The Lass Word: Cobb Hopes for a Happy Ending

Veteran leader intends to finish strong.

Amidst all the young rookie draft picks, street free agents and roster hopefuls at the Packers’ OTA workouts, it’s hard to miss the guy wearing that familiar number 18 jersey.  Hustling hard, running routes, setting an example. 

Randall Cobb doesn’t have to be here.  Several of his veteran teammates are not.  This portion of offseason workouts is voluntary.  When a reporter asked him why he’s here, he simply stated “because I want to be here”.   

Yes, he does. He actually wants to be here.  He’s one of those players for whom football is more than just an occupation.  It’s a passion.  A lifelong love.  He treasures every minute.  “I love playing football” he said this week.  “I know that I can’t play forever and I know that time is dwindling, and I’m just trying to savor the last little bit, all of it, as much as I can.” 

Cobb knows the score.  He will turn 32 years old this season.  He’s not as fast or as quick as he used to be.  General Manager Brian Gutekunst confirmed last year that Cobb owes his presence on the team to the insistence of his close friend Aaron Rodgers.  Cobb doesn’t apologize for that, nor should he.  But with the arrival of a trio of drafted receivers, combined with the signing of veteran Sammy Watkins, Cobb knows this is likely his last dance, at least with the Packers, a team he loves and couldn’t wait to rejoin after short stays with the Cowboys and Texans.  In fact, he agreed to a salary cut of over five million dollars to come back for this campaign. 

He intends to make the most of it, and there’s a decent chance he can do just that.  You can make the argument that, at the present time, Cobb is the team’s number one receiver.  Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are gone, Allen Lazard has never been a number one and hasn’t signed his contract yet, no one knows what Watkins can bring to the table, or if he can stay healthy, and Amari Rodgers has barely seen the football after one season.  The Packers are going to need Cobb’s eleven years of experience.  They are going to have to depend on his knack for making the key play when it is most needed.   

They are also expecting Cobb to be an effective mentor for the young guys, a role he is already showing in OTAs that he embraces.  “I make sure that I continue to push myself and to work hard and to make sure that I am creating the standard.  I think that’s the most important thing for myself as to why I’m here, is to create that standard for the young guys coming in so they know what’s expected and how we do things.” 

The rookies are taking notice.  Cobb says, from what he has observed, second round pick Christian Watson “has all the tools”, and now just needs to refine them.  He told Watson that becoming a polished pro receiver is a process and requires patience as well as hard work. 

Those qualities have served Cobb well during a career that has manufactured some of the sweetest memories of the past two decades for fans of the Green and Gold.  My two favorites are his 108 yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Saints in 2011, his very first game as a Packer.  It was a franchise record.  And catching that fourth down 48 yard TD bomb from Rodgers in the final minute to knock the Bears out of the playoffs in 2013. I still laugh at loud when I remember how that play stunned and silenced a sellout crowd at Soldier Field 

He is a sure-fire future inductee to the Packers Hall of Fame.  His highlight plays may be behind him, but his ability to come through in the clutch is very much alive.  Cobb caught just 28 passes last season, having missed five games with a core muscle injury.  Yet, 21 of those 28 receptions resulted in a first down.  Five of them were touchdowns.  Despite having lost a step, he still averaged over 13 yards per catch.  Aaron Rodgers may be counting on him more than ever when it’s third and ten. 

That would be more than okay with number 18, whose fire and motor still run as hot as they did back in 2011 when he stepped on to Lambeau Field for the first time.  You can still see it in the OTAs of the past week.  “Come out every day, not just show up and be here” he said after one of the workouts.  “Excel and push each other as a group.  The more that we are connected together and the more that we play for each other, the more it’s going to mean in the end.” 

If 2022 is the end for Randall Cobb, here’s hoping he goes out with a ring on his finger. 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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6 points

Comments (26)

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stockholder's picture

May 27, 2022 at 06:22 am

Very nice! I hope he can go out with a ring.

11 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 27, 2022 at 10:19 am

Yes, Cobb...glad you are enjoying the moments and willing to grind to be the best you can be. I have always appreciated his fire in the belly and I know he loves/respects the game. Reason is he truly seems to wear some of his emotions on his sleeve and that he cares...I have seen this at pressers after a difficult game or loss.

He seems like a class act and I hope he can write the narrative on his final chapters of being a Packer (the health Gods, please shine down on him). I was at the game when he returned the kickoff for a TD. The crowd and Packer sideline went nutz! Yes, a ST + for the game!

Yep, what a moment when da Bears went down on that play! JPeppers gets blocked just enough and Aaron sees him and throws a great ball (it only seemed to stay in the air FOREVER)...TD! Then, like you said Ken, SILENCE..."there is your dagger!"

Go Cobb Go!

9 points
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croatpackfan's picture

May 27, 2022 at 08:01 am

Well Julius was slowed down by smart read from John Kuhn. I remember, John saw what is going on and sprint to the left side of the OL just on time to fall in front of Julius legs to knock him down and allow AR to make that throw. That was really amazing moment for several reasons...

I believe it was 4th and 7 at 47 seconds to the end of the game and TD was for 47 yards!

4 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 27, 2022 at 08:02 am

Exactly! It seems like Kuhn and Cobb are from the same mold. They knew/know their role, accept it and then give it all they have!

Much respect for them and like you said, Kuhn gets j-u-s-t enough of Peppers. Peppers probably thought after the game, if I can't beat the Pack...I mine as well join them. And he did!

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 27, 2022 at 03:29 pm

The World needs Fullbacks for the very same reason.

0 points
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ricky's picture

May 27, 2022 at 07:01 am

Consummate professional. Class individual. Definitely the definition of "Packer people".

11 points
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greengold's picture

May 27, 2022 at 07:49 am

Exactly. Good guy to have around, especially with this group of 4 young WRs on board from the last 2 drafts. What a mentor, and good reason to keep 7 WR this season. More than half our WR Room needs that kind of mentoring Cobb provides.

When he first left in FA, I felt sad that he didn’t get his ring. Maybe he will this year…

Cobb is an example of a rookie WR who had immediate success, with minimal use walking into a vet WR Room. 31 Targets, 25 rec, 15 YPR, 15 1Ds, 1 TD and an 80% Catch%, 12.1 YPT.

7 points
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Tingham's picture

May 27, 2022 at 11:07 am

Also. A 108 yard killer kick return for a TD!

1 points
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packanimal's picture

May 27, 2022 at 07:09 am

You mention Cobb producing "some of the sweetest memories" for Packers fans. Here's mine (9 minutes into the video), a 75-yard TD to finish a historic comeback in 2018 to beat the Bears:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6OATIupK34

5 points
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mrtundra's picture

May 27, 2022 at 07:56 am

How sweet it was! My other Cobb favorite was also against the Bears. John Kuuuuuuuhn blocks Julius Peppers' bull rush and Rodgers hits a wide open Cobb downfield, who scores a TD to win the game and send us into the playoffs. Love me that Cobb fella! Listening to Larry McCarren screaming "HE'S GOT COBB!!! was the icing on the cake! https://youtu.be/YXq8C5sbRzU

2 points
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BradHTX's picture

May 27, 2022 at 09:02 am

2:51:00

“NO, NO! IT’S COBB AGAIN! IT’S RANDALL COBB AGAIN. I’M GONNA CRY!”

All time great moment in internet history, right there.

3 points
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greengold's picture

May 27, 2022 at 09:07 am

Standing Ovation, Brad.

0 points
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stinkycheesehead's picture

May 27, 2022 at 07:16 am

One of my favorites "corn on the" cobb, can still be a valuable asset for our team this year, he's like an older car with lots of miles,use him sparingly but don't drive the wheels off him!

1 points
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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 27, 2022 at 08:00 am

Yes Stinky, I like Cobb being at OTAs...gives him a chance to knock some rust off the chassis. :)

Wheels up!

0 points
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Savage57's picture

May 27, 2022 at 07:58 am

Stay healthy and enjoy the ride, 18.

5 points
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Matt Gonzales's picture

May 27, 2022 at 08:52 am

Cobb has always been one of my favorite Packers. He always showed up on those big moments.

He may not have the speed he did and durability has been a concern in the back half of his career, but it seems like he is just uncoverable catching balls in traffic.

It would be incredibly fitting for him to finish this year with a walk off TD in the Superbowl.

1 points
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Lphill's picture

May 27, 2022 at 09:34 am

Cobb is a Green Bay Packer for life, class act all the way!

2 points
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Packers0808's picture

May 27, 2022 at 09:43 am

Hope the career IF done this year is very special and fruitful for MR Cobb. My guess he will if not injured have a big year with the new crop of receivers!

1 points
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Roadrunner23's picture

May 27, 2022 at 10:15 am

The WR room needs great leaders more now than ever.
Love #18

2 points
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

May 27, 2022 at 10:47 am

Cobb has been a class act both on and off the field during his entire career. He is simply the kind of Green Bay Packers player that you love to pull for. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are among the outstanding role models for on and off the field. It would be great to see Cobb's career end as a Green Bay Packer and holding the Lombardi Trohpy on the front page of the Press Gazzette.

3 points
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JerseyCheese's picture

May 27, 2022 at 11:06 am

Pause...

0 points
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Johnblood27's picture

May 27, 2022 at 02:26 pm

I think Eugene Robinson was also looking for a happy ending with Atlanta before the Super Bowl...

Cobb needs to stay healthy or his best chance would be an ATM and a buddy trip with Robert Kraft.

1 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

May 27, 2022 at 02:41 pm

I wondered who was going to go there.... ;-)

1 points
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Johnblood27's picture

May 27, 2022 at 04:18 pm

;-)

0 points
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greengold's picture

May 27, 2022 at 10:47 pm

No shit. Like, “Wait for it…”

0 points
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HarryHodag's picture

May 28, 2022 at 09:39 am

Cobb has done great things with Green Bay, just not lately.

With the DeShaun Watson situation in the news I wonder if the headline for this story could be edited?

0 points
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