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Randall Cobb: This Season "Feels Different" for Packers

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Randall Cobb: This Season "Feels Different" for Packers

The Packers once again find themselves in dire straits at the halfway point of the season. With a 3-4-1 record despite having quarterback Aaron Rodgers under center for all eight of the team's games so far, this is a Packers team that has lost its way and desperately needs to find something, anything, that will light a spark and turn the team around.

The Packers are no strangers to having to come back from slow starts to the season. Just two years ago, the Packers found themselves in a situation in which they had to famously "run the table" to get into the playoffs. They did, and rode the momentum all the way to the NFC Championship game.

So this isn't unfamiliar territory for the team at all. But something just feels "off" about the team this year. And it's not just us as outsiders who think so.


A report from ESPN's Rob Demovsky contains a quote from Randall Cobb that is a bit concerning:

"We've lost games before here, but this just feels different," said Cobb. "And it doesn't feel good. It's not fun. But we've got to figure something out."

This coming directly from someone who is inside the Packers' locker room every single day and can attest to the general mood of his teammates is something that indicates just how lost this Packers team truly is right now. There doesn't seem to be a rallying point right now. The team knows it needs to play better, but where is the catalyst? Who are the leaders on this team that are going to rally the unit and get the Packers out of the hole they've dug themselves into?

The fact that Cobb is saying "this just feels different" than the times the team has come back from adversity could be taken a number of ways. It an admission that this is a worse team? An admission that the team is already starting to lose hope? Is it a veiled shot at the coaching and leadership of the team?

The more this season drags on, the more it really feels like there are going to be some more massive changes in the offseason. and if the second half of the season is anything like the first, those changes will absolutely be warranted.


Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (39) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Packer Dave's picture

The team isn't terrible, they hung in there with Rams and the Pats game was close too.

There is a stale feeling in the air though. I have seen little creativity thus far and that has cost at least two games.

Chuck Farley's picture

This is an avg maybe below avg team.? Pre season I thought 8-8 or 7-9. No play offs. Without rodgers, you don't have much. The run game produces yards, not points. Two pass rushers are what 34 and 33 years old.
Most teams, these would fill in guys.
Receiving core is always banged up.
Lots of dumb penalties. Wasted time outs. This team should have the record it has.

Wilment's picture

Im sure this year seems different for Randall. It's likely his last season with the team...this group is suffering from many years of mediocre drafts, some aging position players, and a lot of young guys being asked a lot. That being said, Gutes first draft looks like its blossoming. The young DBs are looking good, the wide receivers they picked are making some plays AND they can block, and now that the running back trio is a duo, I think they will get better as time goes on. Aaron Rodgers biological clock is ticking though, so if youre gonna win, its got to be soon.

nostradanus's picture

I can honestly say I haven’t enjoyed one game this season. This team has no identity, no swagger, no fun and they are painfully inconsistent and hard to watch (even though I never miss a play)
I’m sure some of you have felt it too. Weird.
It goes like that in team sports for those who have played, it just happens, the old leaders are either gone or have lost the fire in their belly’s.
The good news, new and younger leaders will eventually emerge (MVS , J. Alexander, Clark, Martinez are good candidates) It’s a slow and sometimes painful process to watch as a fan.
Patience is a virtue indeed.
Hang in there my cheesy brethren.
Go Pack!

pacman's picture

This is on Murphy for probably protecting MM from Gute. Murphy should go too and become a playground developer.

Nick Perry's picture

Murphy becoming involved like he has and protecting McCarthy are and were huge issues. Murphy needs to step the F back and let Gute do what a GM needs to do. If he doesn't the Packers are certainly going to be known as the team who WASTED the career of a once in a generation QB and IMO that's EXACTLY what the Packers have done. It also seems to be a growing opinion of just about everybody. Just turn on the TV or listen to the radio to people who aren't associated with the Packers and you'll hear exactly that.

Ron Wolf once said that mid-90's team was like a "fart in the wind" with it's one SB title. Somehow this feels worse. The Packers FAILED to put players around a player who is argued to be the greatest for YEARS but for reasons I don't understand fans seemed SATISFIED for just making the playoffs and you know who you are. Sorry but I'm not one of those guys.

The goal in team sports is win CHAMPIONSHIPS and when you have the most important position in sports being held down by a QB like Rodgers you do EVERYTHING to HELP him be successful. Thompson did nothing AND Murphy stood by and let him do NOTHING. Shame on you Murphy.

Bearmeat's picture

Let's step back and see what they do next, eh?

Look, Rodgers is 35. Brady still is playig pretty darn well at 41. The offensive weapons for next year and beyond (aside from Graham, who has IMO been a waste of cap space) are solid. RT is really the only position that needs immediate attention.

And on D, the DL, ILBs, CBs look solid for years. OLBs and FS needs attention, but what team doesn't have any personnel holes? This is a playoff roster with the ability to get hot and be a super bowl contender if the team gels. Admittedly, it hasn't this year and I don't think it will do so in 2018.

But with a new coaching staff? I think that's very possible. MM is done. He's got to be done. And perhaps (hopefully), Murphy steps back and allows a more traditional Front office-Personnel-Coaching Staff-Player dynamic to come back. We won't know until January.

But there is still time for ARod to win another super bowl or two before he hangs em up. I would be ok with two and happy with three under #12.

Community Guy's picture

not having Jordy is different.. Davante is AR's new security blanket, but the magic between Davante and AR isn't yet at the level of peak Jordy/AR.

also, i think coming from behind, both in the games themselves and in the season, has just become a stressful burden for fans. the 2011 season was fun because the Pack just blew opponents away in several games and went 15-1 and had the number 1 seed.. it was a much less stressful season for Packer Nation.

so, i agree, being a Packer fan these days carries more stress.. especially when the Vikings are playing well!

Gman1976's picture

Jordy isn’t the answer. He wouldn’t make any difference. Look at the Raiders’ record.

Community Guy's picture

and, one more thing: i feel a little uncomfortable putting faith in the young guys.. i too feel like all of the aforementioned guys have been performing well; however, how often have we seen regression, especially in Packers' defenders, after having good rookie and/or second year seasons?? i nervously hope the Jaire Alexanders and Marquez Valdes-Scantlings end up as "second contract guys" who consistently perform more reliably than, say, Nick Perry.. the Packers really need to add longer-term solid talent to their core roster. i want these guys to be All-Pro Packers 5-7 years from now.

The TKstinator's picture

Agreed that the aforementioned players have done well; but in the salary cap era how can a team afford a plethora of talent?

It seems the new blueprint is get a franchise QB on a rookie deal, draft well besides, and fill in the rest of the holes w/FA’s. And once that franchise QB gets to his second contract, you’re going to lose some players, but hopefully in the meantime you’ve drafted well to replace at least some of them.

GB does not fit that profile for several reasons.

(Hey TGR: I want you to know I held back the “p” word in that last sentence. Double dipping is egregious.)

Bearmeat's picture

Is that how Denver did it with Manning? How about Indy with Pey All Day? What about New Orleans with Brees? NYG with Eli?

There are plenty of different ways to win it all. The way GB is going to have to go is a juggernaut passing attack, with a cheap, but effective secondary and pass rush. We're missing the pass rush, but a good rookie and perhaps 1 mid-tier FA can change that.

Perry and CM3 must be gone next year. Burn the pass rush down and start over.

The TKstinator's picture

Of course it’s not the only way. Balt won a SB with Trent Dilfer and a generational defense. No team can ensure a SB no matter what blueprint they have. All they can do is get into contention. After that, health, timing , and luck play a role too, and it is ignorant to think otherwise.

Bearmeat's picture

Who you callin ignorant??? ;)

Look. All I'm saying is that all is not lost. Green Bay still has solid fundamentals. I do think the talent is there in many spots. There's work to do, but they're going to have draft capital and cap space to do it.

I expect them to be right back in it in 2019. With a new coach who will hold QB1 to account. ;)

The TKstinator's picture

Also agreed, amigo!
No ignorance on YOUR part
I think a few “truisms” are actually crap:
Next man up? Hell no! Depth charts are there because as you go deeper, the quality decreases.
“Injuries are no excuse”? Nonsense. Take Arod, Bakhtiari, Alexander, Clark, Martinez off the field and we should expect the same performance and production? No.

If a team comes out and says luck plays a part, they’d be thoroughly mocked, even though we as fans know that luck sure as Hades DOES play a part!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I have enjoyed watching every game this year. We have been in all 8 games for most of each game. Now, watching games in the 1970s and 1980s was a little different and took a different mindset. We'd be out of games early in the first half, and sometimes out of the game before it started, though there was always some hope.

Christopher Gennaro's picture

I agree the games have been a roller coaster, but they haven't laid an egg. The thing for me this year is different, I don't go into the game expecting wins, against teams that well have as much or more talent. Right we are the middle of the pack team, but if they can figure out to right the ship, they will make the playoffs. Oh yeah on a side note I"m coming for you in ACME weekly NFL picks., or at least I hope.

dobber's picture

" agree the games have been a roller coaster, but they haven't laid an egg."

...except against Washington...
...oh, and Detroit...

jasonperone's picture

This here is exactly why that "Reversal" win over the Bears was so huge. It was the first big win I ever experienced with the Packers. Since then, I've been showered with moments like and far better than that.

I can agree that we've become accustomed (some say "spoiled") to winning football by the Packers for nearly 30 years now. Seasons like this one are hard to watch at times, even for those of us who have the perspective of how bad those 70's and 80's were. I have spent a lot more thought on what life after effective Rodgers and McCarthy will be like over the past few months than I have in a long, long time. How soon will that be?

Packer Fan's picture

This season is becoming similar to 1999 when Ray Rhodes was coach. The season started OK with some dramatic comebacks by Favre. Then they fell apart and ended up 8-8. I remember Ron Wolf saying things were going OK, then he went on a recruiting trip and when he returned, things weren't good. It was coaching then. I just don't know.

Den's picture

Without Jordy Nelson the Packers are not the same exciting, fun loving team they once were. Letting him go was a mistake. He may have lost a step but he can still cover more ground than Graham and his YAC sprints were awesome.

He was a devoted player and GB fan who provided valuable motivation and inspiration. His connection with Rodgers was unmatched.

They could have kept him for almost nothing and even if he played fewer snaps, he would have had a great influence on the rookie receivers.

So Cobb is right... the season definitely feels different without Jordy Nelson

Savage57's picture

I was going to post similar sentiments. I'll refrain from being redundant.

What I will add, was this niggling question in the back of my mind all season: What if the Packers problems can be traced to nothing more complicated than the decision to jettison Jordy Nelson?

I know he doesn't rush the passer, stonewall a blitzer, or play safety, but what if all that's been the difference between 3-4-1 and 5-3, or 6-2, were those half-dozen plays Jordy could be counted on making every game? ESPECIALLY the one's in the red zone, where it counts.

dobber's picture

Oakland has been bad, but with the exception of 1 game, Nelson has looked slow and underwhelming.

If you want him back, I'm sure he'll be back on the street after the season ends. I wouldn't hold my breath, though.

Gman1976's picture

We have seen it time and time again in sports: Losing teams find a way to lose. With our beloved Pack, we have a core of good players, but “not enough horses to finish the race” since we have some aging players who are slowing down, but starting, some injured players (again!), and some coaches who don’t make a difference in the game (This comes from a guy who has not wanted to replace the head coach, but now believes we need to do so after seeing the offense grow stale, seeing play calling that fails time and time again, and seeing the mistakes that are not cleaned up). It’s painful to watch this team, but see how the Saints have come along after making some good changes? It may take a year or two if we can keep this defensive coordinator, but this team is not far from contending.

Mvlc1's picture

If we struggle against Miami this weekend, win or lose, then I can only concede to a 6-9-1 record and relegated to the North's basement. Then a coaching whole sale, sans Pentine, 45 million+ in cap space for free agency, and in the top 10 of the first round. Already looking forward to 2019...

Mvlc1's picture

If we struggle against Miami this weekend, win or lose, then I can only concede to a 6-9-1 record and relegated to the North's basement. Then a coaching whole sale, sans Pentine, 45 million+ in cap space for free agency, and in the top 10 of the first round. Already looking forward to 2019...

DD's picture

Cobb is not dependable, can't get open, and lacks quickness in routes. So for him to not feel good about the season? Look in the mirror and start performing! Jordy still would have had a much better connection in needed play and catches then Cobb. Big mistake by Guteball.

Demon's picture

Why all the love for jordy? The man was done! Can anyone really think that he would make any difference this season? What is it like to live on fantasy island?

The TKstinator's picture

The plane!
The plane!

DD's picture

Many comments ferl Jordy should have been kept and I agree. Jordy and Rodgers just felt each other on plays. Cobb doesnt. Guteball blew it I feel.

DD's picture

Cobb lost, Packers lost, MM lost. Our team lacks attitude and support for each other. The sideline, even on a good play show zero enthusiasm and emotion. Without excitement for each other as a team you have nothing but losers and lack of confidence. This is a direct reflection on the head coach who is stale and inspires no one, especially the TEAM. A CHANGE must be made. If we play lousy or lose to the fins, then get the tar and feathers ready for MM. If we do happen to lose MM must, MUST be fired the next day period.

LeotisHarris's picture

Al? Corey? Nagler? If you're paying attention the next CHTV contributing writer is right here under your nose in DD. Please don't let this wordsmith slip away.

ILPackerBacker's picture

A large part of the struggles this year are due to the 'play it safe' mentality of the entire packer organization.

In retrospect it seems clear that Thompson had a medical issue going back prior to the infamous drool shot. It was covered up and ignored. What happens if the director cuts that shot or never puts it up?

In game the same thing. Cobb is safe and so he plays. Tramon is safe so he returns punts and starts at CB. But what is the upside of Cobb? What is the upside of Tramon at CB or as a punt returner.

Did tramon as punt returner help or hurt v the rams or any team in fact?

Did Cobb make a single great play all season or a series of meh plays with one outstanding throw by Rodgers getting him a long TD while being run down by pink floyd and mack the knife.

It takes injury to get better players on the field in green bay and that has been true a long time.

Demon's picture

In retrospect it seems clear that Thompson had a medical issue going back prior to the infamous drool shot. It was covered up and ignored. What happens if the director cuts that shot or never puts it up?

That one camera shot explained a lot of the personnel decisions TT made.

Golden Retriever's picture

I agree about the likelihood of Ted Thompson having a medical condition that interefered with his ability to do his job effectively. Why Mark Murphy didn’t recognize this fact is beyond my comprehension. Was it willful blindness? Inattention? I wonder if TT doesn’t have Parkinson’s or some other neurological disorder. Maybe CTE? It’s very sad. And the fact that he has been put on the fast track to the Packers HOF tells me that his decline must be rapid.

God bless him.

dobber's picture

IF, in truth, TT had some kind of medical condition, keep in mind that there's a plethora of neuromuscular and neurodegenerative conditions that do not diminish one's mental capacity.

It's time to move on.

stockholder's picture

I'll tell you exactly why Cobb has a different feeling. The biggest is the Packers are not going to sign their Free Agents to big Money. And they Know that this will be the last year their together. Dix and Monty - Gone. Cobb, Kendricks, and Cmlll, will get more money someplace else like nelson. When a rookie comes in and outplays the vet. It signals the end for others. Yellow flags? This team has a warning attached. Shape up or your gone. They liked Whitehead at the start of the season. He's gone! The pressure cooker is on. A-Rods play is also questionable. Mental fatigue is now showing. The game is not fun when the business side wrecks friendships. Change is happening. And some like Nick Perry and Bulaga know their next. It's now going to be interesting who can handle it and whom can't.

Point Packer's picture

Why Mike McCarthy was brought back this year is beyond me. Mark Murphy should be held accountable for such stupidity. Fire McCarthy. Replace Mark Murphy.

rstain99's picture

Things have been on downward turn since beatdown in Denver few years back they exposed the packers. Guys can't get ope, the offense line can only block so long AR seems to hold on to ball lot longer waiting for them to get open. Why they can't run Pats offense quick short routes Brady never gets hit. AR can survive this way

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"The Bears still suck!"
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."