USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who shared his thoughts on Sunday’s 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions. This Q&A is presented by Tundraland:
How is your ankle injury progressing? Do you feel like you have a good shot at being on the field for Sunday’s NFC wild-card game against the Giants?
Cobb: Yeah, I hope to. I was planning on playing this past week, but it was a decision that was made above me to hold me out, and I think it turned out for the best. We won, and I got another week to recover. So I think I’ll be more of myself and have a lot more confidence to go on Sunday.
What has been the toughest part for you to deal with in being inactive and forced to take the necessary time to heal up? I’m sure your patience has been tested throughout this process?
Cobb: It has definitely been frustrating, but I think the hardest part is just not being able to be out there at practice and obviously not being out there on game day and being out there fighting with my brothers. They’ve continued to play really well, but it’s all about the big picture. I would have loved to have played in these past couple of games, but now we’re in the playoffs, and we have an opportunity to do something special. So we have to do what’s best for the team with that. It’s not about me playing, it’s about us finding ways to win and finding a way to make a run.
The Packers are one of just two teams in the NFL to have qualified for postseason play in each of the past eight seasons, and they’ve won at least 10 regular season games in seven of those seasons. Explain the culture within the organization and the factor it has played in establishing that sustained success. As you know, it’s not easy to win games in the NFL.
Cobb: No, it’s definitely not. I think it starts at the top. We’re not excited about getting into the playoffs, we’re excited about winning championships. We’re not excited about division titles, we want world championships. So when we have that (mindset), I think it’s geared towards establishing that. And the way you go about doing that is focusing on the little details in everything that we do. And setting goals for ourselves, obviously, as a team. But I think it’s the day-to-day aspect in the culture that’s created in the locker room and what the guys bring in — the type of players that we have and the type of people that the players are. The coaching staff and the way that they coach and the way that they demand. Even our support staff from the training room to the equipment staff — we all pay attention to the minute details in everything that we do.
You turned a four-game losing streak into a six-game winning streak to close out the regular season and enter the playoffs as one of the hottest teams. How important was it for Mike McCarthy and the coaching staff to remain consistent in their approach in spearheading this turnaround?
Cobb: Very important. I don’t think it was ever anything where we changed the culture or changed who we were. We continued to keep, pretty much, the same schedule. Practice the same way, go about it the same way. All we needed was that first win, and once we got that first win, we kind of got the ball rolling a little bit. It was very important to see our coaching staff continue to carry it out the same way and not change their style and kind of go in panic mode.
This is the fifth time the Packers have won the NFC North title during your six seasons in Green Bay. Does this division championship feel a bit more satisfying than the others given what the team has had to overcome?
Cobb: Yeah. Every year provides its own special meaning. But this year, definitely. Being 4-6 and pretty much the entire world counting you out and having guys in the locker room stick together and a coaching staff that continues to believe in us, I think it was huge for us all together and collectively as a team to continue to remain together and not point fingers and not go the opposite way. Because it would have been very easy for us to take the easy way out and start pointing fingers and start blaming other people. But we didn’t do that. We stuck together. We continued to believe in each other and found a way out of it.