There was a day not too long ago when we called Mike McCarthy a buffoon for insisting he wouldn’t take Randall Cobb off returns. That day came after the Green Bay Packers leading receiver injured his ankle returning a punt. Why not Jeremy Ross on returns, we asked?
Then Jeremy Ross went out and tore it up last weekend as a return man. Ross is averaging 25.8 yards per punt return and 28.7 yards per kickoff return. Both averages are better than Cobb’s.
That’s not to suggest Ross is the superior returner, but he’s clearly a threat to take one to the house. And of course, now the Packers are open to replacing Cobb with Ross on returns, although they’re not exactly tipping their hand.
“We can use both guys,” special teams coach Shawn Slocum said. “I think in the last two ballgames Jeremy’s production has demonstrated that he’s capable of being an impactful returner, and that helps us because it gives us more depth in the position.
“We’ll look at Randall, where he’s at as we get closer to game time in terms of his physical situation. We’ll move forward. I’m glad Jeremy has had some production there, so it helps us.”
It’s been suggested that Ross and Cobb could split return duties on Saturday. If the Packers were smart — and they’ve been awfully conservative when it comes to injuries this season, so there’s reason to believe they are — they’d let Ross handle all the returns.
Losing Cobb as a receiver for the playoffs could really hurt the Packers chances of advancing.
Ross’ performance has now gotten me to the point where the potential benefit of putting Cobb back there (no longer as great as we all initially thought) doesn’t justify the potential drawback of losing him to injury. But, if Ross boots one, Cobb takes over.
No brainer. The coaches, as usual, are playing the cards close to the chest so the purple chilli eaters will have a harder time to game plan.
I’m for it as long as it doesn’t turn into the 49ers and Giants game of last year where that punt returner fumbled the game away.
no doubt Ross has performed well, but my thought on his long kick return last weekend was that while it was awesome and went for 40 or 50 or whatever it was, i think Cobb might have housed it. for me, that’s the difference between the two. it looked like he had just a split second of hesitation on his move to try to beat the last defender or two and i think that was the difference.
now, will that ever happen again and is it enough to justify Cobb returning full-time at the risk of injury. not sure if that can be answered, but i think id be most comfortable with Cobb on kick-offs and let Ross handle punts – he did it his whole college career and i don’t think ball safety should be a significant concern.
Did you guys see Ross in the return game in college.(youtube). The guy should have been a RB at Cal, but was needed as a WR.. I feel good with him back there.. he was the second best athlete/ returner in the draft that year behind Cobb!!
I hate to see them making a change at this point of the season. A muffed punt often leads to 7 points the other way given the field position. Granted, Ross had a great game and has experience in college. However, Cobb has been very consistent catching the ball and not fumbling. I feel that we should stay the course and make the change next season, similar to what MM alluded to a couple of weeks ago. GO PACK GO!
Cobbs real value is on offense. Ross has been north of average….No reason to risk Cobb back there.