Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb has shown flashes at Ray Nitschke Field on Sunday, July 31, 2011. / Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette
Green Bay Packers rookie receiver Randall Cobb will do anything for his new team.
He’s willing to block, return punts and kickoffs, hold for field goals, catch passes and cheer on his teammates.
If the veterans ask him to bring them coffee in the morning, he’ll gladly do that too. “I’ll do what I’ve got to do because it’s my duty as a rookie,” said Cobb.
Just name a task and he’s on it.
Cobb has already made his mark after spending just a week in Green Bay.
“Randall’s everything we thought he would be physically, and very bright,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. “He’s bright-eyed, communicates very well and seems to be picking things up pretty rapidly.”
Cobb was one of the stars of the Packers’ first padded practice Monday night. He caught everything thrown at him, including some tough catches over the middle in traffic. He ran precise routes and displayed his speed and burst after the catch.
If early impressions mean anything, Cobb could prove to be yet another one of General Manager Ted Thompson’s draft gems, taken in April in the second round with the 64th overall pick out of Kentucky.
Just three weeks shy of his 21st birthday, Cobb is the youngest player on the Packers’ 86-man roster. But he possesses a maturity far beyond his years.
Not only is he doing the right things on the field, but he’s saying the right things in the locker room.
He’s not worried about a crowded receiving corps and how that could limit his production as a rookie.
“Everybody is just wanting to win and we want to go to another Super Bowl, and that’s what it’s going to take for us to be a family and not be selfish,” Cobb said. “Everybody wants to catch balls, yes, but we’ve got to look at it in the big picture. We want to win a Super Bowl and not worry about who has the most catches at the end of the year.”
That’s a far cry from the give-me-the-ball mentality found in some NFL circles. He appears to be the kind of player every coach dreams of having. But Cobb doesn’t stop there.
He couldn’t help but notice the passion of Packers fans at training camp practices over the weekend. “They seemed excited, so that’s our job to make them happy and excite them so that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said.
Cobb still sounded thrilled three months after getting drafted by the Packers. “I was on Cloud 9, I was the happiest man in the world, it was probably the greatest moment in my life,” he said.
Then he saluted the Packers franchise. “I am fortunate enough to now be part of one of the greatest organizations in the history of the game, of any sport,” he said.
His words sound almost too good to be true, except there isn’t a trace of insincerity in his voice. He seems genuinely humble and down to earth.
In keeping with his penchant for doing the right thing, Cobb met Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers just a week after the draft at the Kentucky Derby.
It was a small gesture, but why not make a connection with the guy who directs the Packers offense?
“We joked around a little bit,” said Cobb of Rodgers. “He’s a great guy and somebody that (I’m) going to enjoy playing with.”
Cobb doesn’t expect to receive any special privileges as a high draft pick.
“I’ve got to earn everything I get here,” he said. “Nothing is given to you.”
Cobb plans to work hard and not worry about his role on the team.
“I show up early and leave late, that’s what it’s going to take for me to learn as much as I can,” he said. “That’s all I’m trying to do right now is making sure I can absorb as much as I can and be ready to go whenever my name is called.”
email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MikeVandermause.