USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who looked ahead to Saturday’s Week 16 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. This Q&A is presented by Tundraland:
With the emergence of Ty Montgomery as your primary rusher and guys like Christine Michael and Aaron Ripkowski providing some added punch in the running game, how critical will it be to keep developing offensive balance as you look to continue on with this playoff push?
Cobb: The ground game is always important this time of the year, being able to control the clock and control the tempo and open up your play-action pass. It’s huge for us to get the ground game going and have that balance. But at the end of the day, it’s just finding ways to win — regardless of what play call or what that is to make do. If that means we throw the ball 50 times or that means we rush the ball 50 times, whatever it takes to get that job done and get us the win.
The Vikings surrendered touchdown drives of 92, 91 and 88 yards and 411 yards overall in last week’s 34-6 loss to the Colts. What are the keys you see in attacking and having success against what’s normally a stout Minnesota defense?
Cobb: I’m sure the coaches will come up with a great game plan to attack them. But like I’ve said, it all comes down to execution. It doesn’t matter what the play call is. It doesn’t matter how we score or if we go on long drives or we score on a big play. It’s all about just getting the job done and finding a way to win. It’s definitely going to be a tough environment. They’re a great team, and they’ve played well through the course of the year. So it’s definitely going to be a tough game. They’ve always given us trouble with their defensive scheme, so it’s going to be important for us this week.
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A Saturday game means another short week, and Mike McCarthy has adjusted the practice schedule by saying your workload would be low. Is the preparation more mental at this point in the season than physical?
Cobb: Yeah, definitely. Getting guys back healthy and still trying to work through injuries. We’re on a short week — it’s a six-day week — so we’ve lost a day of our recovery. So it’s just being smart with our bodies and making sure that we’re in tune with everything. But from a mental aspect, it’s all about preparation this week with your film study and being on top of that.
What are your thoughts on Julius Peppers and what he’s still able to do on the field? He’s second on the team with 7.5 sacks, with four of those coming over the past five games. That includes his strip sack and fumble recovery in last week’s win over the Bears that led to a field goal. Do you marvel at the impact he’s still able to make as he approaches his 37th birthday?
Cobb: Oh yeah. It’s always impressive to see him making plays. This is the time of the year where it’s time now. I think they’ve done a great job of managing his snaps and everything through the early part of the season. But it’s going to be big for us to have him making plays like he did (against Chicago) to open up the second half to put us in great field position and be able to put points on the board.
Finally, what’s on the Randall Cobb Christmas wish list this year?
Cobb: I’m going to have to go with a Super Bowl ring. I’ll wait a couple of months to get that, but that’s definitely on the list for me.