Cory's Corner: Randall Cobb Brings Missing Ingredient

The 31-year-old has something that all athletes covet. 

He was brought back to Green Bay July 28. 

Many were skeptical initially, but I think this move could be amazing. 

Randall Cobb is one of those “glue guys.” He knows exactly what to do, when to do it and how it should be done. This will be his 11th season and he recently turned 31. 

But Cobb has always been a security blanket. The guy that finds the perfect place to go on third-and-six and is the epitome of someone for Aaron Rodgers to lean on. It also helps that Rodgers is already his trusted friend and pleaded for Cobb to come back to Green Bay after a two-year hiatus. 

I’ve heard the naysayers about Cobb. I get it, I know that in the last two years, Cobb has suffered a Grade 2 lower lumbar strain in Oct. 2019 and a pedal toe sprain in Nov. 2020. He has been injured a lot and he is also nearing the twilight of his career. 

I understand all of that. 

However, there is something to be said about Cobb playing with something to prove. He knows that if he struggles, he is going to be reminded of it each and every day. Cobb didn’t just agree to come here because he thought he would turn into Obi-Wan Kenobi for rookie slot wideout Amari Rodgers. 

Cobb thinks that he still has something left to prove. And why not? Last year he notched his highest catch percentage since his rookie season by tallying a strong 79 percent.

Does Cobb have the wheels to go deep? Probably not. Does Cobb have the strength to shed sure tacklers? That’s a likely no. But you’re a valued wideout if you can simply catch the football at a high percentage. And that’s exactly what Cobb can do. 

All he really has to do is prove that he can still get open and this trade will be paid back with every passing third down. 

What is the one thing that Aaron Rodgers has always wanted? It’s trust, because, remember, Rodgers doesn’t throw it when you’re open, he throws you open. Cobb knows and understands that and will make a remarkable addition on an offense that needs another leadership voice. 

Of course Cobb will also lead the young Amari Rodgers. But their traits are exactly opposite. Cobb has the smarts and intuition to know where and when to be vs. man and zone defense, while Rodgers has the physical ability. 

Cobb is going to prove this season that his RAS score may not be as sparkling as some wide receivers, but there is one metric that just cannot be measured. 

And that’s heart. The one thing that Cobb has always played with. That’s why Aaron Rodgers wanted him back. He knew that no matter what kind of adversity comes his way, he will remain the smart professional that he has always been. 

There was one thing missing from this offense last year. 

And that one thing was heart. 

-------------------

Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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8 points

Comments (53)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
porupack's picture

September 04, 2021 at 06:40 am

You're probably right. Heart, but also just being in sync/on the same page is really the advantage. MVS, Lazard were open plenty of times, but in those dire split seconds when the play is breaking down, Rodgers has to have a mental picture of where his next reads are going to be...and react accordingly without having to think about what that receiver is trying to do. He trust Cobb. I agree fully, that Cobb doesn't really need to do much after the catch, besides not fumbling. Just catch in tight windows. Make the Defense guard every square yard of the interior middle, short middle, and that opens up Adams and MVS. Cobb will have to be game-planned. Lazard wasn't quite there yet....but probably would achieve that possession receiver status this year (but probably not now that Cobb is back). I also wasn't enthused about this signing, but glad you point out the real upside.

13 points
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Handsback's picture

September 04, 2021 at 06:41 am

I think many expected Amari Rodgers to be the anointed starter, but has shown to be a great prospect but needs some seasoning . Enter the reliable Cobb to show the kid how its done in the NFL. It will prove to be a great pickup.

12 points
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Savage57's picture

September 04, 2021 at 06:50 am

If Cobb is used as a piece of the offense, a situational option which plays to his strength of finding the soft spots in coverage, he'll be a boon to the Packers offense.

If he becomes a point of emphasis, I don't see it working out as well. The concern is if AR looks to Cobb as de facto WR2 and feeds him the ball to validate the acquisition instead of a more organic, 'play it as it lies' production of the WR corps.

15 points
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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

September 04, 2021 at 08:51 am

I worry about this as well. We saw Rodgers trying to force it to Adams last season when other receivers were wide open. My fear is it becoming a two receiver show this year. MLF will have to use Cobb wisely. Of course it all depends on Cobb staying healthy first.

5 points
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dekan51's picture

September 04, 2021 at 11:26 am

IC
"We saw Rodgers trying to force it to Adams last season when other receivers were wide open."
Amen to that.

1 points
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Since'61's picture

September 04, 2021 at 09:10 am

Agree Savage57. Cobb needs to be used as a situational player. Also MLF needs to come with a few plays where Cobb splits out wide and Adams moves into slot. Just to screw with the heads of opposing DCs. The offense has plenty to work with especially if the OL plays solidly. Thanks, Since '61

7 points
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Coldworld's picture

September 04, 2021 at 12:21 pm

When healthy, Cobb has shown the ability to get open after he left us. He isn’t as quick, but he is smart and aware. I think the danger is that we confuse young Cobb with the current one. He’s not as durable and he’s not as sudden. We do t need him to get 1000 yards, we need him to get first downs and provide something different. If he becomes a go to receiver he’s not likely to be healthy for long. Use him wisely and his experience helps. Treat him as a true starter or regular perimeter guy and it’s likely a lesson that less is more waiting to happen.

LaFleur is likely aware if this. As of yet, we’ve seen little and mostly the positives are Rodgers alone. I think LaFleur is likely to have a better perspective on merit and usage than Rodgers. Hopefully LaFleur remains in the driving seat. If he does, Cobb will benefit and so will the team and Amari this year.

2 points
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jurp's picture

September 04, 2021 at 06:05 pm

If we're lucky, Cobb now = Donald Driver 2.0. Let's just keep those chains moving...

2 points
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Packers0808's picture

September 04, 2021 at 07:20 am

Just so Cobb doesn't become a second have to "go to man" like Rodgers to often seem to have done with Adams, this should be a great add to the offense in real times of a needed target!

2 points
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Johnblood27's picture

September 04, 2021 at 07:24 am

You got it right Cory, Heart was missing from the offense.

What you got wrong is that it needs to come from the WR corps.

It needs to come from the QB, and he hasn't shown it much.

Great physical talent - check.

Great mental understanding of the game - check.

Burning desire to WIN above all else - empty hole.

-15 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

September 04, 2021 at 10:19 am

You seem to have missed all the people interviewed who said Rodgers is the most competitive guy they've ever been around.

4 points
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Johnblood27's picture

September 05, 2021 at 07:42 am

Rodgers competes with himself and other QB from present and history.

He does it statistically.

He doesn't want to win football games at all costs.

He wants to have the best stat line of all time, not the most championships.

That's my take and I'm sticking with it until he can lead his team to its full potential through the regular season and playoffs.

0 points
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hacksaw61's picture

September 05, 2021 at 01:46 pm

Yeah.. that guy that came back after being injured and led the Packers to one of the great comebacks in the second half over the Bears...yeah no heart.

-1 points
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Johnblood27's picture

September 06, 2021 at 08:52 pm

C'mon man...

It was the Bares?!?!

0 points
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Guam's picture

September 04, 2021 at 07:42 am

I'm a sceptic about Cobb. The Packers let him go for a reason and he is now older and slower than when they released him. I doubt Cobb will hurt the team, but I wonder how much he will actually help.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

September 04, 2021 at 12:22 pm

Small doses and I think he’s useful.

7 points
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Guam's picture

September 05, 2021 at 09:30 am

I hope he does turn out to be useful. The obvious concern is that he is on the team only because QB1 wants him there and not because he is the best player the Packers could have had in that roster spot.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

September 05, 2021 at 02:09 pm

I agree, but I think he helps Amari and the team if used appropriately this year. I do think the benefit next year may be questionable if Amari, Winfree or Taylor continue to progress.

1 points
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Lphill's picture

September 04, 2021 at 03:25 pm

Packers let him go because they did not want to pay him same as Woodson .

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

September 05, 2021 at 02:12 pm

They let him go because it was pretty clear that injuries were had consistently prevented him from living up to his second contract. I do not recall many here doubting that assessment. I don’t think many felt he didn’t do well getting paid what he was by Dallas and the Houston either.

1 points
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Johnblood27's picture

September 07, 2021 at 09:37 pm

Let's just hope that the Cobb move doesn't turn out to be septic.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

September 04, 2021 at 07:49 am

You could have said the same thing about Jordy Nelson. Is it chemistry? Trust? Heart? Maybe. But Cobb can play the slot. And much more. He's the insurance policy. Putting Arron Rodgers in a zone, is what this was all about.

3 points
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RedRight49's picture

September 04, 2021 at 07:58 am

I believe the most likely and best use of Number 18 on the field will be the short down and distance plays, the " third and six " type plays as Cory mentioned that keep the chains moving forward and keep the drives alive.

Cobb clearly has the trust of Aaron Rodgers to find that little patch of the field currently vacant of a defender and " take what the defense gives you ".

If Cobb can also mentor Amari Rodgers , thats' fine too of course and no doubt he can offer tips to some other receivers as well.

Randall Cobb can be a true offensive weapon by helping to keep drives alive and keeping Aaron & the Packer's Offense on the field, their opponent's D on the field and, the opponent's Offense seated on their bench.

9 points
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NickPerry's picture

September 04, 2021 at 07:59 am

If you had asked me about bringing Randal Cobb back in May, after the draft, I'd probably said no BUT it wouldn't have been a slam dunk NO...I've always felt Cobb was a very smart football player who when healthy knew exactly what Rodgers wants and where to be on 3rd and goal from the 8 in the NFCCG for example. There were too many examples of Randal Cobb being clutch in key moments to ignore.

But once things settled down, Rodgers reported, and Amari Rodgers more than showed us during TC and the preseason he'll need time to become what I think he'll become (A great WR in the NFL), I've become ecstatic Randal Cobb is back in GB.

With Cobb back in Green Bay the Packers now have another PROVEN weapon in the Red-Zone and the middle of the field on offense...ESPECIALLY when paired with AR12. Just as important Amari Rodgers doesn't need to be rushed or put in a position he's not ready for. He gets to learn from one of the better slot receivers the Packers have ever had and they have trust and history together. It doesn't get better than that.

At the end of the day the Packers are a better team with Cobb, and they have a happier player at the games most important position. At this time, 8 days before the Packers kick0ff their 2021 season, I could give a flying F*** why and under what circumstances that brought Cobb back to GB. He's back, the Packers are better for it, and I'm going to just enjoy the ride all the way to Los Angeles in February.

15 points
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Coldworld's picture

September 05, 2021 at 02:15 pm

If he stays healthy we are better this year. If he doesn’t we could have used that cap elsewhere. That’s the gamble. I’m not sure the odds are good that he stays healthy, but one needs luck sometimes.

1 points
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PatrickGB's picture

September 04, 2021 at 08:52 am

It may take a bit to learn Matt’s offense. Remember that Cobb has done his work with Aaron in MM’s system. Who knows if the scramble drills or comeback read his mind kind of plays still exist in Matt and Hackets system anymore? We already have a lot of different type skill wide receivers on the roster anyway. But it seems to me that Cobb just might be what we need right now in the slot and in the classroom.
And besides, he is a Bear Killer.

9 points
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SpikeHyzer's picture

September 04, 2021 at 01:01 pm

ALL systems have a scramble ideology and it's the same under MLF as MM.
MLF's use of the slot is exactly the same as MM's as well.
The issue isn't system.
It's age and health.

0 points
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marpag1's picture

September 04, 2021 at 09:06 am

On what are we basing the notion that Cobb came to Green Bay because he desperately feels that he "has something to prove?"

Does anyone think that maybe a $5.6M contract and a practically guaranteed roster spot have something to do with it?

Cobb is here to give high fives and bro hugs to ARod.

-5 points
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SpikeHyzer's picture

September 04, 2021 at 12:59 pm

And will have a chance to do so all season if he's in a cast early on as I suspect!

-3 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

September 04, 2021 at 09:13 am

Reads like the second coming, of what is the question.

I'm sure Cobb will have some plays that make the weak-minded or easily impressed go ooh and aah because he catches a pass, but let us remember he was let go for his fall in production, injury concerns. This article reads like Cobb will be the security blanket that is just short of guaranteeing an SB appearance, which he wasn't when the Packers had him at his peak. Sure Rodgers is happy Cobb is back as are some of you, but the moment the seasons' end isn't what is hoped, you'll all start bitching about the move that shouldn't have been allowed to be made.

-5 points
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Bure9620's picture

September 04, 2021 at 09:57 am

Yeah, never in favor of players making personnel decisions. I was never in favor of them bringing Cobb back. Hopefully he is not force fed the ball....I think he is totally hobbled and ineffective or on IR by mid season.

4 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

September 04, 2021 at 10:23 am

You're clearly not weak minded or easily impressed then? I'm impressed by any WR that catches any ball in a live NFL game against NFL quality defenders. It's not a simple task.

-1 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

September 04, 2021 at 10:58 am

"I'm impressed by any WR that catches any ball in a live NFL game against NFL quality defenders. It's not a simple task."

I'll think of you and your measuring bar of a successful and worthy player when he catches a 3-yard screen pass that a dog can be trained to catch, and the player gets awarded with a 15 million dollar contract while the dog gets a pat on the head.

1 points
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BAMABADGER's picture

September 04, 2021 at 09:14 am

"What is the one thing that Aaron Rodgers has always wanted? It’s trust, because, remember, Rodgers doesn’t throw it when you’re open, he throws you open.". That comment, if true, is a major reason Aaron Rodgers has led the Pack to just one Super Bowl.

2 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

September 04, 2021 at 10:24 am

I'd say it's more the reason why he's led so many potent offenses and why his turnover percentage is the lowest of any QB to play the game. A defender can get there on a guy who is open when you throw it, but a defender CAN'T get there if you throw a guy open.

3 points
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jont's picture

September 04, 2021 at 09:18 am

Over at PackerWire, they have "bold predictions", and a couple are about GB's slot receivers: Cobb will get more TD catches than Tonyan and Amari will get fewer than 20 catches in the season. I am not sure I agree with either of these, but you can see their reasoning.

Predictions are difficult, especially about the future, but I'll make one. I expect that Cobb will have a good start to the season while Amari comes on slower, on the field less. In the season's second half, however, I think we'll see Amari time-- he'll have a couple good games that catch opponents by surprise and then become the new weapon makes GB's offense even more dangerous at playoff time.

9 points
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HawkPacker's picture

September 04, 2021 at 11:03 am

Jont that would be sweet. I am disappointed, thus far, is how Amari looks. Coming from a great football program, I expected more out of him early! He seems very tentative and somewhat unsure of himself on the field. I hope you are correct that as time goes on he will get more confident and start to light things up. Hopefully Cobb will help him a lot.

9 points
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PhantomII's picture

September 04, 2021 at 11:28 am

He is probably thinking too much. The game has not slowed for him yet. Hopefully he gets it going soon. ML said they were not holding back on info for him. I think it will start to come together for him by game 6 or so and we will start to see more who he was in college.

1 points
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bbarryirish's picture

September 04, 2021 at 05:13 pm

"Predictions are difficult, especially about the future."
That's beautiful!
Are you Yogi Berra reincarnated?
I am doing to LOVE using that line. Thank you! :)

'

'

4 points
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jurp's picture

September 04, 2021 at 06:13 pm

I've found that my predictions about the past are always extremely accurate!

1 points
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PhantomII's picture

September 05, 2021 at 12:04 pm

I don't look at any player in college who was not very good and expect much in the pros. If a kid is great in college,
my hope is he excels in the pros at near the same level in the pros, with bigger, stronger, faster and smarter players as he becomes one of those type players himself. His dad was a coach, works hard, came back from torn ACL same year. Kids gonna be good. He has the work ethic for it. He wants to be great. That's the foundation for success in the NFL along with God given skills and abilities.

1 points
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Philarod's picture

September 04, 2021 at 09:59 pm

I agree with your post but at the risk of being a wise guy, I have to gently call you out on this: "Predictions are difficult, especially about the future..."

What other type of predictions are there?!

3 points
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wildbill's picture

September 04, 2021 at 09:59 am

Really love Cobb and his skill set, just hope after losing a step he can get open and stay healthy. Used to drive me nuts when MM would run him between the tackles as it very seldom was a four yard gain, or longer, and just got him beat up with opportunity for injury. I hope we have seen the last of that.

7 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

September 04, 2021 at 11:43 am

So would I rather have Cobb or Juju Smith-Schuster - a younger, healthier, faster and more productive player (than Cobb)? Also with a less expensive contract. Cobb is the ex-girlfriend that Dad has brought back - despite the protests from the rest of the family. Yes, it could work - for a while - or not. Also with Cobb I'm checking to see if he sustained an injury after every play - with the Draft Sharks Injury Projector estimating a 95% chance of Cobb being injured this season.

2 points
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dobber's picture

September 04, 2021 at 12:33 pm

ARod's push for Cobb is truly a head-scratcher. It argues that ARod didn't want to use his new-found input into roster management to really make this team better, he wanted to use it to stick it to management. I don't have a lot nice to say about #12 the person after that.

7 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

September 04, 2021 at 04:49 pm

Wouldn't it have been better for the team if "Recruitment Rodgers" tried to sell Smith-Schuster on a one year deal - which he ended-up signing for less than Cobb? Or how about Marvin Jones? He signed a 2 yr. $14.5m deal. Like Cobb he's 31 - but had 76 receptions and 978 yds. last year. I also believe that he was "available" in all of the games. Why doesn't Rodgers have pals like that? Instead, his idea of recruitment seems to be recycling a handful of his past-their-prime chums from a bygone era. Also Cobb cost the Packers a draft choice. Marvin Jones would have been like finding a free wallet.

2 points
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SpikeHyzer's picture

September 04, 2021 at 12:56 pm

I don't disagree, but he was brought back FOR Rodgers to have a buddy and try to get him a SB win.

I honestly think the team would be better served if he got hurt early and ESB replaced him on the roster.

All the heart and desire in the world cannot fix an aging body.

Then he can be a mentor/coach on the sidelines helping the slot guys and still getting a ring.

-4 points
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Cartwright's picture

September 04, 2021 at 03:02 pm

With the connection they have, maybe more drives will stay alive as Cobb becomes Rogers' third down conversion machine.

3 points
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GregC's picture

September 04, 2021 at 04:34 pm

Cobb has always played as if he has something to prove, so that observation doesn't move the needle at all. During his last few years in Green Bay, he was slowing down and was often injured, and now he is two years older than when he left. I've always liked Cobb, so I hope this works out well for him and the team, but I am still skeptical.

5 points
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joejetson's picture

September 04, 2021 at 05:14 pm

I see Cobb.as a.bridge to provide a reliable slot receiver until Amari Rodgers learns.the intricacies of being an NFL receiver. It usually takes at least a year or two for young receivers to understand NFL passing systems. I just hope Cobb stays healthy, considering his age. The Cobb/Rodgers mentor/pupil dynamic makes sense, though.

5 points
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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

September 04, 2021 at 05:51 pm

How’s your boy Elroy?

0 points
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Johnblood27's picture

September 05, 2021 at 07:50 am

Forget Elroy, how is Judy?

0 points
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CoachDino's picture

September 05, 2021 at 05:13 am

great conversation and both sides make some good arguements. imo its all about his role and ar if he hasnt alreadxy has that answer. hes to small to be arun down player, most likely its just what many think short to med yardage where ar is confidant in cob to find the open zone and sit in it.

-1 points
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