Cobb says offense needs work on Wildcat
GREEN BAY - Randall Cobb felt like he was back in college during the Green Bay Packers’ win Sunday at the Chicago Bears.
On three snaps, Cobb lined up at quarterback in the Wildcat formation and ran with the football. It’s something the Packers rarely have shown during Cobb’s seven seasons.
Cobb said the Packers have been working on the Wildcat “a couple weeks now” in practice.
“I’ve been waiting on it for seven years,” Cobb said. “It was fun to be back there a little bit.”
There was one significant difference from his college days. Unlike at Kentucky, where Cobb said the offense got roughly 40% of its production from the Wildcat, the Packers looked like a team that wasn’t used to running the formation.
In order, Cobb’s three runs generated gains of minus-1, 6 and 3 yards, an average of 2.6 yards per carry.
“We’ve got some work to do with that,” Cobb said. “We didn’t line up correctly a couple times. We didn’t execute the play like we wanted to a couple times.”
The Packers might not have much choice but to continue mixing in the Wildcat. With rookie running back Aaron Jones and top backup Ty Montgomery dealing with injuries, the Packers are thin in the backfield. Quarterback Brett Hundley also is nursing a hamstring injury, which could persuade the Packers to limit his exposure to contact.
With rookie Jamaal Williams’ emergence Sunday, the Packers appear equipped to have a running back ready to handle the bulk of carries. But they might continue asking Cobb to give them a handful of snaps in the backfield. Even if the Wildcat is relatively new, the Packers have used Cobb as an emergency running back in the past.
Rain check: The excuse Packers special teams coordinator Ron Zook heard from his punt returner, he said, was the rain got in his eyes.
Hard as it was to believe, Zook watched second-year receiver Trevor Davis retreat from the 12-yard line all the way into the end zone Sunday. He then watched Davis, head still high looking for the ball, field the punt one yard behind the goal line.
It’s something a punt returner almost never does. Zook said the Packers instruct their punt returners to retreat four yards from the 12. If the punt is still over their head, a returner is told to let it drop.
Davis did not let it drop. “Obviously, No. 1, he cannot catch the ball in that situation,” Zook said. “His comment to me was, ‘Well, coach, the rain was in my eyes.’ And I said, ‘Well, that can’t happen.’ Occasionally, you see it. You don’t see it real often. But that can’t happen.”
As bad as the play was, Zook said it almost worked. The Packers were one block by cornerback Kevin King from busting a long return, Zook said. Instead, Davis returned it nine yards, advancing only to the 8-yard line — 12 yards back from where the Packers would get possession with a touchback.
Even if the return was just one block away from busting loose, Zook said it’s not worth attempting.
“You don’t do that,” Zook said. “You don’t even mess with the ball back there. You don’t want to be in that situation.”
Bennett wants ‘vengeance’: Martellus Bennett said Sunday he thought being waived by the Packers last week marked the end of his season, and he was preparing himself for shoulder surgery and a “desk job” to occupy his time as an unemployed football player.
He even told his agent to advise teams that he was planning on surgery, so it would be unwise to place a waiver claim on him. That changed when Bill Belichick was interested.
With the chance to return to New England, where Bennett was a part of the Patriots’ Super Bowl champion team last year, the tight end said he’d eschew surgery on his shoulder and play.
He passed his physical and caught three passes in Sunday’s 41-16 win over the Denver Broncos.
“You get that vengeance in your heart and you say, ‘(expletive) it,’ and go ball,” Bennett said.
Bennett on Friday posted a lengthy tirade about his shoulder and the medical treatment he said he received in Green Bay. Several Packers players, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers, issued their own statements in support of team doctor Patrick McKenzie, whom Bennett criticized.
Bennett said that response from former teammates didn’t bother him.
“It’s like, ‘I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you says bounces off me and sticks it back to you,’ ” Bennett said. “At this point, it’s nothing else anyone can say to me in my career that could make me feel any way toward myself.’’
Back again: Linebacker Derrick Mathews’ time off the Packers’ roster didn’t last long.
The third-year linebacker was signed to the practice squad Monday after being released Saturday. He’d been on the Packers’ practice squad all of this season, as well as late last season.
Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today Sports contributed to this report.