Green Bay Packers: Randall Cobb returning punts a great thing

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8: Randall Cobb
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8: Randall Cobb /

Randall Cobb is a football player. A complete player whose experience with the Green Bay Packers is steeped in the return game.

He knows that, and he made it clear today that he’s very interested in getting back into that segment of the game … that is if he can convince the coaches that he is the man to win the starting punt return job.

Randall Cobb is being given the chance, at least over the course of the first two training camp practices, to field punts with others who are seen as viable candidates for the job.

In addition to Cobb fielding punts this morning were Trevor Davis, Quinten Rollins and Montay Crockett.

But it’s Randall Cobb who is the natural for the job. He’s got the experience and the skill to do so.

He said as much today.

In published reports he is quoted as saying,

"“Punt return has always been a part of who I am as a player. Always been something I’ve wanted to do. I asked about that last year, the year before. I’m going to continue to ask about that. I’m going to do everything I can to be back there.”"

With Micah Hyde gone to Buffalo, the job is wide open. Hyde was as good as they come in fielding and returning punts, but Cobb feels he can be as good, and he’s done it in the past.

Though he has only been given eight opportunities the past two seasons, Cobb argues that his past injury history shouldn’t be a part of the discussion. He mentioned this morning that all the injuries he’s suffered over the course of his career in Green Bay have been while playing receiver, and not while returning punts.

His value to the team in such a role would be sky high.

Most of Cobb’s punt returns came during his first two seasons, 2011 and 2012. He returned one punt for a touchdown his rookie year – that one went for 80 yards. He repeated that in 2012 when he returned one 75 yards.

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After those two seasons, the coaching staff decided to give the job to others so that Randal Cobb could concentrate on being a receiver and staying away from the potential for injury.

That’s always a consideration, but like Cobb says, the injuries can come at any time and at any place on the field. While the potential for injury on special teams is something coaches stay away from with their starters, it’s also a fact of the game.

Why not have your best players in the positions where they excel?

Randall Cobb’s place on the punt team would do just that.

In talking about the potential for returning punts, Cobb is approaching it like the professional he is. He is simply trying to win the job … a job he particularly enjoys.

He talked about the other players who are also competing and why winning the job would be important to him.

GREEN BAY, WI – JANUARY 8: Randall Cobb
GREEN BAY, WI – JANUARY 8: Randall Cobb /

“Trevor [Davis] has done some great things this past year. We’re both competing for a starting job. That’s how I take it. I’m going out there to compete every day to win the starting punt return job.”

To win the job is important to Cobb, who is in his seventh season with the Packers.

“That’s who I am as a player.”

But to be that player, he has to be offered the opportunity.

Will the Packers coaches put him at risk out there when they could put a rookie or second-year player into that position?

It probably will never happen, but if Cobb has anything to say about it, he will be the man.

We’ll see how things play out in camp.

Next: Who makes the Packers 53-man roster?

Randall Cobb career kick and punt returns


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