Packers will keep Randall Cobb at kick returner

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When the Packers were mulling whether or not to bring Donald Driver back from the dance floor for another season, one of the reasons cited most often for letting him go was Randall Cobb’s potential as a receiver.

Cobb caught 25 passes last season, but his speed gave the team another weapon to use in their passing game and they’re expected to find new ways to exploit that weapon in 2012. He also returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns, increasing his value and making it certain that he’ll remain as the kick returner even if he sees more time on the offense. Special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum told Jason Wilde of why that’s the case.

“It’s all in the perspective, of how you look at the return game. It is the first play of the offense?” Slocum said. “It’s vitally important to setting up field position, the potential to score, things of that nature. When we start with the ball outside the 20 or an explosive return outside the 40, or punt returns for big gains, it really enhances our offensive production. So I think he’s a vital part of that, and as we move forward, we’ll always consider each players’ role in terms of play time.”

Given the depth of the Packers’ receiving corps (plus tight end Jermichael Finley), there’s not much risk that the Packers are going to burn Cobb out by keeping him on kick returns. He’ll get plenty of chances to burn secondaries, but, as Slocum said, he’s going to help the offense just as much by continuing to break big returns that give Aaron Rodgers a short field that enhances his chances of leading the Pack to another touchdown.

Keeping him as the primary kick returner also makes it a bit less likely that the team will make a move with James Jones before the season. There have been plenty of trade rumors about a talented receiver caught in a deep position, but the need to keep him around rises as long as Cobb’s duties are split between offense and special teams.

14 responses to “Packers will keep Randall Cobb at kick returner

  1. “Thought Ted Thompson was a genius? How and why was Cobb picked over Torrey Smith?”

    He wasn’t. And it’s too early to say which one will be better.

  2. of course they need to protect Cobb from getting burnt out by playing both receiver and returner. Tim Brown was a horrible wideout thanks to special teams.

  3. Hey Randall, just thought you should know that Smith was taken BEFORE the Packers selected. Also, Cobb would’ve produced just as much as Smith did if he went to Baltimore, because the Ravens have one of the thinnest WR corps in the NFL. Fact check next time pal.

  4. I think the sentiment thing is what brings down the team this year. Driver did not have a good 2011 season, his worst ever and yet they take a promising player with speed and say, your going to return kicks and Driver gets to play on.

    That thinking doesn’t win Super bowls. You’ve also got two other tall barn burners who sat out last season and wasted a year of their talent and now your going to lose one if not two of them before the season starts. The Ted Thompson locomotive is losing steam. The train is on the wrong track.

    For his sake, the rookie defensmen he drafted better be darn good. The Lions and Bears are standing around this year.

  5. Thought Ted Thompson was a genius? How and why was Cobb picked over Torrey Smith?

    He wasn’t. Smith was 58th overall, Cobb was 64th.

    As you were saying?

  6. randallflagg52 says:Jul 9, 2012 10:22 AM

    Thought Ted Thompson was a genius? How and why was Cobb picked over Torrey Smith?

    You must have been watching the draft backwards

  7. huge packets fan, have been since I was a little kid. Grew up watching Favre throw to driver and he is one of my favorite all time packet. having said that he needs to step aside and give the younger guys a chance to play.

  8. Non-bias Patriot fan here…

    Facts and figures,

    -Smith 58/Cobb 64…Check

    -Receiving core…Packers one of the best if not the best in the league; Ravens for some reason (Ozzie Newsome???) receiving core sucks every year! Advantage Cobb

    -Randall Cobb runs entire route tree (which is why it takes real receivers time to break out) Smith runs a 9 and high 7 route!
    Advantage Cobb

    -Cobb led the league with over 80% of passes thrown in his direction last year…Hmm, I wonder what butterfingers Torry Smith’s numbers look like?
    Winner and not even close, Cobb.

    Nice going randallflagg52…you look like a complete tool!

  9. Of course they will keep Cobb as the kick returner, its been far too long since GB had a return man of his caliber. Also with the kickoff from the 35 now I seriously doubt he will get enough returns to wear him out in most games.

    With an improved defense he might be returning a lot more punts than kickoffs anyway. Thats usually about 10 yards and a cloud of dust on most returns.

    As for Driver and the sentimentality of keeping him, TT wouldn’t do it if he didn’t think Driver could contribute this year. Injuries and preseason play of the group will determine if Driver or Jones are expendable or not.

    Diondre Borel is a guy that I would try out as a KR/PR in TC while he competes for a spot on the 53 at WR. If hes any good at it his value increases tremendously.

  10. Last year Driver was the #3 receiver; only not in name. He will probably drop to #4 this year. He is a great leader, will not cause any issues in the locker room and will be there in case of an injury to Nelson or Jennings. The risk of losing one of the two young guys is possible, but TT will move one before the season starts if need be. I personally think you will see Jones moved first, but they may keep him because he does have the experience.

  11. I don’t understand how anyone could say Green Bay is losing steam and on there way out. You either have to be a queens fan, 70, just started watching football, or just plain stupid.

  12. For his sake, the rookie defensmen he drafted better be darn good. The Lions and Bears are standing around this year.


    The Lions and Bears have that standing around thing down to an art form.

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