Gannett Wisconsin Media’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who shared his thoughts on Thursday's 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears:
You’re closing in on the end of a grueling stretch in which you will have played four games – all against NFC North opponents – over a 19-day span. What has been the biggest challenge for you in dealing with the grind of such an imposing schedule?
RC: The biggest challenge is preparation. Luckily this week, we were on a full week with it being Thursday to Thursday games, so it was a normal week for us. And we just played (the Lions) not too long ago, so not too much has changed since then.
You hear about hitting that rookie wall for the first-year guys, but can veterans hit that wall, too? And if so, how do you prevent it from getting in the way of your preparation?
RC: No, you really don’t (hit that wall). It’s a long season, and we all know it’s a long season with four preseason games and the possibility of the postseason. It really just comes down to focus and making sure that you’re locked in to what you have to do for that day – what situational football we’re working on for that day. And then pretty much continue to dive into your film study.
Do you feel like the receivers are out of sync with Aaron Rodgers and vice-versa? Mike McCarthy said the passing game isn’t where it needs to be. How do you get that phase of the offense clicking again?
RC: I think it just comes down to making plays. I talk about it all the time. It’s just the execution of your offense. It’s going out there and making the plays when you get those opportunities. Not looking at it too complicated. Everything is looked at through a magnifying glass when you’re losing. It’s just continuing to play football and correcting your mistakes. We’ve had way too many missed assignments and mental errors – especially this late in the season. We just have to get back to making plays. And as a receiver group, we’ve got to make those contested catches. We haven’t made those tough catches and continued to have those momentum plays throughout the course of the game.
McCarthy said the offense isn’t that far off, and it’s important for the focus to be on the attention to details – things like winning the route and winning the play call. He said the issues are “technique and discipline in the technique.” When you break down the offensive struggles and try to dissect why the production hasn’t been consistent, are the fixes as simple as that?
RC: Yeah, that’s what it comes down to. The technique in our route running and being able to create that separation. And at the end, it’s catching the football. We have to do a better job at that. That’s our job, that’s what we’re paid to do. How ever you’ve got to get your job done, you’ve got to make it happen.
Rodgers talked this week about preparation and the importance for guys to do everything they can – during practice, during meetings and in their individual study time outside of the facility – to be ready to play and win a football game. As a locker room leader and one of the veterans, do you think the team as a whole can do better when it comes to preparation?
RC: I don’t know what guys are doing on their own, but I would say that we need more (preparation) on their own. I look at the way that I prepare, and I feel like I do a great job getting myself ready. But whenever we leave the building, guys have to do a better job of preparing themselves before the game. And that’s on the individual. There’s only so much you can do as a leader to stress those points. But guys have to take that upon themselves.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCBrettC