Randall Cobb, the 22-year-old return specialist out of Kentucky, had quite a remarkable day on the stat sheet in terms of offensive production.
Aside from a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown (something that has become almost standard fare for Cobb), the blazing-fast sophomore hauled in nine receptions for 77 yards.
While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, the manner in which head coach Mike McCarthy schemes to get Cobb his touches is quite incredible.
According to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cobb was on the field for 35 plays—20 in the backfield, 15 split out wide—and was often motioned all over the field.
That figures to continue for the rest of the season, as he is too valuable and dangerous to not be on the field for almost every offensive snap.
The Packers are doing this in order to get the 5’10”, 190-pound player some room to get his legs churning and allow his top-notch speed to be a major factor.
During a Thursday night game to open the 2011-12 season against the New Orleans Saints, in what was his first game ever, Cobb proved that his speed can be a difference-maker by returning a kick for a record-tying 108 yards.
Cobb also proved his value as a receiver during that same contest by scoring on a 32-yard reception in the first quarter.
As it turned out, it was a lucky play. Cobb ran the wrong route and was only used sparingly as a receiver for the rest of the 2011 campaign.
It’s clear that the Packers coaching staff now trusts the versatile and youthful player much more than they did last season.
Cobb’s role with the team now includes catching passes out in the flats, creating mismatches against linebackers in the middle of the field and burning defensive backs that are out of position.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to see him start receiving carries as a running back and possibly even snaps as a quarterback, either.
According to Dunne, Cobb did everything when he was with the Wildcats:
"At Kentucky - playing quarterback, wideout and the wildcat - Cobb threw the ball 122 times, ran it 228 times and had 144 receptions."
As long as Cobb is on the field, he’s a threat to score. He’s an absolute nightmare for defensive coordinators and should always be treated as a big play just waiting to happen.
As of right now, there doesn’t seem to be an answer for the young star, so expect the Packers to keep lining him up all over the field and motioning him into advantageous positions.
Cobb is going to be a major factor on Thursday night against the Chicago Bears, so make sure you tune in to see what he has in store for the NFC North rival.