Gannett Wisconsin Media’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who shared his thoughts on Sunday’s 37-29 loss to the Carolina Panthers:
What’s the mood like in the locker room? Has frustration given way to anger over the team’s current struggles?
RC: Well, we’re 6-2. After eight games, we’re 6-2. We’re sitting in a great spot right now. We have eight games left, we’re halfway through the season and we know what we’re capable of. We haven’t played up to our standard of who we are these past couple of weeks. But we’re still 6-2 with four big division games these next few weeks. I think we have four games in 18 days, and it’s going to be a tough stretch for us. But we’re all about beating the Lions this week. That’s our main focus, finding a way to win — whatever it takes to win.
Can you pinpoint a reason for the recent slow starts?
RC: I don’t think there’s anything that you can pinpoint. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again this week: I have to be better. I have to make more plays for this team. I’m going to look at myself in the mirror. I can’t point my fingers anywhere else but myself and put it on myself to be better.
The Packers were three-of-14 in third down efficiency against the Panthers and rank near the bottom of the league (tied for 26th) in that category at 34 percent (31-of-91). How do you improve in that area?
RC: The biggest thing is putting ourselves in good positions on third down. When you’re not gaining any yards on first and second down, it makes it hard to pick up third-and-nines, third-and-12s – that’s not a good situation to be in. To capitalize on those down and distances is really, really hard. So we have to be better on first and second down to give ourselves a better opportunity on third down to be able to keep drives going.
You’ve been vocal in saying it’s up to you to make more plays in response to the Packers’ offensive struggles. Mike McCarthy said, “Randall just needs to keep being Randall.” It’s a team game, so do you have to be careful in trying to do too much to get that offense jump-started?
RC: I’m not. What I’m saying is break more tackles. When I say make more plays, it’s making the catch when it’s thrown my way, making guys miss and picking up first downs. Scoring touchdowns. Yeah, I did that on one play last week (against Carolina), but we need more of it. I need to break more tackles, and I need to move the chains more when I get those opportunities.
Do you feel like the offense finally found a rhythm during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game? Can you use the way you finished as a building block in your preparation for the Lions?
RC: Yeah, I believe so. The way that we ended the game, we played our style of football. We had our three-receiver set, one back, one tight end, and we created that tempo. We moved the ball really well. And that’s what we do, that’s what we’re accustomed to doing. We’re the best team in the NFL whenever we get in that package, we’re able to make plays, spread teams out, throw the ball to set up the run and catch teams off-balance with screen plays. That’s our style of football. We have to continue to do that and do that to the best of our abilities.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCBrettC