27

July

2012 Packers Training Camp: Randall Cobb as Placekick Holder?

Randall Cobb

Is Randall Cobb’s role on special teams being expanded this season?

It hasn’t been long since I last talked about Randall Cobb here at AllGreenBayPackers.com. The Green Bay Packers’ kick returner/wide receiver is one of those special players whose set of talents runs deep, and today at Training Camp, we might have glimpsed another card McCarthy is holding up his sleeve when it comes to this young man.

Hidden among all of the training camp updates around blogs, Twitter, and articles was a short but noteworthy tweet by JSOnline.com beat writer Tom Silverstein:

 

Here’s the obvious part: Randall Cobb is a triple threat as a placekick holder. Not only can he run with the football on a fake, but he can also deliver a pass if needed. And just to top things off, the threat of those two options can keep the opposing defense from going all in on a rush to block the field goal.

Now, it’s interesting to note that this possibility was brought up by one of our commenters on the last article I wrote about Cobb being used on the reverse. A visitor by the name of “zac5” posted, “The occasional reverse would be exciting but I would love to see Randall as holder on field goal attempts.”

Zac, perhaps you should be betting on the horse races right now.

To be completely honest, though, I was originally skeptical of this suggestion. We had seen kicker Mason Crosby go through some rough patches with inconsistent placekick holders. Matt Flynn was the holder before punter Tim Masthay finally settled into the position. And although it’s hard to tell whether the consistency of Masthay is the true cause behind this, Crosby had his best field goal completion percentage last year (24/28, 85.7%).

So while I think the option of Randall Cobb as a holder has its merits, I’m still not sure I’m ready to take the dive. I would have to see that it’s not affecting Crosby’s accuracy before I could fully commit to the idea.

I must say though, we might be seeing a side of McCarthy never before experienced. As was also pointed out by a commenter, the head coach’s playbook mantra last season was: “Less volume, more creativity.” The Packers have never really had a gadget player quite like Cobb during McCarthy’s tenure, so it may spur him to try some new things to take complete advantage of the talent available.

Just one more thing to keep our eyes on as the preseason unfolds.

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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16 Responses to “2012 Packers Training Camp: Randall Cobb as Placekick Holder?”

  1. Pat Mc says:

    Good call on giving Zac credit. I remember the comment as well. I also don’t want to see this happen on all kicks.

    One hold early in the season that shows he can do the job will keep D Coordinators busy all season watching for him to sneak in. Anything to keep the D Coordinators thinking a few extra seconds will help the ST Kicks.

    Of course if he can also sucessfully pass or run for a TD will really cause a panic of the other teams.

    This will cause more than one time out from other teams to figure out their D.

    Cobb doesn’t need to take over the duties but just the threat is another advantage for our ST. A quality back up to Masthay as holder doesn’t hurt either.

    Nice.

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    • Oppy says:

      If it doesn’t happen on all kicks, it loses a majority of its power- Cobb’s presence becomes a tip off to the possibility of some trickery, although it may also be a bluff.

      DC’s will only have to look for Cobb trotting out on the field to call off the dogs and watch for the fake, but better safe than sorry for the occasional Cobb sighting on the FG unit.

      If Cobb is ALWAYS holding, it means the defense ALWAYS has to be on their toes, but the D can’t ALWAYS pull off the FG block call. It creates tension and a crap shoot for the defense every time the FG unit takes the field. That makes it an advantage for the Packers every time.

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  2. zac5 says:

    Thanks for giving me credit Chad, thats very classy of you. The reason I mentioned Randall as possible placekick holder is my recollection that was one of his duties at Kentucky. Just the image of D Coordinators flapping their arms up in state of panic would make my day.

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  3. Tarynfor12 Tarynfor12 says:

    If there were to be a ‘bad snap’Cobb would be the better suited to do something with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Spiderpack says:

      Au contraire Taryn!! If there were to be a bad snap Cobb is the best person to be around the ball!

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  4. PackEyedOptimist says:

    An interesting possibility, and it makes sense because Cobb already spends a lot of time over in the ST practice area. That said, Tim Masthay is no slouch as a threat: “Masthay played youth soccer in Des Moines … as well as baseball and basketball at Murray High School in Murray, Kentucky. His positions on the school’s football team included punter, placekicker, kickoff returner, wide receiver, and special teams coach.”

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    • David says:

      Also he has carte blanch to run it for a 1st down if he see they aren’t honest in rushing the punt.

      I feel he’s done that and gotten the 1st down once if not twice (if twice then I think it was a broken play).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

        At one point, there was a punt which Masthay smartly tucked and ran with when the defense got a good rush inside. He fumbled, but recovered, and eventually netted them a first down.

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  5. Ron LC says:

    Why not? A little wrinkle that could have good value. Nice call Zac!

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  6. Fred Butters says:

    Cobb came to Kentucky as a QB. He started several games his freshman year. He may become the best “slash” since Paul Horning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. TayDaddy says:

    Cobb was the holder all 3 years at Kentucky

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

      Good to know! Thanks for sharing. That makes me a little more comfortable with the situation.

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  8. [...] « 2012 Packers Training Camp: Randall Cobb as Placekick Holder? [...]

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  9. Nikko says:

    I don’t like it because if Cobb gets injured then Crosby will have to get used to a new holder in the middle of a game in a potentially crucial situation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. marpag says:

    There is only one question here: “Can Cobb do a better job than any other candidate of getting the ball down and in the proper position in time for Crosby to boot it through?” Nothing else should matter.

    There was only one time in my entire life when Ron Wolf made a draft choice, I disagreed with it, and I was right and Ron was wrong. Wolf chose T. Buckley over Troy Vincent. I knew that I was right when Ron talked about his choice and said, “Buckley is awesome at returning kicks and punts.”

    What does this have to do with Cobb and the placeholding? This: ALWAYS choose the guy who is able to do the best at performing the PRIMARY JOB OF THE POSITION. Don’t consider “extras” until you have covered the basics.

    In other words, don’t draft a corner to return kicks. Don’t draft a QB because he can run. Don’t draft a receiver because he can be a “slash” … runner/passer/catcher.

    No. Draft a corner to cover receivers, a QB to throw the ball, and a receiver to catch the ball.

    And don’t put “multi-dimensional” Randall Cobb as the holder unless he can get the ball down in the right position in time for Crosby to boot it through.

    That’s it. If he can do every bit as good a job holding as someone else AND be an additional threat at the same time, fine. But unless he’s as good as the other guy at HOLDING, he shouldn’t be back there.

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  11. Oppy says:

    This doesn’t really fit here, but I read a Tom Silverstein article on JSO yesterday that really disappointed me.

    He was touting Clay Matthews’ tutoring of Nick Perry, and he produced a quote from Matthews about his role in that process. Mr. Silverstein blatantly omits a fragment of Matthews’ quote- the part where Clay states he’s got to tutor Nick Perry “Whether I want to or not.”

    Here’s the Quote from Silverstein’s article:

    “We work in unison together, so obviously he needs to look to me to give him advice,” Matthews said of the rookie linebacker. “We’re going to be working together on the field a lot, so I need to be a mentor toward him. . . . But I think that’s the natural progression of not only having the same position on the field, but me, as far as my maturation, going into my fourth year, and believing that I can be a leader.”

    Here’s the link to the locker room clip where Matthews makes the statement (starts at about 2:40 mark):

    http://www.packers.com/media-center/videos/Clay-Matthews-on-working-with-Nick-Perry/45998526-c2b4-4776-a46b-869d7560c17f

    Mr. Silverstein, I just lost some respect for you. This is like revisionist history. Report the events, don’t shape the quotes to fit your story.

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