Randall Cobb Model: Randle El

With Randall Cobb's experience at quarterback, should the Packers experiment with the Wildcat? Packer Report publisher Bill Huber weighs in with his playbook suggestion.

Randall Cobb, the Green Bay Packers' second-round pick, arrived at Kentucky as an all-state quarterback. He started four games at the position as a freshman. When he moved to receiver full-time, the Wildcats' coaches took advantage of Cobb's passing and running ability by running their version of the Wildcat, known as the WildCobb.

So, of course, the Packers press corps and the fans seized upon Cobb's track record and wondered if the Packers would employ the Wildcat for the first time.

Hopefully they won't.

Cobb has the potential to be a marvelous jack-of-all-trades kind of player. That he can throw the ball would be handy for the occasional trick play. But why, oh why, would coach Mike McCarthy ever want anyone other than No. 12 running the offense from behind center?

If McCarthy follows any model with Cobb, it should be that of Pittsburgh's Antwaan Randle El. Randle El, who like Cobb stands 5-foot-10, was a full-time quarterback at Indiana, finishing a remarkable career with 7,469 passing yards, 3,895 rushing yards and 92 total touchdowns. And, like Cobb, Randle El was a second-round draft pick, going No. 62 overall (compared to No. 64 for Cobb).

Over the course of a nine-year career that began as a second-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2002, Randle El has caught 370 passes and scored six touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns. He's been used sparingly — and effectively — as a runner and passer on gadget plays. He's carried 79 times and been downright lethal throwing the ball. With 22-of-27 accuracy for 323 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions, his career passer rating of 156.1 is just below the maximum 158.3 and is the highest in league history for any player with more than 20 completions. That doesn't include his 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward off of a double reverse in Super Bowl XL against Seattle.

Used on reverses, flea-flickers and the like, Cobb could be a defensive coordinator's nightmare with all the possibilities that his unit would have to prep for during the practice week. Cobb could line up in the backfield to provide a run-pass option. He could throw the ball off of a backward pass or reverse. He'd be a great emergency option at quarterback, a role that several teams inquired about when talking to Cobb's position coach at Kentucky, national championship-winning quarterback Tee Martin.

But to run the Wildcat with a receiver playing quarterback and a MVP-caliber quarterback playing wide receiver seems like an idea that should never get out of the playbook.


Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.


Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.

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