We — along with pretty much everyone else — have been hammering Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall for his terrible 2016 season.
Sure, Randall was injured. He had groin surgery during the season and missed six games. And that’s always a fine excuse for guys who have poor seasons.
However, when Randall returned to the field, he wasn’t any better than before he had surgery. In fact, he was less willing to stick his nose into any contact situations.
That’s one thing we know.
The other thing we know is, despite that, Randall is going to get a shot to reestablish himself this season. The Packers spent a first-round draft pick on Randall in 2015 and they’re not going to give up on him yet.
He will get a chance to compete.
Randall, of course, knows. He knows what people are saying about him. He knows he needs to play better than he did in 2016.
And this year, he’s gonna show you, man!
“I was hurt. But last year is last year,” Randall said. “Obviously moving forward, I am healthy and hopefully I’m going to stay healthy. And people are going to see why I was drafted in the first round.
“People are going to see why the Packers believe in me and why they kept putting me out there. People will see. My game is going to speak for itself. If I come back and be an All-Pro guy, a Pro Bowler, then people are going to say, ‘Ohhhhh, it was the injuries’ and this and that. But I’m just going to let them talk.”
Look, this is what you want to hear from a guy coming off a disappointing season. But what else is he going to say?
However, we hate the injury excuse — if you’re hurt, don’t play. Get right and then get back out there.
That said, Randall needs to rebound and the bottom line is it will be great for the Packers if he does.
There will be plenty of competition for playing time in the cornerback group. The cream will rise to the top.
We wouldn’t bet against Randall being in the top three when the season starts, but he needs to show it. Not only for the team’s confidence and the fans’ confidence, but likely for his own confidence.