Randall Cobb Provides Positives in Loss

By Evan Ream
Jeff Hanisch – US Presswire

If there was one bright spot to the Green Bay Packers’ opening-day loss to the San Francisco 49ers, it was the play of second-year wide receiver Randall Cobb.

Cobb, who had a game-high 9 receptions for 77 yards, was deployed in multiple spots by coach Mike McCarthy, creating a multitude of problems for perhaps the best defense in the NFL.

In his short career Cobb has been mostly a slot receiver, and a good one at that, but the Packers showed some signs of what should be the norm this season by deploying Cobb in the backfield in passing situations.

Because he started out in the backfield, the 49ers were forced to cover Cobb with linebackers that can’t match the speed that he has in the open field.

So often last year defenses played prevent against the Packers, taking away their deep threats and forcing them to take what was given to them beneath. Last year the Packers had no way to take advantage of it with their mediocre running backs and the aging Donald Driver as the slot receiver.

Now, defenses will be forced to keep a player, possibly two, on Cobb as he comes out of the backfield. Though he only ran two different routes (an in and an out) in the last game, the possibilities of what he could do are endless – I wouldn’t be surprised to see him getting a few carries a game like Percy Harvin has been known to do in Minnesota.

Furthermore, Cobb is the first difference maker that the Packers have had in the return game since (the 1996 version, not the 1999 version). Against the 49ers Cobb scored on a controversial punt return. No Packer has even threatened to do this consistently in over a decade.

Cobb will provide a much-needed boost to this year’s Packers squad, and hopefully they will be able to take advantage of the potential that he provides.

Follow Evan on twitter @EvanReam

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