EDITOR’S NOTE: Throughout the 2012 NFL season, Green Bay Packers star Randall Cobb will be blogging about life in the NFL for Made Man. The electrifying kick returner/receiver will take us behind the scenes of America’s biggest spectator sport. And as his team heads into a huge Thursday night game vs. Chicago, here’s his first post.
Hey, what’s up? Thanks for checking out my new blog.
At the start of the season, our goal is the same every year, to get to the Super Bowl. And once you kick off, the games sure come fast and furious. We didn’t do certain things as a team to win in our opener, and it hurt us. I may’ve racked up some yards and scored a TD, but team losses take away from individual achievements. This is a team game, and it’s not about stats, it’s about wins.
I’ve done the Leap every time I’ve scored. You’re getting beers and food on you, they’re screaming your name, the camera flashes are going off, it’s insane. Those are moments you never forget.
Now we’ve got a major divisional game against the Bears on Thursday. A divisional game can seem even more intense, the hitting seems harder and the stakes are higher. You want to get that leg up on your divisional rivals because it gives you all sorts of advantages come playoff time. So our plan is to come back real hard on Thursday.
Speaking of coming back, when I’m asked about kick or punt returns, I say the biggest thing is to catch the ball and secure possession. The second thing is to try and make a play to get us into the best field position possible to start our offensive drive. Once you’ve been doing it for a while, you can see holes and channels opening faster. You get a better understanding about what’s going on all over the field.
Luckily, I’ve got a real good blocking unit in front of me. But the one thing about the NFL is that your opponents on the coverage team are so fast, those once-open holes close up quickly. So when you first see them open you have to hit them as hard as you can, or it’ll just close in on you. Big time!
In our first game, I was used as a punt and kick returner and also as a slot receiver. Being versatile is key. We have a lot of playmakers on our team, especially at receiver, so it’s tough to get on. For me, playmakers are certain guys who are a threat to score whenever they touch the ball—guys who are liable to take it the distance. Our goal is to get as many playmakers on the field as we can, and I’m doing as much as I can to contribute.
So, what it’s like to do the Lambeau Leap in Green Bay? I’ve done the Leap every time I’ve scored. It’s so much fun, because you’re jumping right into that amazing fan energy. You’re getting beers and food on you, they’re screaming your name and cheering, the camera flashes are going off, it’s insane. Those are moments you never forget. It’s a real cool experience, not only for the players but also for the fans!
Here’s one thing you wouldn’t know, though—those walls are a lot higher than you think, and it’s kind of tough to get up. First time I leaped, I didn’t make it up the wall all the way, but the fans grabbed and pulled me up! Trust me, the next time, I judged my leap better and made sure I looked more like an athlete!
I want to finish off talking about playing for a legendary franchise like Green Bay. I can tell you, our fan base is crazy, in a good way. We’re fortunate to have as much good coverage as we do. And to have fans who’ll follow you through thick and thin, you just got to love that, and I am so proud to be a Cheesehead!
I recently tweeted, “Face It. Fight It. Forget It.” Follow me @rcobb18. I want to give a shoutout to some friends around the NFL—Julio Jones, A.J. Green and A.J. Williams! And one more thing, I follow my Kentucky Wildcats through thick and thin!
—As told to Ashley Jude Collie