Randall Cobb: On us as players to execute
Gannett Wisconsin Media's Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who looked ahead to Sunday's Week 9 matchup against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.:
What's the scouting report on Carolina?
RC: They're a great team. Their record shows that. They're 7-0, coming off a tough win (against the Colts on Monday night). But they're a really good defense. They have a lot of great playmakers. (Linebacker) Luke Kuechly in the middle, he's a great leader, and you can see how his energy affects the team. They have some veteran corners that are playing really well in (Charles) "Peanut" Tillman and (Josh) Norman – those are really good players. They're definitely going to be another challenge for us this week. But that's the best thing about the regular season: You always have another game to get better.
The Panthers' secondary is led by cornerback Josh Norman, who has returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns and is tied for the league lead with 16 passes defensed. Veteran corner Charles Tillman is also playing well in his first season with the Panthers. And veteran safety Roman Harper is coming off a big game in Monday night's win over the Colts. Without revealing anything schematically, how do you attack and have success against that group?
RC: That's on our coaching staff to come up with a game plan. And that's on us as players to go out and execute. As our coaching staff prepares this week, I'm sure they're coming up with a great game plan. And it's going to be up to us to prepare this week and go out and execute on Sunday.
Carolina is ranked 10th in the league in total defense, marking the fifth time this season you'll be matched against a defense that's currently ranked in the top 10. How much of a mental grind has it been for you as an offense to continuously prepare for the challenge of facing those units?
RC: Yeah, we've played some really good defenses that have thrown some different things at us. We're just trying to overcome and trying to find a way to win. … We did that six weeks straight (to open the season), so just getting back on track with that and finding a way to win, establishing that running game and establishing our tempo early in the game. And then just building off of that.
Mike McCarthy said earlier this week this current stretch of games on your schedule is "difficult" but "what you need as a football team." What does he mean by that?
RC: I really don't know what he means (chuckling). I'm sure he'll probably tell us in the team meeting this week. But it definitely is one of those tough stretches that you go on. In November and December, we already know what kind of football team we are, but we'll kind of get that feel of who we're becoming over this next stretch of games.
The Packers haven't lost consecutive games under McCarthy since the 2013 season, and that was after quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sidelined because of injury. And before that, you have to go back to the 2010 season to find the last time the Packers suffered back-to-back setbacks. How do you explain the success you've had in bouncing back from a loss?
RC: I think it's the guys in the locker room that we have. Nobody likes losing. We don't enjoy it. We don't point fingers at each other. We all go out and we do our jobs better the next week, and it kind of handles itself when you have 11 guys working at a higher level at each position.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCBrettC