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Rough game won't linger for Randall Cobb

Packers’ veteran receiver continues to set the right example


GREEN BAY – There's only one thing Randall Cobb knows he can do.

"You go right back to work," the Packers' veteran receiver said after Wednesday's practice.

It's how a pro handles his business after a game he'd rather forget. If rear-view-mirror time hadn't begun by the time the Packers' charter flight returned from the nation's capital on Sunday night, it certainly started once the helmet went back on for practice on Wednesday.

Lauded for the example he's set since he arrived in Green Bay in 2011, Cobb will be doing so again this week following a most uncharacteristic game for him.

After dropping an early third-down pass, letting a short fourth-down pass slip out and graze the ground, and then having the ball stripped for a lost fumble in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss at Washington, Cobb is in bounce-back mode.

Though in some ways that's not accurate, because one of the more impressive things about Cobb is whether he's catching nine passes for a career-high 142 yards (including the game-winning 75-yard TD) in the opener or losing a fumble for the first time since 2014 two weeks later, he's the same guy.

That's appreciated as a leadership quality, and it'll prove its value as the Packers prepare to host the Buffalo Bills in Week 4.

"He's extremely consistent," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's very consistent in his preparation and approach and competitive nature, and his discipline is top-notch. That in itself will take care of any successful performance or any performance he wishes he had one or two plays back.

"I have zero concerns about Randall. He'll have a great week and hopefully we can get him a lot of opportunities on Sunday."

Aaron Rodgers felt he should have had more last Sunday, but the quarterback blamed himself for those failures. In reviewing the film of the game, Rodgers said he discussed with Cobb not the aforementioned miscues, but a couple of times a precise route or adjustment got him open, only to have his friend and QB miss him for potential big plays.

"That's what I was talking to him about – not trying to pick him up but just to remind him that, hey, we're all being honest about our performances," Rodgers said. "Obviously, he doesn't want to fumble the ball or drop the ball and he's made a ton of plays for us over the years. It does not in any way adjust my confidence in him throwing him the ball or getting him involved.

"He's our guy, so we're going to keep going to him and expecting great things out of him."

The Packers will expect the same from veteran tight end Lance Kendricks, too, after he dropped a deep ball down the sideline early in the fourth quarter at Washington. The play could have sparked another late comeback.

Kendricks may have even more on his plate this week depending on the status of fellow tight end Jimmy Graham, who sat out Wednesday's practice with a knee injury.

More generally, Cobb is focused on doing his best to get the offense out of the gates quickly after slogging through slow starts in two of the season's first three games.

In Week 1 vs. Chicago, the Packers had just one first down on their first four possessions before Rodgers left with a knee injury. Last week it was one measly field goal on the first four drives. Cobb's drop on third-and-9 on the first possession of the game contributed to the struggles, but no one needs to remind him.

"Whenever we start fast, move the ball well early on, I think it opens things up for different facets of the game," Cobb said. "We get the running game going early in the game, it opens up in the play-action pass. The linebackers suck in a little bit more and opens up the back end. It's important for us to make sure that we have a fast start this week."

And important for Cobb to be a part of it.

"You never want to have moments like that, but it's part of the game," he said about last week. "Things happen. I wish that wasn't the way I played, but that's part of it.

"Back to work today and I was excited to get out there and get after it."

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