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
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.