Originally written on Packer Update  |  Last updated 10/20/14
Randall Cobb is expected to be the team’s No. 1 wide receiver this season I don’t care if it means re-signing Roell Preston, Allen Rossum or Desmond Howard, the Green Bay Packers can’t go into the season with Randall Cobb as their No. 1 return man. Unfortunately, it’s not hard to picture No. 18 fielding kickoffs and punts against the 49ers in week 1. That’s because GM Ted Thompson failed to sign or draft a single player with proven return skills during the offseason, leaving backup receiver Jeremy Ross as the only thing standing between Cobb and another year on special teams. Expect Johnathan Franklin, Omarius Hines and Charles Johnson to get plenty of opportunities to return kicks and punts during the summer, but none of the three has any experience in this area. And while bringing back kicks doesn’t take much skill (just courage), catching a punt while 11 very large men are getting ready to treat your body like a Piñata might be the most difficult thing to do on a football field. I can’t imagine head coach Mike McCarthy trusting anyone but Ross or Cobb with those duties once the games count. Ross was an accomplished returner in college, and he showed exciting potential late last season. But his game-changing fumble in the playoffs has to concern the coaches. Not only did the former Cal star drop the ball, but he made an even worse mistake by trying to catch it at all. Ross will have to show better hands and better judgement this summer. He’ll also have to show the ability to play receiver, since Thompson has made it clear that he won’t keep a player who can’t contribute on offense or defense. If Ross isn’t the answer, Thompson must change his MO and acquire the best proven return man available before the opener. Exposing Cobb, clearly the second-best player on offense, to extra hits would be crazy. We all saw how much the passing game suffered when the former Kentucky star was hobbled late last season. Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jermichael Finley are good receivers, but none of the three is capable of getting separation on a consistent basis. Cobb can, but only if he’s healthy. Getting him off special teams won’t guarantee his physical well-being, but it would sure as heck help.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

Packers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.