Randall Cobb -- the elder statesman -- working through changes in Packers' offense

-- Some parts of the Green Bay Packers' roster was just a little banged up during the course of the offseason.

Randall Cobb was one of the few players who underwent surgery in the spring -- albeit minor -- to rid any lingering ailment in preparation for the upcoming season.

"I had surgery six weeks ago," Cobb said after Friday's practice, according to Michael Cohen of The Athletic. "Nothing invasive. They went in and pretty much just removed a piece of cartilage that was giving me some problems. Obviously not that big of a deal. But feeling a lot better than I did before."

Cobb was spotted at an airport early last month in a walking boot, describing it as "temporary," which is exactly what it was. He hosted his youth football camp last week and was no longer wearing the boot.

As the elder statesman of the Packers' young wide receiver unit, it's almost vital that Cobb enters the season at full capacity. Opting for surgery in hopes of getting himself back to normal without the hindrance of discomfort in his ankle seemed almost like a no-brainer.

"I started feeling a lot through OTAs, but after, we went back and looked," Cobb said. "I had a scan on it last year during OTAs, so I don’t know if it was something that was lingering from then or not, but it didn’t show anything on my MRI or my X-ray, but obviously I was feeling something, so we took care of it."

Both on and off the field, Cobb's role on the team increased tenfold this offseason when the team chose to part ways with longtime receiver Jordy Nelson. Cobb, 27 and turning 28 in three weeks, is now tasked with the job of filling in as something of a mentor.

If there was ever a realistic expectation that Cobb would be eased into training camp after undergoing surgery a little over a month ago, it didn't take long for him to turn that expectation into something of a myth.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers' first pass of training camp on Thursday was a deep shot for -- you guessed it -- Cobb, who was blanketed by second-year cornerback Kevin King.

While both came down with the ball simultaneously and would probably dispute the call in their favor, it was not only a thrilling way to kick off the first practice of the summer but a sign that confidence in Cobb's health and maneuverability haven't wavered.

Between J'Mon Moore, Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Packers need to figure out what they have in their depth behind Cobb, Geronimo Allison -- the presumed opposite perimeter starter -- and Davante Adams, the No. 1 of the group, and entering his eighth season, Cobb gets to have a role in that.

"I feel like that was just yesterday," Cobb said of his time as the youngest of the Packers' receivers. "I had a lot of veterans to lean on and a lot of veterans to watch and see how they carry themselves. See how they perform as pros, in the weight room, in the classroom, on the football field. Just being able to learn and pick up on all those little different things I think definitely helped my career."

Drafted by the Packers in the second round in 2011, Cobb was successfully plugged into an offense engineered by Joe Philbin, then in his final year as the team's offensive coordinator.

This time around, coach Mike McCarthy sought out Philbin once more and brought him back to Green Bay where he spent five seasons (2007-2011).

All three of the aforementioned rookie receivers need to formulate some kind of rapport with Rodgers under the circumstances of learning an entirely new offense at the professional level if they're hopeful of steadily contributing throughout the season.

"We’ve changed up some things schematically, but the overview is the same thing. It’s continuing to build trust and chemistry with Aaron [Rodgers] and continuing to get on the same page with him.

"It’s all about that chemistry and continuing to talk through things. Year-to-year, things change. We try to work through different changes and make sure we’re all on the same page."

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (8)

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Bearmeat's picture

July 28, 2018 at 12:59 pm

I hope they have some substantial schematic changes in the route concepts. The last 3 years, ARod has had to hold the ball FAR too long.

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4thand1's picture

July 28, 2018 at 01:00 pm

Elder statesman, I'm more than twice his age. When he can sign up for an AARP card, then he's an elder statesman. Oh to be 28 again. I gotta get outa this chair, limp down the stairs and piss for the 7th time today.

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GBPDAN1's picture

July 29, 2018 at 12:39 pm

I'm glad Cobb's surgery didn't impact his training camp as first speculated last month. Obviously, with only 2 WRs with extensive experience of playing the position, losing one of them would be undesirable.

On a separate note; the NFL network has been on location at Lambeau field the last 2 days and it's been fun watching the Green and Gold practicing. Can't wait for the first preseason game- in less than 2 weeks- to get a feel for the young players on the roster and to get a taste of Packers football.

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DD's picture

July 29, 2018 at 10:17 am

MM changing schemes? We'll see. I doubt this. As far as Cobb? Should have kept Jordy for the slot position!! Ask Carr how Jordy is. Big mistake by Gute! Foolish Packers will be searching all season and fans should be pissed. I'm still not over it obvisouly.

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DragonSilk's picture

July 29, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Hello everyone! My 1st post here. I love what Cobb brings to the offense when healthy. The emergence of Davante and addition of Graham is going to give him lots of opportunities. I can see the three of them accounting for 50 TD's. If we are blessed with good health the 2018 offense will be unstoppable!

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Spock's picture

July 30, 2018 at 09:33 am

DragonSilk, Welcome to the comments section. Since I see you already have both likes and a dislike you should fit right in. :)

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GBPDAN1's picture

July 29, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Welcome, DragonSilk. I'm excited also, but 50 TDs? I hope so. That would mean Rodgers would have around 60 TDs factoring other receivers and RBS. Wow

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KamThomps's picture

July 29, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Some of those TD's would be rushing, so if Rodgers can throw for 50 (and I sure think he can), then why not? Just don't leave Allison out of this. He is going to be a menace.

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