USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who shared his thoughts on Sunday’s 38-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. This Q&A is presented by Tundraland:
Last week, I asked you if beating the Seahawks would be a statement victory considering they entered the game as the NFC’s No. 2 seed. You said, “I don’t know that,” and you can only “control the controllable.” But now that you’ve had some time to reflect on Sunday’s win and how well you played in all three phases, do you think you made a statement? And if so, what?
Cobb: I think we did. I think definitely it was a statement. The Seahawks have been really, really good these past few years. And this year, they’re obviously ahead of us in the standings, and they’ve been able to put some things together. So I think the way that we’ve been playing over the last couple of weeks, this was definitely a statement game on national TV for everybody to see. I think that the response has been positive from that, but it doesn’t end from this game. We’ve got some very, very important games coming up, starting with Chicago. It’s kind of the playoffs now. Our backs are still against the wall.
Mike McCarthy said in his Monday news conference that “this is as fine a group of men that I’ve coached here in 11 years.” What do you see in your teammates when you look around the locker room?
Cobb: I see a bunch of resilient guys that are battle-tested. If you look around the locker room, there are a lot of guys that weren’t top recruits coming out of high school. Some of us didn’t get drafted in the first round. Some of us didn’t go as high as we were expected to go coming out of college. We have a lot of undrafted free agents. And we’re battle-tested. We’ve been through this all through our lives. … We have guys that have won the Super Bowl, so they know how to get through this. We have guys who are experienced in playoff games. We’ve faced a lot of adversity this season with the losing streak, with the injuries that we’ve dealt with. We could have easily folded. We could have easily thrown our season in a few weeks ago and said it was over. But we continue to scratch and claw, find a way to win games and give ourselves an opportunity.
How has the adversity you’ve faced this season – with all of the injuries you’ve suffered and dealing with that four-game losing streak – made you a better football team? How has the team grown from the many setbacks it has endured?
Cobb: I think just experiences. You can grow from experiences. You can learn from your losses. You can learn from your mistakes. And with some of the youth that we have, with some of those young guys on the defense that are playing a lot of special teams, they can learn through that. They can use that as support for the next game and correct the mistakes. That goes for all of us. Being able to use that and learn from those mistakes to find that success. Sometimes, you’ve got to fail before you can succeed.
How impressed have you been by the protection the offensive line has given Aaron Rodgers and your passing game?
Cobb: It has been great. Those guys work their butts off every day. They don’t get the notoriety that they deserve, but I think they’ve done a great job this year protecting Aaron. They’ve done a great job opening up holes for our running game that has been by committee – with Ty (Montgomery) and with “C-Mike” (Christine Michael) and we had Knile Davis here for a couple of weeks. They’ve done the best they can for these guys to give them opportunities. It has been very important for us. They’re the front line for this team, for this offense. And anytime they can give Aaron time to throw the ball and get us open downfield and open up holes for the running game, it’s huge for us as an offense.
Finally, can you explain how difficult it is for a quarterback to stack the performances and put up the numbers like Rodgers has done in recent weeks while battling injuries to his hamstring and now his calf? Do you have an even higher appreciation for what he has been able to do since you know how difficult it is to perform at that level when healthy?
Cobb: It’s actually unbelievable. He continues to do this. He continues to play like this and give us a great opportunity to win games. He has been very productive, which you love to see. It’s great because he got so much riff from the media and from everybody that he wasn’t playing as great as he is. And I think that was just total (expletive). If you look at his numbers through the times they were saying all of that – yeah, we were losing games, but he was playing really well. And he was giving us opportunities to win games.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCBrettC