Transcripts: Randall Cobb Press Conference (8-4-2020)

How much did the chance to play with QB Deshaun Watson impact your decision to sign here and can you talk about playing with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and now Watson over the last three years?

"Definitely. I think all three are elite quarterbacks. One thing about Deshaun watching him on tape whenever I was making my decision is just his accuracy and his ability to make plays. You look at what he's done just in his first three years. You look at the course of his career from high school, he's a winner. He's found a way to win on the biggest stage at every level and I think he has that ability. I think being able to take all the experience that I've gained playing with a Rodgers and a Prescott over the years and being able to give him some of that knowledge that I've been able to receive from those guys and pass that along to him, I think will be beneficial to him."

How much has wearing glasses been a change for you and will you wear something like that in games? Was it a difficult decision for you to decide to play this year?

"First question, I've had contacts the past couple of years. I haven't had my prescription changed in two years so when I went, my eyes have drastically went in the wrong direction, so it was time for me to get glasses and to change my contact prescription. My wife had been hounding me about that since I've been squinting at the TV, so it was time to make that adjustment. Obviously with everything that is going on with COVID, it definitely has been an interesting time and I didn't take this decision lightly. I have two young children at home. We spend a lot of time around our family. My wife's parents are above 65, so we understand the risk that we are faced with if they were to visit. It was a decision that definitely weighed heavily on me. I felt in this time, I'm comfortable. Hopefully I stay comfortable, but I tried to make a decision and continue to move forward and do everything that I can to keep myself and my family safe."

What have you been able to learn more about the role of the slot receiver in this offense and can you explain the importance of that role for both the offense and specifically a quarterback like QB Deshaun Watson?

"I think the biggest thing in this offense is the decisive decision making. I feel really comfortable with everything that's been thrown my way so far, as far as what's being asked of me and what's expected of me. I'm just trying to continue to get comfortable. Obviously, we haven't had the opportunity to build the chemistry I would like to over the offseason, given we've only had a few days to work together. That's going to take time. That's not something that happens overnight. Obviously, we're pressed for time with the situation that we're in right now. We're talking through everything and I think that's a big part, is communication and him being comfortable and trusting in me, knowing that I'm going to be where I'm supposed to be when I'm supposed to be there."

What did you think of the CBA amendment about rules, opt-outs, high risk behavior outside of the facility, etc.? What are your thoughts on the responsibilities of players, coaches and staff outside of the facility?

"I think the language was something that we were all pressed for, to have an understanding of, to hear. There was a time period of about two months that we had no clue what any of the language was going to be. There wasn't any talks, there wasn't anything set in concrete about guys having an option. I think that was all people were looking for, the option to know what would happen if you chose X or Y. So, I think, obviously, as time went along as we got closer to the report date, some of those things and some of those questions were starting to become a reality in understanding what was going to happen. I think in those moments you got a lot of clarity and it's still a work in progress. Obviously, a lot of things have been set in stone and some of the language has been agreed upon, but I feel like it's everchanging given the landscape of what may happen, what could happen. So far, we've been good with test results but what happens when 20-plus guys get it on one team? Those things, we haven't crossed that bridge yet. Hopefully we won't, but if we do, I'm sure guys will feel a certain way about it and we'll have to figure out what's the best move from there." 

You mentioned the need to establish chemistry with QB Deshaun Watson. Where are the biggest gaps compared to where you are with him right now compared to where you were at with Cowboys QB Dak Prescott this time last year following a regular offseason?

"If you think about it, the offseason program, we probably would have thrown three or four times a week for six or seven weeks. So, you're looking at about 25 to 30 opportunities to communicate, to go through routes and timing. He would be able to get a sense of the way my body moves, understanding of how I come out of routes and I would be able to get an understanding of his release, his ball placement and all those things. I think, obviously, I think we've had maybe five to seven opportunities to throw to each other so far. It's just the more you do something, the more repetition you have with someone, the more that chemistry grows and we're trying to do the best we can given the landscape, but it definitely isn't something that's easy."

How much do you relish evolving into a role as a bit of a mentor not only to QB Deshaun Watson but for other guys on this team and the impact you could have with a quarterback in Deshaun who a lot of people think has unlimited potential?

"Definitely. I definitely think he has unlimited potential. I think what we've seen so far out of his career is just pure raw talent. I think that he's continuing to grow as far as football knowledge and you get that from experience. You get that from being put in different situations and scenarios and understanding when is the time to take those chances and when is the time to third-and-long, just dump it down and punt the ball away and wait for your next possession. It's all a learning curve and it's all an opportunity to continue to grow. I think it's talking through blitz pickups and understanding the hots and being on the same page with those. It's understanding the coverages and the way certain teams play the coverages and finding those holes and being able to fill those voids. I think that I've over the time gotten a pretty good rapport with my quarterbacks just being able to talk through those situations, having a little bit of a quarterback in my background myself and understanding that it's not always about getting open but getting open at the right time. Understanding where you are in the progression as a receiver and that's some of the things that I want to make sure that I'm letting the young guys in our room know. Obviously, it's a little bit different right now because we're all in different groups and we really can't meet in the meeting room at the same time right now. Just really understanding the game from a big picture and not just from our position and understanding where we fit into the puzzle."

What do you see from the wide receiver group you have?

"We've got a lot of weapons. You talk about the ability alone in our group. Hop (DeAndre Hopkins) was a great player. There's no doubt about it. He's top three in my eyes since he's come into the league. When you look at what Brandin's (Cooks) been able to do in his career, what I've been able to do, what Will's (Fuller V) doing and what Kenny's (Stills) been able to do and you take young guys like Keke (Coutee) and DeAndre Carter and you put us all in room together and allow us to help each other and play off of each other. The best teams that I've been on have had three or four guys that you can throw into the game at any moment and they're going to be able to make plays and it's not just a team dialing in on one player, they have to figure out a way to cover the whole field. I think that's kind of what you get when you look at the way that our room is set up right now. We have two or three guys that can take the top off, that defenses have to respect their speed over the top and then we have guys that can make plays underneath [when] you get the ball in their hands. I pride myself in being able to make plays once the balls in my hands. I think that you look at us as a group, we have the potential. It's now putting it together. Like I said, understanding how we fit into the offense and understanding our roles in the offense and meshing together and playing for one another. Those are cliché statements, but it means a lot whenever it's your job to get somebody else open on a certain play. It's not always going to be about you making the plays, it's about helping your brothers make plays as well."

Given QB Deshaun Watson's downfield accuracy and the receivers you guys have, do you think you can equal or better your career-high 15.1 yards per catch from last season?

"I'm not going to make any predictions on stats because I don't really care about stats, honestly. The only stat that matters to me is wins. If that's what it takes, obviously. Yeah, I did have a decent year last year in my eyes, but at the end of the day, I was on a team that went 8-8 and we didn't make the playoffs, so what does that matter? I think that we do have guys that can make plays downfield, myself being one of them. Given those opportunities, we have to make those plays and we have to understand the importance of picking up third downs, the importance of two-minute drives, the importance of putting points on the board in the redzone. It comes down to situational football and making sure that we're on top of our jobs in those given scenarios."

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