Fun With Round Numbers: Can Packers WR Randall Cobb Catch 100 Passes?

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Can Packers WR Randall Cobb catch 100 passes in 2013?
Can Packers WR Randall Cobb catch 100 passes in 2013?

For a franchise that has had an all-pro caliber quarterback for the last 20 years, the list of Packers wide receivers with 100 catches in a season is short.

Very short.

No Packers receiver has caught 100 passes in a season since Robert Brooks in 1995. Sterling Sharpe is the only other Packers receiver to catch at least 100 passes, doing it in 1992 and ’93.

Compare that with Peyton Manning, who connected with Marvin Harrison (4), Reggie Wayne (4) and Dallas Clark (1) on at least 100 passes nine times. Or Tom Brady, who has helped Wes Welker go over 100 catches five times and Troy Brown once. Or Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens, who have five 100-catch seasons under Joe Montana and Steve Young.

The Packers have shown that you can still win Super Bowls and enjoy sustained success without a 100-catch receiver. Nonetheless, Aaron Rodgers has said that he thinks Randall Cobb is capable of catching 100 passes, if he stays healthy.

When the topic was brought up on Monday’s Green and Gold Today, co-host Bill Johnson said Rodgers’ comments were “troubling” and worried about Rodgers changing his spread-the-ball around approach and forcing the ball to Cobb.

I don’t think Cobb catching 100 passes would be “troubling,” but the Packers’ offense seems to function just fine with several receivers getting opportunities to make plays. But if Cobb happens to enter triple figures, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other receivers have underperformed or Rodgers is locked in on Cobb and only Cobb.

Rodgers is adamant that he throws to whomever is open. If Cobb is open 140 times, and Rodgers throws to him successfully at least 100 times, so be it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s locking on Cobb to the detriment of other receivers who are open somewhere else.

We like having nice round numbers like “100” to lock in on and establish some sort of benchmark. But those round numbers don’t always tell the whole story.

Sure, Cobb is capable of catching 100 passes. He’s a great receiver with a knack for adjusting his routes and finding open space after Rodgers scrambles. He also might get some more opportunities after the departure of Greg Jennings

But the number “100” is arbitrary. Cobb is also capable of making a tremendous impact with 80 catches. Or 65 catches. Or 72 catches. Or 94 catches. Or 90 catches if you want to stick with round numbers.

I don’t expect Rodgers’ approach to change much in 2013. I also expect Cobb to be even better in his third season that he was in his second, provided he doesn’t get hurt.

Will that lead to 100 catches for Cobb? Maybe. Either way, the only people who should feel troubled are opposing defenses.

——————

Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

——————

  • Pack Fan in ATL

    I look at it this way: If Cobb gets 100 catches, its because the team as a whole has improved: the offense is on the field an extra bit of time either more by long sustained drives or more turnovers/3 and outs forced by the defense. I welcome either or a combination of both possibilities.

  • PatMc

    Score 50 on offense and shut out the other teams. That will lead to some wins!
    Go Pack GO!

  • redlights

    So over 16 games, one can expect 1000 offensive plays; 60% would be passes, with a 60% completion rate brings us to 360 completions (slightly above his 5 year average). If Nelson, Jones and Finley each get 70; 150 receptions remain between Cobb, WR4, and the RB’s, easily doable.

  • Dobber

    I don’t think any one receiver catching balls from AR has caught more than 80 passes in a season, and there were a couple seasons in there where DD and GJ were pretty solid.

    I think if Cobb catches 100 passes it might be a sign that the running game hasn’t really improved and maybe that signifcant player games in the receiver corps had been lost to injury.

    Can he? Sure. But I hope he doesn’t have to.

  • Thomas Hobbes

    Actually I don’t think it’s all too hard to get 100 passes. Cobb caught 80 passes last season and was nursing an injury near the end of the season. If he continues on the same pace and catches one pass more (or drops one pass less) per game, that puts him at 96 and I’m sure he can make up another catch every 4 games.

    • PatMc

      And Greg Jennings had 36 passes for 366 yards. Cobb will get some of these. As will Jordy and Nelson. I don’t think Cobb getting 100 passes means anything other than Cobb getting 100 passes.

      Hopefull Nelson or Jones also are hitting close to 100 AND the RB’s are getting 100 yards combined rushing and passing per game.

      This is the year to blow out the opponents. Dominate!

  • FireMMNow

    If the packers go back to a ball control passing game it should not be hard for cobb to get a hundred catches. if they continue to try to force the ball down the field like they did last year it will be difficult to get more than about 85 catches.

    where has the slant gone in this offense? it was once an effective weapon.

    • PatMc

      Just talking about 100 catches has the other teams D Coordinators sweating and planning to stop Cobb! Jones led in TD’s last year…

      I expect Jordy Nelson to have a big year (if he stays healthy)….along with Jermichael.

      Oh and I do expect to see a few 100 yard rushing games.

      • PatMc

        I also agree they need to utilize the slant more.

    • Stroh

      The slant was a Favre specialty. He was outstanding throwing that. Since Rodgers took over those have become crossing routes more. Its a matter of the strengths of the QBs being different and playing to those strengths.

  • MarkJohn

    I’d rather see fewer (than 100)catches and YPC increase to about 15:

    Cobb 80/1200/15.0/10+td
    Nelson 70/1300/18.6/10+
    Jones 60/900/15.0/8+
    Finley 60/780/13.0/8+
    Running Backs 50/425/8.5/6

    Totals 320/4605/14.4/42

    Rodgers completed 371 last year, but if the running game does improve maybe he completes fewer. Although if ball control and time of possession improves who knows. So say 360ish and that leaves 40 more for backup WRs and TEs, or distributed to the stats above.

    Of course if Cobb does get to 100 with the balance hoped for, that will be great too ;).

  • dave

    When AR said “capable” of catching 100, to what was he referring? I don’t take this to mean AR was saying ‘come heck or high water, I’m going to ensure RC will catch 100 passes this year’. I think AR was simply paying RC a compliment that he’s reached the same skill level as WRs that DO catch 100/yr.

    I would think that catching 100 could mean the team is out of balance. I think the offense is more potent when I hear an announcer, half-way through the 2nd quarter say ‘AR has completed passes to 10 different receivers’. To me, the defense has to be thinking ‘crap, where do we concentrate efforts to stop AR?’…vs…hearing the announcer say RC’s now caught 8 passes by half-time. The defense will know where to adjust and GB will then need to counter this adjustment.

    Those Sterling Sharpe years were nice stat-wise, but those were not the years with the strongest, most balanced GB offense.

  • Wagszilla

    I’d be worried if he did. Cobb got pretty dinged up last year and he wasn’t targeted as much as he supposedly will be this year.

    I love Cobb but have concerns about him being the “#1″, purely for the sake of longevity.

    My real hope is the run game will be more than a better distraction and Quarless can make hay blocking and him and 88 can get open deep because defenses are forced to play the Packers differently.