Cobb: 'All of us have to play a certain role'
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who looked ahead to Sunday’s Week 8 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. This Q&A is presented by Tundraland:
This is your sixth NFL season, and you’re off to a good start with team-highs in receptions (39) and yards (388). What message or advice would you tell the Randall Cobb who entered the league in 2011?
Cobb: I would tell him to continue to be the person that got you to this point. Don’t lose sight of who you are and what you’re capable of, regardless of what’s being said. Know who you are, and do what you do. And that’s something I try to continue to do since the day I got here with my work ethic, with my preparation, the way that I work out, the way that I study, the way that I prepare myself for game days — try to continue to do that on a week to week basis. Tell him you’re going to have some bright moments, and you’re going to have some not-so-bright moments. You take them for what they are, you learn from the negatives and continue to grow. When the naysayers say that you can’t be somebody, stay content. And when someone tells you that you’re the best thing since sliced bread, stay content and continue to be level-headed and don’t get outside of yourself.
You’ll be facing a Falcons defense that ranks 31st against the pass and 26th overall. Opposing quarterbacks have tossed 15 TDs, are averaging 294 yards passing per game, have completed 67 percent of their throws and boast a 96.9 passer rating. Give us the scouting report as you see it through film study and preparation. Are you sensing a big game for your passing attack?
Cobb: Yeah, it could possibly be a big game for us. We’ve set the foundation for what we’re going to try to do against them, and I think it has an opportunity to be really successful. We’ve been dealing with some injuries, so we know all of us have to play a certain role, and we’ve got to play that role to the best of our abilities.
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What are the challenges Atlanta’s defense poses?
Cobb: Their defense poses a threat to us. They have a really solid defense with a history in that their head coach (Dan Quinn) comes from Seattle, so they have a similar defensive scheme (as the Seahawks). That’s something that we’re accustomed to seeing. Over the past couple of years, we’ve played Seattle a lot, so we know kind of the same mentality (the Falcons’) defense will have. They have different players that provide different challenges. But overall, the scheme will be around the same.
Atlanta’s Julio Jones is among the best wide receivers in the NFL. He’s entering Sunday’s game with a league-best 830 receiving yards, and he’s averaging 118.6 yards per game, which also leads the league. What do you admire most about what he has accomplished so far, and what he’s able to do on the field?
Cobb: I’ve known Julio for a long time, and just to see him mature and become the player that he is, he’s always had this raw talent. He has always been a very big guy, and he has always been very fast and very strong. But to see the way that he has molded as a receiver and the way that he runs his routes is admirable. … We trained together coming out of college, and I think the coolest part about it is he has remained the same. He’s still humble. He knows who he is as a player, and he goes and he plays with an attitude. He has been able to do that consistently over his career. This year, he’s definitely out to a great start, and he’s definitely going to be a challenge for our defense.
The Packers promoted wide receiver Geronimo Allison from the practice squad this week. What can he bring to your offense?
Cobb: I think Geronimo has something special, and I’m really excited for the opportunity he’s ready to have. He is a big body that can drop his weight really well and get in and out of his breaks. He catches the ball with some strong hands — he’s able to pull it away from defenders and make big plays. All you can ask for is an opportunity. I was talking to him earlier (this week), and that’s what I told him. He has a special opportunity in front of him, and I hope that he rises to the occasion. And I think he will.
You haven’t played on the road since that Week 2 contest against Minnesota on Sept. 18. What’s that going to be like? Isn’t that going to mess with your routines?
Cobb: (Chuckling) Yeah, we’re creatures of habit with our routines. It has been a while, but we know how to go on the road. We’ll make sure we prepare right this week. We’ll make sure that we’re on top of our game and our communication. We’re going into a dome, into a hostile environment. It’s definitely going to be loud in there, so we have to make sure our communication is a big key this week and just continue to focus and continue to play with a lot of energy, like we have over the last few weeks. We’re excited to see different guys get different opportunities to make plays.