The Green Bay Packers drafted a versatile weapon when they picked Kentucky’s [intlink id=”1616″ type=”category”]Randall Cobb[/intlink] in the second round of the [intlink id=”1476″ type=”category”]2011 NFL Draft[/intlink].
We discussed this potential in Cobb’s post-draft breakdown. What we didn’t consider at the time is the possibility of the Packers putting Cobb in the wildcat.
Certainly, the wildcat is a gadget play and the Packers aren’t known for running such plays. It’s also a play that has become less than effective since it was introduced several years ago, but in Cobb, the Packers have something wildcat-friendly teams like the Miami Dolphins don’t have — someone who can throw the ball.
Cobb actually played quarterback his freshman year at Kentucky, before he became the Wildcats’ Swiss Army knife. This isn’t to suggest [intlink id=”25″ type=”category”]Aaron Rodgers[/intlink] should come off the field, but Cobb gives an already-potent offense a weapon like they’ve never had before.
The wildcat is a gadget offense. I will say that all day long, but not when you have a player taking the snap that is accustomed to handling the football, reading blocks and being patient in the run game. We saw that with Cobb at Kentucky and don’t forget one key point: he can throw the football. Talked to a NFL DB coach this past season about the wildcat and he told me the reason it has become ineffective is the lack of a passing threat out of the formation. I would align the rookie in the wildcat in crucial situations (3rd and short, inside the five-yard line, etc.), and put the ball in his hands. He is an athlete—now let him be one for you on Sundays, the National Football Post’s Matt Bowen writes.
The possibilities make my head spin.
If the Packers utilize all of Cobb’s talents, he becomes a game-changer and I’m not just talking about on Sundays.
As soon as the team shows Cobb as a running back, quarterback or puts him in the slot against someone who’s too slow to cover him, opposing teams are going to be forced to game plan for him.
Suddenly, teams worried about slowing [intlink id=”209″ type=”category”]Jermichael Finley[/intlink], preventing [intlink id=”138″ type=”category”]Greg Jennings [/intlink] from getting deep or limiting the one-two punch of [intlink id=”64″ type=”category”]Ryan Grant[/intlink] and [intlink id=”1038″ type=”category”]James Starks[/intlink] have to spend part of their week trying to figure out how to stop Cobb, who could line up almost anywhere.
It’s far too early to know, but a quick glance at the Packers’ offensive weapons tells me we could be talking about the best offense in the history of the game before the 2011 season is over.
Just a little food for thought.
I doubt it. Watching highlights of his plays in the wildcat, while they are flashy, no way he can get away with that stuff in the NFL.
Presumably you posit this view based on the fact that NFL defenses will not be fooled, so-to-speak, by such gadget play calling due to their higher-than-college-level skillset and football acumen. However, the talent level of the offensive players and coaches around Cobb will also be greater (one may even go so far as to say substantially so) in Green Bay, so who is to say that they won’t be able to utilize the upgraded talent to some positive effect? Obviously it won’t work every time, or even the majority of the time, but as mentioned in the quotation above, if employed sparingly and in the proper situations, it could be quite effective. After all, if the Dolphins saw success (albeit diminishing over time) with Ronnie Brown taking Wildcat snaps, does it not bode even better, given Cobb’s skillset and the arguably much better talent/coaching in Green Bay, for the Packers?
In any event, I recall seeing a link (which I did not follow) to an article which indicated that McCarthy has mentioned that they didn’t draft Cobb in order to run Wildcat plays.
I don’t see McCarthy taking the ball out of Rodgers’ hands in a critical situation. I just don’t. So, all this talk is wonderful, and I’d bet we’ll see some of it in preseason to give defenses something to prepare for. We may see it towards the end of a game when the game is already decided – again for the same reason.
Would it be fun? yes. Would it be exciting? yes. Would you still feel that way if Cobb fumbled in a critical situation and lost the game for us? MM doesn’t want to find out the hard wya.
I was going to post but you just already said exactly what I would have written.
True about not wanting to take Rodgers out, but consider 2 point conversions and opening up the possibility for fake punts, considering the fact that he[Cobb] was the holder at KYU.
Fake Punts… not going to happen. He’s not a punter… that’s probably the only offensive swiss army knife he doesn’t have.
Fake Field Goals and PATS. That’s what he could be used for. He was Kentucky’s placekicking holder.
I don’t think you’d see the Wildcat out of the Packers. If anything… I could see a Halfback Pass.. probably to Finley. The last few seasons the Packers killed people with the long pass out of 3rd and 1. They might have to come up with something new if the other teams finally figure out that you should cover Jennings or Nelson when they are streaking down the field on a short yardage play.
Though I agree with the logic that you want the ball in A-Rodge’s hands most the time, I think people are selling this idea short. If it is 3rd and 1 or less and you’ve already decided on a run, then why not let Cobb take the snap? Cobb could also be a dangerous weapon around the goal line, either in the backfield or taking the snap.
You can also line up in the Big 5, and then shift Cobb into the backfield and have the run/pass option.
Love everything this guy brings to the table. Can’t wait to see him in pads. If everyone can stay healthy, our Big 5 may look like this- Jennings/wide left, Nelson/wide right, Finley split out on Jennings side, Driver and Cobb in the slots. Big OUCH for defenses.
You all are going to love this guy. Was sad to see him leave early, but he has been so good and integral to our offense since he was a true freshman we got to enjoy him for longer than most college stars. You drafted a younger, even more versatile version of Hines Ward, including his blocking ability. Can’t wait to watch him in a Packers uniform.
I like this article. Every once in a while i come back and read it again, especially the part about “the packers could field the best offense ever this season”. That is a true statement. To iltarion, who posted above, the reason why no one is thinking about letting Cobb take the snap rather than Rodgers is because you always want your best player on the field. Aaron Rodgers is the Packers best player. He gives them the best chance to win, why take him out of the game? It makes absolutely no sense, even third and one plays. Lets say the packers did take him out in that situation: all of a sudden the team is playing all run and no pass, we lose the series. Do you see what im getting at?