Randall Cobb is in a new city for the second time in a year and is tasked with learning to play with another new set of teammates.
This time, it’s a little different with most everyone remaining home. But Cobb still has tape to work with, and he’s seeing similarities between his new quarterback and his old.
“I think the biggest thing is the chemistry with the quarterback,” Cobb said during his introductory conference call Friday. “That’s one thing that I’m excited to come in and build and be able to learn what (Watson) likes and show him what I’m good at and just being able to communicate and be on the same page. When I watch his highlights, a lot of the routes that were ran by the slot receivers are a lot of the stuff that I’m used to in my career. I’ve ran a lot of routes out of the slot just being my primary position for most of my career.
“I think, obviously, when I played with (Aaron) Rodgers my first eight years, a lot of what he did was late in the play, scrambling around, moving around and just being able to find ways to get open after the initial route and create separation and be a target and find a way to get open for him in those situations. I see a lot of the same characteristics in Deshaun (Watson), the way he’s able to escape the pocket and keep his eyes downfield and find receivers.”
Watson’s escapability is part of his brand. One needn’t look any further than his second-and-6 Houdini act in which he broke two tackles at once and completed a pass to Taiwan Jones that set up the game-winning score late in overtime of a wild-card game against Buffalo. And there are plenty more examples of this.
What will be interesting is how well Cobb can get to know Watson from a distance before getting legitimate reps in on the field. With the general uncertainty surrounding the world’s current state involving the new coronavirus pandemic, there isn’t much of a timetable for when they might get a chance to build the aforementioned chemistry.
Watson is a special talent, though, and Cobb showed he still has some good football left in him with his play in Dallas last season. His familiarity with playing in the slot should help accelerate his adjustment to Houston, and it sounds as if that was a big reason why he decided to stay in Texas, but move to Houston.
“There were a few teams that made offers or showed interest,” Cobb said. “Dallas and Houston were two teams that offered and it was a tough decision to make. Hearing what my agent was telling me about Coach (Bill) O’Brien and the opportunity that he wanted to give me to kind of do some of the things that I did when I was back in Green Bay, was one of the one of the main reasons that I jumped at the offer.”
With four months left before the start of camp, there’s plenty of time between now and when we’ll see how this signing affects Houston’s offensive potential with a receiving corps that also includes Kenny Stills and Will Fuller.