Carving Out His Place In History

Carving Out His Place In History

Randall Cobb

words // W. Keith Roerdink
photos // Heidi Hammer
photos // Darrell Martin

Randall Cobb walks in two worlds – simultaneously surrounded by history, and becoming a part it. He exits the locker room at 1265 Lombardi Avenue and walks by the greatest moments of Green Bay’s storied franchise, immortalized in poster-size fashion on the wall.

It’s a scene that’s not lost on him. Cobb grew up in Alcoa, TN, a town filled with rich football tradition. His high school team won seven of the last eight state championships – including four while he was there. It was a small town where football was king. But that intensity is ratcheted up 100 fold in the NFL’s smallest city.

“It’s a special place,” Cobb said of Green Bay, taking a break from his offseason training for a photo and video shoot with Eastbay. “You look at the field we play on, how much history is in that one stadium. So many guys have walked through that locker room, and through that tunnel. Reggie White, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Charles Woodson, Donald Driver… there’s just so many guys that I could name. There’s a passion that we have being part of such a great organization.”

He has listened to tales from the Green and Gold all-time greats. Cobb’s selection in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft (he was the last player to leave the ‘green room’ when he was chosen 64th overall by Green Bay) was even announced at Radio City Music Hall by Hall of Fame running back Jim Taylor.

“I’ve had a chance to talk to Bart Starr and hear some of his old stories,” Cobb said. “I’ve met Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung a couple of times. Just being able to be around so many great players that have come before you is a special feeling and it really makes you appreciate the game that much more when you hear stories from them.”

But entering his fourth season, Cobb has already etched his own name into the record books. After tying the NFL record with a 108-yard kickoff return as a rookie, he set a team record with 2,342 yards as the team’s resident Swiss Army knife in 2012. It broke down to 954 receiving yards, 964 kick return yards, 292 punt return yards, and 132 rushing.

The versatility was nothing new for Cobb. He set the SEC record two years prior with 2,396 yards, playing everything from receiver to running back to Wildcat quarterback and returner.

“I was actually mad because I was going for 2,500,” Cobb said in all seriousness. “I didn’t get it that year. That was one of my goals going into the season. I didn’t quite get as much as I wanted, but I did break the record, so that was pretty huge. But I’m my biggest critic, so anytime I have success, I’m always pushing for more and it’s never going to be enough. You can never be satisfied. You always have to keep that drive and never relax.”

Still, the Green Bay record was humbling for a player just two years removed from dominating at the college level. Green Bay is far away from Kentucky in more than just geography.

“It’s crazy to think about,” Cobb said. “You think about such a historic franchise and for me to do something like that in my second year is unreal. And I’m really thankful for those accomplishments. But I want to be the best at what I do so I can’t really worry about my accomplishments right now because I still have a lot that I want to achieve. I have to keep that focus and drive and that motivation to move forward on the other things I want to achieve. Maybe after my career, I’ll look back and realize how huge that actually is.”

There’s already a lot to look back on after just three seasons. Along with his record-tying return and yardage record, Cobb was part of one of the most memorable plays in Green Bay’s storied 93-year history — the touchdown grab at Chicago that catapulted Green Bay into the playoffs. It’s a play that may one day take its place on the walls outside the locker room doors, among the other historic snapshots.

“That play… so many things had to go wrong for it to go right,” said Cobb, his eyes glowing even more intensely than usual. “First off, with them coming on an all-out blitz, John Kuhn checking the protection, half the line getting it, the other half not, him being able to make an incredible block on (Julius) Peppers, Aaron being able to get out of the pocket and find me downfield, me coming off the ball and seeing that a guy is standing right where I have to go, and instead of running the route that I’m supposed to, abandoning everything and throwing my hand up, and the rest is history.”

Heightening the drama even more, was that it was Cobb’s first game back after being out 10 weeks with a broken leg, and his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, was back under center after missing seven games with a fractured collar bone.

While that win vaulted Green Bay into the playoffs, their season would end the following week in a loss to San Francisco. But that loss, along with the comeback trail Cobb’s traveled, has him chomping at the bit for a season-opening game against the reigning world champions in Seattle.

“Why not start off the year like that?” Cobb said. “I’m really looking forward to that game. You have one of the best corners in the game in Richard Sherman; the Seahawks’ defense is one of the best in the league, if not the best statistically over the last few years; they’re coming off a Super Bowl win; you’re going to the ‘12th man’ to play. I mean, why not? The stage is set. It’s just time for you to take control of what you can and go out there and do what you’ve got to do.”

Go deep with Randall on his cleats, training, and more here!

Randall Cobb

Randall Cobb

Randall Cobb

adidas Signs NFL Prospects Von Miller and Randall Cobb

adidas Signs NFL Prospects Von Miller and Randall Cobb

words // Brandon Richard

After beefing up their football lineup in March, adidas announced the acquisition of two additional NFL prospects earlier today. Joining the 3-Stripes team next season will be Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller and Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb. Miller and Cobb join Nebraska DB Prince Amukamara, Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray, Boise State WR Titus Young, Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph and Troy WR Jerrel Jernigan as the new crop of adidas Football players.

Another dominating season landed Von Miller the 2010 Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker. He was also named a first-team All-American for the second consecutive season and finished his college career with 33 sacks. After winning the Defensive MVP at the 2011 Senior Bowl and being one of the standout performers at the NFL Combine, Miller is projected to be a Top 5 in next week’s NFL Draft.

“My game is all about speed,” said Texas A&M All-American Miller. “I need a cleat that keeps me fast when I’m rushing the quarterback or dropping back in coverage. I wore adidas in college and like that adidas cleats give me the speed I need combined with support and versatility.  Beyond the football field, I look forward to partnering with adidas to give back to my local communities and support charities and programs that have been instrumental in my development on and off the field.”

Randall Cobb lined up primarily as a receiver at Kentucky, but proved to be a versatile talent in his time there. He also made contributions at quarterback, punt returner, kickoff returner and kick holder. Last season, Cobb broke the SEC all-purpose yardage record and set a school record for career touchdowns. He was named first-team All-American and All-SEC. Expect Cobb to come off the board within the first two rounds of the draft.

“I signed with adidas for the adiZero 5-Star,” said Kentucky’s record setting wide receiver Cobb.  “Versatility is the key to my game and the 5-Star gives me the speed and support I need to excel on the field.”

As mentioned by Cobb, the new signings come on the heels of adidas’ introduction of the brand new adiZero 5-Star cleat. Weighing in at just 6.9 ounces, the 5-Star is said to be 3 ounces lighter than the nearest competitor.

Visit adidas Football on Facebook for more information about the brand’s strides on turf.

Von Miller, Linebacker, Texas A&M

adidas Signs Von Miller

Randall Cobb, Wide Receiver, Kentucky

adidas Signs Randall Cobb