Cobb spoke with UPI this week about the Packers’ prospects in 2018, his new teammates and one of the mentors that helped him get to the NFL.
“I’m really excited about this season,” Cobb said. “I don’t really ever look at numbers … I know it’s a little weird to say, but football is the ultimate team sport. The reason I play this game is to win Super Bowl rings. So whatever I have to do to get to a Super Bowl and to get to Atlanta, and give our team an opportunity to win, then that’s what I’m about.”
Cobb celebrated his 28th birthday on Wednesday. He’s entering his eighth season. The 2014 Pro Bowl selection joined the Packers in 2011, months after the team won Super Bowl XLV. He has been hampered by injuries, but still managed to play and put up solid numbers in the four seasons following his Pro Bowl nod.
Graham in Green Bay
Graham joined the Saints in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The converted basketball player had a modest five scores during his rookie campaign, before catching fire his sophomore year in the Bayou. Graham hauled in 99 receptions that season and had 1,310 yards and 11 scores, making his first Pro Bowl. He averaged 89 receptions for 1,099 yards and 11.5 scores from the 2011 season through the 2014 season, making the Pro Bowl three times and being named an All-Pro in 2013, when he led the league with 16 touchdowns.
He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 2015. He had just two touchdowns in his first season with the Seahawks, but rebounded the next season with 923 yards and six scores. In 2017, Graham pulled in 10 scores from the Russell Wilson-led offense.
Despite being with superb slingers in Drew Brees and Wilson, Cobb thinks that Graham could be even better with Rodgers throwing him the football in the Packers’ pass-happy assault.
“He’s the same player [he was in New Orleans]. It’s just the type of offense that he was in when he was in Seattle,” Cobb said. “He wasn’t in an offense that is going to throw it around like we do in Green Bay, like they do in New Orleans.”
“Now that he is back in that similar type of offense that he was in in New Orleans, he’s going to lead like he did before. We are all excited to have him as a part of our team and continue to grow.”
Coached up in Alcoa
Cobb is working with U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach program to spotlight America’s most valuable K-12 school-affiliated coaches, who inspire players and are community leaders. On Tuesday, the campaign began an initiative encouraging people to nominate their favorite coach at TheMostValuableCoach.com. The campaign runs through Sept. 10. The final three winning coaches will receive a $50,000 donation for their school, a $20,000 donation, and a $10,000 donation, respectively.
Cobb said one of his biggest mentors and favorite coaches was Alcoa (Tenn.) Middle School coach Tim Russell, who still works at the school.
“I remember he would always say ‘character is what you do when no one is watching,'” Cobb said. “That’s something that I have carried along since that time through high school and college and into the NFL, what I do when no one is watching. How I work when no one is around. When there are no cameras. The lifting that I do, the things I put my body through to prepare for the season, that always goes back to what coach Russell said.”
Cobb said he wants to give those values to his growing family. He was married in April of 2017 and welcomed a baby boy with his wife Aiyda earlier this month.
Replacing Jordy and staying in Wisconsin
The Packers released Jordy Nelson this offseason, but Cobb said the team’s No. 1 wide receiver spot isn’t up for grabs.
Davante Adams has come on strong in the last two seasons. Adams has scored double-digit touchdowns in each of the last two seasons and led the Packers in scores in 2017.
“He has been a great player for us,” Cobb said. “He has been a go-to-guy for Aaron. Over the past few years, Aaron and I have continued to grow our chemistry. We just had the additions of Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis, which is going to be huge for our offense.”
Despite Cobb saying the NFL is always changing, he does want to remain with the Packers after this season. He is playing on the final year of his contract with the NFC North franchise.
“I’m pretty sure that Jordy didn’t want to go anywhere either, but that’s kind of the way that it works. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a part of the business. That’s kind of how things go. We will see what happens over the next year.”