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Mike McCarthy wants Randall Cobb reunion; Wisconsin's Tyler Biadasz skipping combine drills

Jim Owczarski
Packers News

INDIANAPOLIS - Free agency could reunite former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy and receiver Randall Cobb in Dallas.

McCarthy, named to replace Jason Garrett as Cowboys coach last month, was fired in Green Bay in December 2018 and spent last season out of the game. Cobb left the Packers after the 2018 season as well and caught 55 passes for 828 yards and three scores for the Cowboys.

But the 29-year-old receiver signed only a one-year deal in Dallas and his former coach doesn’t want the veteran receiver to escape the Cowboys in free agency — largely due to the chemistry McCarthy noticed between the veteran pass catcher and quarterback Dak Prescott.

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy speaks during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indiana Convention Center.

“I was real impressed with Randall last year,” McCarthy told reporters Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine. “He was banged up a couple years prior to that but I thought he had a heck of a season in Dallas last year. I was very impressed with his video.”

While in Green Bay, Cobb went to one Pro Bowl and caught 525 passes for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns in eight seasons.

Biadasz skipping combine workouts

College football’s best center, and potentially a first-round pick in April’s draft, will not be working out at the combine.

Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz revealed Wednesday that he had arthroscopic surgery on the AC joint in his right shoulder after the conclusion of the Badgers' season.

“Everything's going well and up to par,” he said of the recovery process.

Biadasz surmised he will be cleared for activity shortly before the draft, so it is possible interested teams will request a medical re-check on the Amherst High School alumnus.

Biadasz (6-4, 314) elected to forgo his redshirt senior season with the Badgers after winning the Rimington Trophy as college football’s top center. Despite the need for a procedure, he didn’t miss a game for the Badgers during an All-American campaign.

“It wasn't necessarily an injury,” he said. “I never was limited. It was just a lingering issue. Not really an issue, but just a little pain here and there. I went in after the season, just saw a specialist from L.A. and ... we just don't want anything lingering on to OTAs or rookie camp. So I just got (it) done.”

The analytic service Pro Football Focus has Biadasz ranked as the No. 72 overall prospect in the 2020 draft class, and considers run blocking his greatest strength. According to PFF and NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein, Biadasz’s pass blocking and balance will be of concern for teams.

Though he never took a game rep at guard for the Badgers, Biadasz said he did have practice reps at those positions and feels if an NFL team wanted to move him he could handle that transition.

“Coming from Wisconsin, I have a good understanding of a lot of the knowledge perspective,” he said. “I think I have a very high football IQ for the game. I love competing. I'm willing to go and grind through whatever I've got to do, if I'm playing right guard and left guard, playing center, whatever I've got to do. I adapt and I take pride in that. Speaking from a guy that came in first year never played center in his life and I adapted pretty well coming in and learning from scratch.”

Biadasz said he had an informal meeting with the Packers.

CBA could impact evaluations

As the league and the NFL Players Association move toward ratifying a new collective bargaining agreement — the union voted to send the proposal to its full membership early Wednesday morning — big changes could be coming for front office talent evaluators.

One off-field change could be the league’s stance on marijuana, which is a banned substance. That would not change on its face, but the league would reduce the testing window for the substance to two weeks and punishments for using it will not be as drastic.

In terms of evaluating draft prospects or free agents, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said such changes wouldn’t drastically affect his staff’s evaluations or how they look at previous failed tests and/or suspensions.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s no different in some ways than alcohol. If guys abuse it, if they have a problem, that’s a problem for us. And if they don’t, they don’t. I don’t think it changes our process and how we evaluate that at all.”

On the field, a big change that could be coming is a reduction in preseason games once the league moves to the proposed 17-game regular-season schedule. That change could come as early as the 2021 season.

“I think we have to be a little bit creative in how we stage things for evaluation purposes,” Gutekunst said. “I think last year we had some joint practices for the first time in a long time. I think those were really helpful. It was a way for our guys who are established to get the reps that they needed against a quality opponent, taking some risk factors away, and allowing our younger guys to have more time in the actual game under the lights, which I think is important. So it will take an opportunity away from us for an evaluation period, but I think overall I’d be excited about it.”