USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who shared his thoughts on Green Bay's 26-20 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC divisional playoff game Jan. 16. He also looked back on the Packers' 2015 season:
You reportedly suffered a bruised lung late in the first quarter, an injury that knocked you out of the game. Was that the formal diagnosis once you were examined at the hospital? And how are you feeling?
RC: Yeah, I had a bruised lung. … It was pretty much like an air pocket between my spine and my lung, so it was pretty painful and a little difficult to breathe. I feel fine now. I just had to take a little bit of time to rest, and they didn’t want me to fly too soon and possibly expand the hole. It was definitely a little difficult thing I had to deal with.
Will the injury affect any of your offseason training plans?
RC: No, not at all. It’s just monitoring my breathing and making sure that everything is all right.
As a competitor and a team leader, how disappointing was it for you that you couldn’t finish that game?
RC: It was definitely disappointing. Obviously, I wanted to be out there. I felt there was a possibility that I could go back out on the field, but once the doctors checked me out, we had a good idea of what (the injury) could possibly be. So (the focus) went straight to my health and being able to monitor my health to make sure I was all right. I was spitting up blood and having trouble breathing there for a little while.
You tweeted that you couldn’t be “more proud of my brothers for the way they fought” in nearly upsetting a very good Arizona team on its home field. What does their performance — given the adversity they were under — tell you about the character and makeup of your team as a whole?
RC: That’s just who we are. We were a very resilient team, and we just continued to fight. We had a lot of things happen throughout the season, and they didn’t go our way. We just continued to fight, and we never gave up — all the way down. And then to complete another Hail Mary (touchdown pass against Arizona), that’s got to be unheard of — for it to happen twice in a season. They fought to the very end and almost pulled it out.
Arizona won the game by scoring a touchdown on the opening possession of overtime. Should the NFL’s overtime rules be tweaked to allow each team at least one offensive possession?
RC: I mean, it has been tweaked before. It’s nothing new. Just win the game. We can sit here and talk about rules all we want, but you’ve got 60 minutes to win the game, and we didn’t do it. We had extra time and, unfortunately, we didn’t pull it off.
How do you view the 2015 season? Is there a sense of frustration in knowing injuries played a role in keeping the team from achieving its goals? Does it feel like it was a lost season?
RC: Definitely a frustrating season. We didn’t accomplish everything that we wanted to and do all the things that we wanted to in the beginning, but we made a way with what we had. Different guys stepped up at different points throughout the season, and that’s all you can ask for in those situations. Obviously, we wanted to do more, but we didn’t pull it out.
Assess your performance this season. What grade would you give yourself and why?
RC: I don’t feel like I had a passing grade. I don’t feel like I did enough. I don’t consider that a good year for myself. I needed to break more tackles and do a better job of focusing in on the catch. I don’t know what happened as far as the season goes, but it was definitely a very, very frustrating season for me personally, as well as the team. I have to be better. As one of the leaders and one of the playmakers on the team, I have to make more plays. Like I’ve always said, I’m my biggest critic. And I’ll always be my biggest critic I know.
You've seen your season end in heartbreaking fashion — overtime losses to Seattle in the NFC title game and now Arizona in an NFC divisional playoff — in each of the past two seasons. How close are the Packers to winning a Super Bowl? What’s it going to take to clear those final hurdles so you get that chance to play for the Lombardi Trophy?
RC: We’re a few plays away. You look at our season throughout, some of the games we lost were on a play here, a play there. It’s just being able to capitalize on those opportunities. Just a few plays there at the end of this past game (against Arizona). We had opportunities. It comes down to just being able to make those plays to get us back to the Super Bowl.