It was just one day.
It wasn't a season or a regular-season game. It wasn't even a preseason game, for that matter.
But on Monday night at Ray Nitschke Field, Cobb looked every bit like the player the Green Bay Packers coveted headed into Day 2 of April's draft.
In the first padded practice of training camp, the second-round pick out of Kentucky was one of the star performers. He showed he could get open. He showed his speed. And he showed strong hands, especially during an 11-on-11 session, when it looked like he turned late for the ball, jumped at the last moment and snatched the ball with his hands.
"Randall is everything, physically, we thought he'd be," coach Mike McCarthy said after practice. "He has a good understanding of what we've asked him to do. But he needs reps with him and Aaron (Rodgers). Not only reps between him and the quarterback, but also the timing and spacing of the routes and how each concept works (and) identifying the coverages and the cheat system, as I always refer to it.
"Everybody plays football. Everybody has similar plays. But it's the ability to cheat within the particular play with anticipation, coverage recognition, all the things that help a receiver be productive and create a smart path to run a good route and create separation for a quarterback. All of our young guys struggle at this time of camp and that's normal. Randall's everything we thought he would be physically and very bright. He's bright-eyed, communicates very well and seems to be picking things up pretty rapidly."
The Packers used a fifth-round pick on Newhouse last year but got nothing in return, with the former TCU left tackle inactive for 14 games before going on season-ending injured reserve with a back injury late in the year.
Lining up almost exclusively at left tackle during the first three days of camp after playing mostly left guard and some tackle last summer, Newhouse looks vastly improved.
On Monday, McCarthy gave veteran starter Chad Clifton most of the night off. With first-round pick Derek Sherrod starting at left guard, Newhouse took the lion's share of the No. 1 reps at left tackle. He held up well during team periods and was fantastic during the first live, one-on-one battles of camp. Newhouse overwhelmed Brad Jones and beat rookie Ricky Elmore during a run-blocking period. During three reps in the pass-blocking drill later in the evening, Newhouse would have gone 3-0 had he not needlessly held Jones at the end of the first "play." He also stuffed Elmore and stopped C.J. Wilson in his tracks.
T.J. Lang, who is battling Sherrod at left guard, went 2-0 in the run-blocking period and 2-0 in the pass-blocking segments.
The Packers used a seventh-round pick to add, what, a 26th tight end to the roster? When I talked to director of college scouting John Dorsey after the draft for my contribution to the Packers Yearbook, he said Taylor's ticket to the team was special teams. Taylor barely made a mark on offense at North Carolina until his senior season but was the school's three-time special teams player of the year.
But with Jermichael Finley being brought along slowly, Andrew Quarless out with a hip flexor and Spencer Havner not allowed to practice until Aug. 4, Taylor (and fellow rookie D.J. Williams and Tom Crabtree) has gotten a ton of playing time. He's made the most of it. During the final 11-on-11 period of practice, Taylor caught three passes, including a nifty grab of a low pass by Graham Harrell.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.