Green Bay Packers: Why Randall Cobb Is Vital to 2012 Success

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Green Bay Packers: Why Randall Cobb Is Vital to 2012 Success
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb

Randall Cobb made his presence known in 2011 during the Green Bay Packers' Week 1 victory against the Saints, tying an NFL record with an impressive 108-yard kick return.

Cobb also added a 32-yard touchdown reception in his rookie debut.

The Packers have had a quiet offseason thus far, only adding former Colt Jeff Saturday and cutting ties with starting running back Ryan Grant.

Grant, 29, was limited by injuries the past few seasons, and he missed almost all of the Packers' championship run after a Week 1 injury.

With the loss of Grant, the Packers' already-ineffective running game will cease to be a factor in the upcoming 2012 season, requiring more potency from the passing game.

The Packers are loaded with talent at the receiver position, which should prove to be an all-out war during training camp and preseason action, as players fight for jobs.

One of Cobb’s biggest battles this year will be getting on the field. He has the talent and would be a perfect fit next to fellow stand-out receivers Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson.

But receiver James Jones and tight end Jermichael Finley can’t be counted out, either.

Don’t forget about Tom Crabtree, Andrew Quarless and Brandon Saine, who all saw action on the field at some point during the 2011 season.

“If you know someone is pushing you from behind trying to take your job, especially in this kind of environment, it’s going to make you work harder,” Nelson said to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Randall Cobb break-out against the Saints

The Pack may be looking to cut ties with newly crowned Dancing with the Stars champion Donald Driver, allowing Cobb to enter at the slot position.  However, there are no definite plans to cut the 37-year-old longtime Packer, and his recent publicity on Stars could earn Driver one final season with the Packers.

 

Packers General Manager Ted Thompson has been reluctant to keep aging players on the roster, famously trading Packers legendary quarterback Brett Favre to the New York Jets in 2008 when Favre decided to end his short-lived retirement and rejoin the team.

Last season Cobb was bothered by injuries before the season even started, and after his big game against the Saints, really seemed unable to contribute significantly. This could be important going forward as any significant injury could cause Cobb to be passed over, given the Packers' young, competitive roster.

Future production could be directly tied to Cobb’s injury concerns. Regardless, Cobb is by far the most talented kick-returner on the Packers roster, and will definitely drive opposing special teams coaches crazy. If he sees limited action at wide receiver, he definitely has a chance to build on his success as a talented kick returner.

Cobb is young, and will only get better with additional opportunities. He appears to be a nice fit in the Packers fast, pass-first offense and will look to turn heads as he did in the 2011 season.

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