Randall Cobb catches a pass over the middle against the 49ers in 2012. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Green Bay Packers’ loss of Randall Cobb was as big as the loss of Aaron Rodgers


Randall Cobb was a player who helps ignite the Packers' offense. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Randall Cobb helps ignite the Packers’ offense.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph


If you think Randall Cobb didn’t prove his worth to the Green Bay Packers when he returned to the field against the Chicago Bears in the final game of the regular season and

Randall Cobb could be looking up at a much bigger contract in the next couple of years ... Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Randall Cobb could be looking up at a much bigger contract in the next couple of years …
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

in the Packers Wildcard loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week, Aaron Rodgers might give you a year’s salary.

Well, maybe he wouldn’t, but if you are a Packers fan and didn’t notice Cobb’s contributions, you were living in a cave somewhere.

Ninety-nine percent of the talk, concern and consternation that accompanied the Packers’ tailspin through November was focused on the quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Everyone pointed to his loss, the effects of his loss on the defense and even special teams. The team was falling apart because Rodgers was on the sidelines with a clipboard and headset.

The effects of his injury could surely be measured on the Richter scale, but if you consider how the loss of Randall Cobb affected the offense, one could certainly consider it at least equal to Rodgers’ loss.

When he went down with a severe lower leg injury in the Packers’ sixth game of the season against the Baltimore Ravens, Cobb had already accounted for 29 catches for 378 yards, and two touchdowns.

Rodgers relied heavily on Cobb in all phases of the offense, be it taking a pitch as a running back, catching the sideline screen, or hauling one in while crossing the middle. When he went down, Jarrett Boykin stepped in and played very well. However, he’s a completely different type of player. Cobb’s elusiveness and quickness can’t be replicated and the Packers quarterbacks who struggled so mightily, Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien, might have had more success had Cobb been in the lineup. Matt Flynn did a better job in early December with the miracle wins against the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys, but probably would have also had more success with the caliber of Cobb on the field.

And we all know what happened when Cobb came back against the Bears in Week 17. Though he caught only 2 passes, both went for touchdowns, including the 4th and 8 catch to give the Packers the lead for good and forever bragging rights to

Randall Cobb had nearly 4,000 total yards in just two seasons with the Packers. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Randall Cobb had nearly 4,000 total yards in just two seasons with the Packers.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

another NFC North Division title.

While the Packers are considering moving Cobb from the slot to the outside more often, management must also be considering how to move on extending this guy’s contract. Cobb becomes a free agent after the 2014 season, and now is the time that the Packers usually step in to re-sign their own before they reach the end of their contract. They have done it with several players through the years. Cobb should be the next player in the Packers’ crosshairs.

Because if there’s a single player who has proven his worth to the franchise over the past three years, in addition to Aaron Rodgers, it’s Randall Cobb.

Next Packers Game View full schedule »
Friday, Aug 2222 Aug7:00Oakland RaidersBuy Tickets

Tags: Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Randall Cobb

  • Robert Cutlip

    very true Ray but we need more hits on the defensive side of the ball. I understand drafting the BAP on the offensive side of the ball as it is easier to put offensive play makers in a MM scheme easier the the job DC has to teach a defensive scheme to first or second year players.
    yes, some have not panned out on the defensive side of the ball but offenses are fluid while defenses have to be reactionary in this game of cat and mouse we have today. With the salary cap, where do we fit an elite QB, 2 WRs and still have money to build a Ravens or SF type of defense? Lets find solutions to the obvious problems, not create more with second guessing without any productive answers. I have faith our window is still wide open for 5-6 years.
    Robert Cutlip

    • RayRivard

      I like your optimism, Robert. Your questions are interesting, especially the “where do we fit an elite QB, 2 WRs and still have money to build a Ravens or SF type of defense?” Maybe we need to look toward the Ravens and Niners and see how they do it? SF and Seattle are in the championship game for a reason … many reasons, in fact. The Packers don’t have the answers to every question, but they need to do a better job of watching what others have been doing. The Draft and Develop mantra isn’t the only way to do things.

      • Ryan Spinelli

        Seattle and San Francisco both have great Qb’s on rookie contracts… It is easy to spend huge dollars on defense when your Number 1 offensive player is making less than a mill a year… They will eventually have to pay those guys and sacrifice some big time talent on defense to do so… The Packers need defense badly and will have to do so by drafting well and maybe getting lucky by landing a free agent or two at a reasonable price… The Niners and Hawks will be in the same postion very soon….

      • JaKa

        Doesn’t it seem like only a few years ago, (the end of Favres era & start of AR’s era) other teams were looking to Green Bay for answers like this, when now, the team seems “incomplete” in a few areas, such as both lines, linebackers, and perhaps some sort of cash management. I’ve heard the “13 Packers were the highest paid team in the NFL, and even if it’s just the top 5 or near, it seems like we were ‘ripped off’ for our money on that count.

        Rodgers was banged around more than any other time I can remember since the pre Ron Wolf years, as far as I could see. This played into his injury and if continued lacking as much as it has dropped down to, it will have an impact on his football (12) lifespan. On the other side of the ball, the Pack’s pass rush seemed to go from poor to non-existent, almost. Between both lines, drafting from the 2nd or 3rd round on down needs to be primarily in finding that protection and red-dogging ability on either side. The 1st round or two could be used for the skill players, and it seems no 1st or 2nd rounders are on the line anymore.

        • RayRivard

          JaKa … I love your insight and seemingly strong sense of the history of football. Your comments hit the nail on the head. I’m wondering … might you be interested in writing for Lombardiave? It doesn’t pay much … ahahhaha … heck, it doesn’t pay at all, but I’m an easy boss, too. I let guys pretty much write what they like (though I do edit) and let their feelings flow and the requirements for numbers of posts are pretty lax … heck, there aren’t any – though I like to see a post at least once per week from the guys on our staff.

          Just wanted to throw it out there in case you have any interest. We have a great group of guys who gather here and we have a blast writing for and interacting with our readers, whose numbers continue to grow and grow.

          Let me know if you have any interest – and if not, just keep interacting. We love it because we’re all Packers fans – the best team on the planet!


  • JaKa

    I’d be the fool to argue with that..So many times, articles are incomplete, inaccurate, or even have information or stats dead wrong. You hit the nail on the head, partner. On a scale of 1 to 100, both of these guys rank the upper 90′s. Guys like Cobb will sit on the bench for 3 1/2 quarters, then come out and pick up 125 yards and maybe 1 or 2 TD’s. Not only does that help the team for the 1st down, or touchdown, but puts “Momentum” in the teams favor. That seems to be the one thing the team needs to Get Going, and I think this team is one of the most impressionable Green Bay ever had, on those terms. This makes Cobb’s value even higher than whats seen in yards gained or points. Between Cobb and Lacy we have two guys beyond human, and a couple more on their way up there, Hint: CM..

    • MNPackAttack

      I think you could put Aaron Rodgers in that “beyond human” club. Losing Cobb hurt the Packers a lot this season as did losing Aaron Rodgers at QB. I really hope they can figure out how to build a better defense through the draft as well as a little, smart free agency spending. The offense is too good to be let down by bad defensive play. Go Pack!

      • JaKa

        You’re absolutely right about Rodgers capabilities, but the door isn’t closed yet, and there’s records Favre has that Rodgers won’t have enough time to compete in, due to Favre’s starting games at an earlier age. Consecutive games without missing comes into my mind to begin with, then I have to admit, I knew Bart Starr’s states better than Favre’s, when I was young, had time… but there are some things like QB rating numbers he has Favre beat in, that will stand. They both are in the same league above the rest, with Bart, who had the best knack to win big games, even with less to start. That old team played way over their heads every week almost. When they lost, they were not blown away either, but fought until the gun went off.

        The factor that can’t be measured; “getting psyched” is a topic I studied for nearly 50 years, which plays along with metaphysics and even theology, or beliefs, which Rodgers needs to “get going” many times. We pick up a fumble or pick a pass off, “Hype” and “Psyche” playing around in 12′s head, so he goes out and bang, bang bang, a 6 yd. pass, 16, and 11 yards, all 1,2,3 for the team to get smelling the red zone. Now, they see they “can do” and that plays into No Stopping Us Now folks, the show is on. Some commentators have labeled this phenomenon “momentum” and I describe it as above. No matter how you cook an egg it’s still an egg. That is a gift they both had Favre & Rodgers, but nobody had it like Starr.& Co.

        If there’s one thing MM is doing wrong, God Bless him for all he’s done with this team, it is this: We all noticed some teams have shut down our passing game somewhat, to good. The good ones who leave 12 standing there shaking his foot up & down 650 mph, looking down the corps. all covered, when he’s protected that long. That is when we need to make change. They have the routes down good. The film study defensive efforts have it down, so they give it to the D backfield and Linebackers who might wind up in coverage. It looks like we have an old stale bunch of routes that can be covered like a blanket. Right then and there, adjustments would put the Pack back in control of the game. Perhaps calling a new set of routes for certain positions only? Tow out of three guys differ on their routes? I don’t know I am not a genius on routes. but Coach MM is. Help at that point of attack is needed, and he is the guy to make sure things happen.

        The biggest worry on AR now is protection, like I said last year, it looks like he’s going to get hurt, and he did a good job at that. If they don’t get some remarkable help on the line, I can’t even get my fingers to say it, folks. We are doomed. On the other hand, a couple of talented, never die helpers on the line and we might have a non-stop machine. If Brett Favre had to play on this years team, he would have gone down injured too. Last year (2012) 12 got slapped around somewhat, and this year (2013) 12 got knocked around good, which is a step away from beat up the worst he could get. I think most would agree it wasn’t the worst protection, but for a 13$ mil. man, it was not adequate at all. All of Holmgrans teams in Green Bay gave better protection than Aaron has endured, and that will hurt his life expectancy in the NFL, if they do not fix it fast.

        Aaron Rodgers does play like he’s from another world, but, like I said, they must protect the investment better, so look for the meat & potatoes guys all over 330 and all over 6′ 4″ to make this years draft. They are just as important as a QB or receiver is. You see the drop off in production if you do not have them in place very well.