USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who looked ahead to Sunday’s Week 11 matchup against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. This Q&A is presented by Tundraland:
Aaron Rodgers said after last week’s game against the Titans that “there has to be that healthy fear as a player of if you don’t do your job, they’ll get rid of you.” Do you agree? Are you partly driven by a “healthy fear?”
Cobb: For sure. No question. I think that’s something that drives me. That’s why I work so hard to try to get back (from the hamstring injury). That’s why I don’t want to miss games. Obviously, I missed the Atlanta game, and there was a lot of speculation that I would play the next week. I was doing everything that I could to get back on the field, and I was able to. Obviously, I didn’t have the impact that I would have liked. But every week, I’m progressing and trying to get back to that point. And then it comes down to production. The production hasn’t been there from myself personally. So yeah, there’s definitely a healthy fear that they could move on from me at some point. That’s something that drives me, and I try to do everything I can to make sure that I’m on top of that. I just started hitting my stride this season when I got the hamstring injury. I was coming off three straight games where I played decently well. So it’s a goal of mine to help do everything that I can to put this team in a good position. That’s what I’m looking towards down this back stretch of the season.
There has been a lot of focus and analysis on the negatives in recent weeks. What are some of the positives you see from the team as you prepare for Washington?
Cobb: I’m seeing a lot of good things on film. Offensively — that’s the only thing I can speak on — but I see guys getting open in our group on the receiving end. Davante (Adams) is continuing to make big plays. Through the course of this season, he has continued to be a bright spot on our offense. Jordy (Nelson) has been as consistent as always. Being able to have the versatility of Ty (Montgomery). Bringing in guys like Jeff (Janis) and Trevor (Davis) and continuing to get them opportunities to try to show their worth. They’re doing some good things on film. I think the biggest thing is hopefully we can get a few guys back healthy. Obviously, we had a few who were banged up on the offensive line (against Tennessee), and we’re hoping that we can have those guys out there. But just finding that sync, finding that rhythm. I think we’ve moved the ball pretty well in different ways over the past few weeks. We have to take better care of the ball, but we have been moving the ball pretty well.
Washington’s secondary is led by All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman, who has 11 pass breakups on the season and is one of the best in the game. What are the challenges you'll face in trying to make plays against the Redskins in the passing game?
Cobb: You definitely see a different defense than what we saw in the playoffs last year. I think these guys are making a lot more plays. They seem to play with a lot more confidence. You see a lot of one-on-one coverage, so it comes down to beating your man and being able to make a play after the catch. It’s definitely going to be a great opportunity for us. It’s going to be a tough environment going into Washington. They have a lot to play for, as well. It’s definitely going to be a good game.
A Sunday night game means a lot of waiting around for kickoff. What do you do to fill the time and keep your focus sharp?
Cobb: The biggest thing for me is staying away from overthinking. I feel like I prepare really well Monday through Saturday, and Sunday is my time to go have fun. So I don’t want to overthink things. I don’t want to overthink what I do. So I make sure that I’m confident in my preparation. And on Sunday for these night games, I wake up and get a good breakfast, come back and watch some of the early games and then take a nap during the day and try to stay relaxed as best as I can.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCBrettC