers offense felt like it went back in time. The Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb connection had a very 2014 feel to it.  
Randall Cobb

Green Bay Packers fans didn’t report seeing any DeLoreans parked in the Packers players’ parking lot on Sunday. However, maybe fans should have looked a little closer. Sunday’s Packers victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers felt like the Packers offense went back in time. The Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb connection had a very 2014 feel to it.

Randall Cobb Makes His Presence Felt for the First Time This Season

A lot has been written about the drama that took place this off-season between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers front office. When it comes down to why it really happened, only Rodgers and the front office really know. But one thing did come from it. That being the return of wide receiver Randall Cobb.

The Packers made a deal at the start of training camp to bring back Cobb to Green Bay. The Packers gave up a sixth-round pick to the Houston Texans for the veteran pass-catcher. It was a deal that brought back one of Rodgers favorite targets.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst, the reported target of Rodgers ire, admitted that the move was to appease Rodgers. While the deal was to make Rodgers happy, on Sunday, Randall Cobb’s performance might turn out to be more than just throwing Rodgers a bone. If he continues to play as he did on Sunday, Cobb might be a big piece in the Packers passing attack this season.

Rodgers Leans on Receivers He Trusts

Randall Cobb’s return didn’t bring an instant impact. In the Packers first three games, he was only targeted five times with just four receptions. The previous week, Cobb was targeted just once and didn’t register a reception. But that changed this past week against the Steelers.

Leading up to their Week 4 matchup against the Steelers, the Packers placed Marquez Valdes-Scantling on the injured reserve. Valdes-Scantling will miss at least the next three games due to a hamstring injury that occurred in the Packers thrilling victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3. The injury created an opening for Cobb.

While Randall Cobb doesn’t have the type of top-end speed that Valdes-Scantling possesses, he does bring something different to the Packers wide receiver group. The Packers haven’t had a true slot receiver since Cobb left as a free agent to the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. On Sunday against the Steelers, Cobb displayed what a true slot receiver can do in Matt LaFleur’s offense.

Cobb was the Packers leading receiver on Sunday against the Steelers. He was targeted six times, catching five passes for 69 yards with two touchdown receptions. Rodgers has shown he is willing to throw to receivers he believes in. That was illustrated on Sunday with Cobb as well as Davante Adams.

While Cobb was targeted six times, Adams was targeted 11 times. He finished the game with six receptions for 64 yards.

A Place in LaFleur’s Offense

Gutekunst might have thought that bringing back Randall Cobb was just something that will make his star quarterback happy, but his presence might be more than that.

Each Packers wide receiver has something they flourish at. For Adams, he is the number one wide receiver. He is the one that Rodgers goes to when the Packers need a big play. Valdes-Scantling is the burner. His speed stretches opposing defenses vertically. Allen Lazard is the best blocker of the bunch. But he also can make plays in the passing attack.

For Cobb, he has a place in LaFleur’s offense. He isn’t the same player he was back in 2014 when he caught 91 receptions for 1,287 yards with 12 touchdown receptions. Still, he can be a contributor, finding open spots against opposing secondaries and willing to do the dirty work. Cobb won’t put up the numbers he once did, but he won’t be asked to do that. Rodgers knows he can lean on Cobb when needed and as Rodgers has said, he still has a lot of good football in him.

Randall Cobb’s value isn’t just in the receptions or touchdowns he has this season either. The Packers spent a third-round pick on Amari Rodgers this past spring. He is the future at the slot position for the Packers. With Cobb in the picture, he gives Rodgers a mentor,  someone he can learn from.

Gutekunst might not have thought he was getting much when he traded for Randall Cobb, it might just turn out that he got a contributor. While Cobb isn’t the player he once was, he still has value for an offense. On Sunday, against the Steelers, he showed it.

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Embed from Getty Images


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