Just imagine how good he could become if he gains the full trust of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
"Definitely route-running and my understanding of the offense and just building chemistry with Aaron," the Green Bay Packers' 2011 second-round pick said of his offseason goals. "I think that's the biggest thing: making sure we're on the same page and giving him the confidence to come to me whenever he needs to."
Maybe not surprisingly, Cobb said he and Rodgers didn't major in chemistry last year. The lockout robbed Cobb of the entire offseason program, giving Rodgers even more reason to show preference to his group of experienced pass catchers. Rodgers threw 31 passes toward Cobb; Donald Driver and James Jones had the next-fewest among the receivers with 54 targets.
As a result, Cobb ranked 12th among rookie wide receivers with 25 receptions and eighth with 375 receiving yards.
"I don't think that, whenever he checked plays to my side, that he was really confident in me knowing exactly what I needed to do," Cobb said. "I think that's something we're doing this offseason. He's giving me different calls and he's checking to see if I'm on top of my stuff and he can come to me."
Even with Driver's return, expect Cobb to play a bigger role on offense. Cobb led all NFL wide receivers — regardless of experience level — with a catch percentage of 80.6. Among receivers with more than 20 receptions, Pittsburgh's Hines Ward was a distant second at 76.7 percent. Cobb, who was drafted to eventually take Driver's place in the slot when the Packers operate in multireceiver sets, averaged 7.7 yards after the catch. That tied for third among all NFL wide receivers.
Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire
"The biggest thing is explosion and that willingness and determination to get to the end zone, whatever it takes," Cobb said. "Whenever the ball touches my hand, I want to score. I want to do whatever I can to get closer to the end zone if not in the end zone. The biggest thing is having that mind-set of when you get the ball in your hands, you've got to go with it."
Cobb has been a staple at the offseason workouts. Before that, he trained at IMG Academies under the eye of renowned speed coach Loren Seagrave. Cobb attended IMG before the Scouting Combine in 2011. The emphasis at that time was improving his 40-yard time and vertical jump. Now, the emphasis is improving football-specific skills.
The combination of experience and training has Cobb feeling ready to contribute more than last season.
The coaching staff feels the same.
"Randall had an excellent rookie season," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I thought he made an impact on our special teams with his return ability. I look for him to take a step in the right direction there, and now he's more involved, what we're asking him to do offensively, so he'll probably, I would think, have more opportunities. Really it's up to him and the way the games unfold, but I look for him to grow from Year 1 to Year 2. We have a long history of players growing from Year 1 to Year 2, and I look for him to take that step."
Taking that next step depends on Cobb getting more opportunities. He intends to let his play do the talking as he vies for a bigger role on the NFL's deepest receiver corps.
"Competition breeds success," Cobb said, "and when you've got six, seven guys with Tori (Gurley) and (Diondre) Borel pushing each other to get better each day, it makes it a whole lot easier to work a little harder and push yourself a little bit further and do those extra things. I try to take every opportunity I get in practice and do the most I can with that one opportunity."
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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.