"When other players talk about a player having a chance to be special he is one of those guys," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy about rookie wide receiver Randall Cobb after the Packers' 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints Thursday night.
"You’ve got to be excited about Randall."
The rookie out of Kentucky had a 108-yard touchdown return in the third quarter (ties an NFL record) and caught a 32-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers in the first quarter.
If Thursday night is any indication of what Cobb's career will be like, then the Packers got the steal of the 2011 draft drafting him 64th overall. Six other wideouts were selected before Cobb in the draft, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Jonathan Baldwin, Titus Young, Torrey Smith and Greg Little.
Cobb, who just turned 21 on Aug. 22 and hails from Alcoa, Tennessee is actually the first player born in the 1990's ever to play in an NFL game.
"He’s very raw, he’s picking up our system, but he knows what to do when he gets the football in his hands and he knows how to get open," McCarthy added.
He's an immediate asset for an already potent Packers offense. He will spread the defense thin when he lines up at the slot position.
The 5-foot-10 speedy Cobb was not unheralded coming out of Kentucky, having wowed the SEC for three seasons, even scoring three touchdowns a year ago against the eventual undefeated National Champions Auburn and their vaunted defense.
His college coach Joker Phillips Tweeted Friday morning "One game for Randall Cobb, one NFL record. That sounds about right."
"It was amazing," Cobb said after the game.
"The feeling of being at Lambeau Field and coming off a Super Bowl, I was just doing anything I could do to contribute and I was trying to make the most of my opportunities tonight."
He continued, "[Scoring my first NFL touchdown] was one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had. The opportunity to be out on the field and being with the guys I’m with, it was a great feeling – probably second to being drafted by Green Bay."
He says the 32-yard touchdown catch which he caught over the middle of the field and took to the house in the first quarter was actually a busted route.
"I ran the wrong route and luckily scored. I’m going to hear about that in meetings tomorrow, probably going to get a negative for it, but we just made a play right there."
Busted route or not his ability for yards after the catch make his one of the most exciting younger players in the entire NFL.
Out of the slot position Cobb got open over the middle and then eluded Saints safety Malcom Jenkins with a side step and ran for the touchdown.
Rodgers explained, "The catch and run, he actually ran the wrong route but I was able to read him, surprisingly. We didn’t have offseason workouts but surprisingly I was able to read his body language there and he made a nice catch and run for a touchdown.”
Greg Jennings one of the top NFL receivers in his own right Cobb's performance was "special" adding "and I don't care who does it or how."
Cobb says that both plays were "mess ups". He broke the 5-yard rule for any kick into the endzone more than five years, return men are instructed to take the touchback.
Instead Cobb took a gamble. His back foot touched the top of the letter "K" in the endzone eight-yards deep. He turned it into six points-two points less then the margin of victory.
“I was just trusting in God," said Cobb. "He told me to bring it out. I’m not supposed to bring that out – I’m not. Some things are logical and some things are just the power of God, and that definitely was the power of God telling me to bring that out. He gave me great teammates to help me block down field and we just made it happen.”
In fact the NFL changed the kickoff rule this season, teams now kickoff from the 35-yard line, up from the 30 yard line. Kickers may try to go through the uprights when Cobb is returning kicks and willing to take it out from the backline.
Five years from now, or even by the end of the season will Cobb be considered one of the best wideouts/return men in the NFL?
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