Gannett Wisconsin Media’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who shared his thoughts on Sunday’s Week 6 matchup against the San Diego Chargers at Lambeau Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:25 p.m.:
Each opponent presents its own challenges. What are the challenges you face offensively as you've studied and prepared for the Chargers?
RC: They’re a good defense. They’ve played very tough teams and have had some success. Offensively, it’s just going to be important for us to use Lambeau to our advantage. Playing at home, our communication is usually at a premium. And just being able to take advantage of that and get into the right calls and the right situations and that plays into more opportunities.
The Packers haven’t faced the Chargers — an AFC squad — since 2011. Do you think it’s more advantageous to take on an uncommon opponent? Or do you prefer to go up against a team with which you’re more familiar?
RC: Yeah, you’ve got to put a little bit of extra time in when you’re playing an uncommon opponent. They’re a team we only play once every four years. So when you play a team like that, you really have to be on top of your studying and know the guy you’re playing against — their techniques and their style of play. As far as play calls go, that’s all on the coaching staff. But for players, it's breaking down (opposing) players individually and figuring out what they’re good and bad at.
A lot of the focus this week has been on the offense and the funk it finds itself in right now. Is it a fair criticism given the defenses you’ve faced? What needs to get better moving ahead?
RC: We hold ourselves to a high standard. And when we don’t perform at that high standard — that high level — then we take full responsibility for that. I think it’s fair for whoever wants to criticize, but we really don’t listen to the outside noise, anyway. So if the fans or the media or whoever starts talking, we’re not really worried about what they’re saying. It’s more of what we can correct and what we can get better at and just going out there and making it happen.
Aaron Rodgers said this week he wants to “pick up the tempo” more offensively and that the unit has been “crawling a little bit.” Do you agree? Would a quicker pace provide that spark the offense seems to be searching for right now?
RC: Yeah, I think definitely so. That’s one thing we’ve always been good at here — establishing that tempo and being able to get multiple plays in. I think it comes down to our execution. We want to execute, we want to pick up first downs and not have any lulls and those tempo deficiencies. Like I said, that premium of when we’re at home and we’ll have that communication for us to play at a higher tempo — we have to get back to that.
You’re seeing your share of double teams. How can you counter that to create more space for yourself?
RC: Just continue to work to get open. As the season progresses and as some of the younger guys — Ty Montgomery and Jeff Janis — continue to make plays. (James Jones) is going to make his plays, and when we get Davante Adams back, that’s going to open things up. So as far as me, it’s just continuing to work and find ways to get open even when I’m double covered.
You have a bye next week. How has the team kept that from being a distraction?
RC: It comes down to taking advantage of your opportunities. We’re only guaranteed 16 games, and we can’t take one of those for granted because we have a bye week next week. We want to go into the bye week feeling really good about ourselves and the way we’ve played. And to come up short this last game before the bye — none of us want that. Like I said, preparation is key. As long as we continue to prepare and we’re focused in on what we have to do right now, Sunday will handle itself, and we’ll be ready to go.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCBrettC