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Questions about Patrick Cobbs

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Mike the Brit, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OK, there are clearly two extremes of opinion about Cobbs. One thinks that he may be one of those pre-season heroes whom fans go overboard for because he looks good against second-rate opposition. The other is that he looks to be a really talented player who has a future in the NFL – the kind of guy we’d love to have on our roster if it wasn’t already so deep at running back.

    Let’s ASSUME that the second is true. If so, how did a guy that good get missed completely? I’m going to run through some possibilities and end up with questions.

    1. Cobbs was injured and split carries Cobbs was the national rushing champion (in 2003). You’d think that that would get scouts’ attention. But he missed 2004 and split carries in 2005 with Jamario Thomas (who was also national rushing champion in 2004).

    Was the perception that Cobbs wasn’t the number one back (although he had more carries than Thomas, Thomas was, apparently injured in 2005)?

    2. University of North Texas is not respected As far as I could tell from the internet, they’d played some pretty tough opponents but had done badly, as well as finishing 2-5 in their conference (the “Sunbelt”). What is the reputation of football at the UNT? What sort of a college is it? Seymour93 or our other Texans – can you help?

    3. He had dreadful measurables Cobbs is neither particularly tall nor (by the standards of the NFL!) particularly heavy. What’s notable though is a 4.7 time for the 40 yards. That’s slower than many linebackers. Was that number a complete aberration (did he stop to tie a shoelace?) or is he really so slow relative to other players?

    4. Time in school Shmessy started a thread about what a smart kid Cobbs must be as a double major. I don’t know about that – no disrespect, but I suppose that the impressive grade point average will depend on the standard of the school. But I wonder if some scouts weren’t asking why, if he was really serious about playing professional football, he stayed on longer than he needed to. It’s one thing not to leave college without graduating, another to stay on longer.

    5. A very deep draft A final thought, not personal to Cobbs, is that this may have been a very deep draft with a lot of talented players in the later rounds or not getting drafted at all. We seem to have been pretty happy with Gostkowski/Andrews/O’Callaghan. Perhaps there are other teams out there saying: I can’t believe that we got such a good player in the later rounds/as an UDFA.

    I’d appreciate information or ideas from anyone. But, please, let’s not make this another “will/should Cobbs make the 53?” thread.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2006
  2. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    There are players that forever what reason fall through the cracks...I think you have mentioned many possibilities..it happens even with advanced scouting machines. However he turns out, give the credit to the Patriots for bringing him in for a tryout. I believe he was one of five; Walker also stuck for a bit.
  3. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    'morning, Stan!

    You're right, of course. Just interested if anyone can throw light on UNT and the 4.7 40 time.
  4. patsfan13

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    Don't know about his 40 time. For a running back other factors are important, how he sees the field and reacts to the situation. I have seen Cobbs hit where there was no hole and then bounce outside and create a positive play.

    Barry Sanders and Emmit Smith didn't have blazing 40 times but they 'played faster than their 40 time.

    IMO the guy knows how to run. I hope he gets a lot of reps tonight.
  5. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    A good question about that time..as are all the questions. I also think that while one can measure many things, the desire, the heart are still things that are missed and are in some ways more important. If indeed, Cobbs, is much better than many of the players draftyed ahead of him, what does that say to scouting methods?? It happens more than one can imagine, but I think it's intersting to look and see what and how many missed on him. And even if he never gets anywhere, what team would not want to have a prospect like him in camp???
  6. checkedout

    checkedout Rookie

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    from another thread:
    Originally Posted by Seneschal2
    This is a good football player. His size (5-8, 206) and slow 40 (4.71) were the primary reasons for him not being drafted. Other than his 40 time, his Pro Day numbers were decent:

    4.22 short shuttle... 7.12 in the 3-cone... 32" vertical... 9'6" broad jump... 20 reps of 225 pounds

    Poor field conditions may have contributed to that 4.71...as he ran again indoors and posted a 4.47 and 4.51 during another workout at UT-Arlington.

    Looking beyond the numbers, he's a strong inside runner with excellent vision. Also a decent blocker and good receiver.
  7. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks. I've just found this excellent message board discussion of Patrick Cobbs and his 40 time. My goodness, isn't Google amazing?

    http://www.gomeangreen.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t26902.html

    Edit: Some of the fans (who've watched him a lot) say: his game isn't about outside speed but about blasting to a hole and then making cut. Others point out that he ran faster elsewhere (someone says that "Fouts Field" (great name for a football field, by the way) was spongy and slow). I think a lot of college/high school football nicknames are a bit weak (how many more "eagles" or "lions" can there be?) but I have to love the "Mean Green". AND Mean Joe Greene is their most famous sporting alumnus. I wonder which nickname came first -- or whether they came together.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2006
  8. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    For me it's all about the upside. How much more can he do? I think we know Heath Evan's upside already. Heath is average at best, not a dominating runner or lead blocker. Average at best on Special Teams.

    I always want to improve the roster, and would like nothing better than to discover a diamond in the rough, or at least a guy the would be a true back-up to Kevin Faulk. Faulk has been injury and fumble prone. Cobbs actually looked okay running between the tackles this pre-season. He's a lot fresher than Pass or Faulk, with young legs.

    Wish we could see him start tonight, that would be educational.

    People that claim Evans would be more of a playoff type grinder miss the point, IMO. Cobbs could maybe make huge plays in the playoffs. Evans simply won't.

    But I doubt Cobbs makes the roster. Just reality. And he'll be poached from the practice squad in no time.
  9. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, at least it's better than another visit from the Dolphins trolls ...
  10. smg93

    smg93 Rookie

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    My replies are in the quoted text.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2006
  11. patsfan13

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    Evans is at best a fill in till Pass comes off the PUP list. Evans does nothing for this team that Pass doesn't do better (and Mills does almost as well). I think it is foolish to lose a guy with upside like Cobbs for 6 weeks fo Evans. Cobbs is a giy who long term could be our 3rd down back. If Dillon and Faulk get dinged up (both are >30) then I would rather have Cobbs backing up Maroney than Evans.

    IMO Cobbs adds value to the roster, Evans doesn't.
  12. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thank you, those are excellent points.

    I think that what is starting to emerge for me is that the scouts may have had a picture of Cobbs as a bit like the backs in the Denver system: the team is totally run-oriented and more or less anyone could fit in. That's unfair, clearly, because part of what made his record so spectacular was yards-per-carry. As you say, it's impressive if that's done with a team that's basically losing all the time. Also, the team seems to need to play against bigger, stronger schools for financial reasons but gets shellacked (0-65 against the Longhorns! Seymour??) But that makes the rushing numbers more impressive.

    Also your point about the high GPA is a very good one. Perhaps the kids at this school aren't as talented and well prepared for study as at some of the more famous academic institutions, but, as you say, it takes hard work and determination to come out at the top of a cohort -- any cohort. You've got to admire it!
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2006
  13. bunzoburns

    bunzoburns Rookie

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    This kid can not only run but he looks like a quality receiver out of the backfield...especially for a rookie!
  14. Dragda

    Dragda Yes, it's really me... PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's hard to say why some of these players drop. From what I can tell by googling his name is that he is a great kid but has dyslexia (Whose idea was it to make dyslexia so hard to spell?). He is probably overlooked because he didn't ecclipse his sophomore rushing yards. They plugged another RB in the "system" while Cobbs was injured who had something like 1800 yards! So perhaps the scouts view him as system RB. Similar to Kliff Kingsbury playing in that run-and-shoot style offense for the Red Raiders. It makes sense that the Patriots value production and are willing to look at these types of kids.

    One interesting quasi-stat is that the running backs of North Texas have a higher YPC against non-conference competition (although losing all but one game) than they did within the sun belt conference.

    North Texas is anything but respected. They were a lower division school not so many years ago but re-joined div1-a status. I cannot remember or quickly google the details on that. It seems fairly recent in my memory which means in the last fifteen years because life has become a blur as I have entered my 40s. When's the last time you saw the Mean Green on TV? Maybe the next time will be the first.

    In my googling, I didn't find any lengthy pre-draft analysis on Cobbs. He truly fell right through everyone's "crack." I found one Mean Green board where they quoted draft analyst McLemore as Cobbs being too small.

    My personal feeling is that he was overlooked because he played for North Texas. His measurables (size and speed) failed to get him noticed or outright sabatoged his chances to be drafted late. No way he makes it to the practice squad. I really hope they hang onto him and use Mills as the FB until Pass gets off PUP. Cobbs can contribute in STs.

    Evans is a nobody. Cut him.
  15. meangreenfan

    meangreenfan Rookie

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    Since the first preseason game I have been lurking and reading what has been said about Cobbs. I would like to clear up a few things first, especially one in the post above me. Cobbs is not dyslexic it is Thomas the 2004 rushing champion that was dyslexic. There are really 2 main reasons Cobbs was not drafted 1. His senior sesaon was lackluster running behind an inexperienced line and a center and QB that had never taken college snaps before to begin the season. It is very hard to put up good numbers when every team puts 9 in the box against you knowing your QB is crap. So the fact that he still had around 1200 yards rushing is fairly impressive. 2. The 40 times he ran outdoors. Enough said. If a 4.7 40 doesn't cool scouts what will? Not to mention he is quite small for the "standard" feature back. I have watched Patrick for 5 years including his time behind Kevin Galbreath and his time on the sidelines helping Jamario Thomas win a national rushing title in 2004. Cobbs has never been a speed guy. That was and never has been touted as one of his strengths. He won the 2003 national rushing title and scored all those points on vision and incredible footwork. He may not be the best straightline runner, but he can make guys miss and make a hole appear where you never saw one. You will hardly ever see him try to break for the corner though he will go outside if the middle is plugged up. He can make plays happen plain and simple. Yes he ran against 2nd and 3rd stringers that will be "working construction next week" but he was behind a 2nd and 3rd string line in the 4th quarter when he did it. So if you match your 1st string line against a 1st string defense wouldn't that kind of negate the whole issue? I hope he starts in the Giants game so he can prove to the doubters what he has proved to people all along. The one thing Cobbs has going for him is he has worked against the first team defense in practice and BB has been able to see what he can or can't do. The telling factor tonight will be when he plays. If he gets alot of field time early and impresses he will be on the 53 man. If BB hides him or plays him late again he will be on the practice squad or atleast BB will try and sneak him there.

    In another post someone pointed out that alot of rookies are leading their team in rushing yards, but how many rookie RBs have a TD receiving and rushing to go along with 100+ yards receiving and rushing? Just some things to think about. Yes I know i have my Mean Green glasses on hoping that Cobbs makes the team, but trust me this kid has sticking power where most people doubt him and the best thing about him is his heart. He is the most humble person you will ever meet. He always gives the credit to those around him for what he accomplishes on the field. If you need any example of that just watch the most recent video on the pats website.
  16. Mike the Brit

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    Thanks for that, meangreenfan, and welcome to the board!

    First off, we have to congratulate Patrick Cobbs. After all, the argument here seems to be about whether he should/will make the Patriots' roster. There seems to be agreement that he's done enough to make somebody's roster. That's no small achievement for a guy who just came in for a weekend try-out.

    As you can probably tell, I'm rooting strongly for Cobbs. But (1) I'm doing this all at second hand, since we don't get pre-season games in the U.K. (2) I also rooted strongly for Cedric thereof and that didn't do much good, did it?

    It sounds to me that, as with so many of these stars from smaller schools without amazing physical characteristics, it will depend on what else Cobbs can do apart from the basic skill of running the ball. Play special teams? Return punts? Catch the football?

    By the way, I assume that you're an NTU student/alum. How do you explain what Dragda pointed to -- the greater YPC against out-of-conference opponents?
  17. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thank you, Meangreenfan - that's great stuff!

    What impressed me so much are the words your UNT Coach spoke to the team a few days ago about Patrick. What admiration for the young man's character.

    I must admit, after the ATL game, I moaned about "Oh, here we go again with some fans going head over heels about some PS flash in the pan.....". The next two games, however opened my eyes to this kid. So he doesn't have straight line speed......he DOES had excellent short burst lateral speed - you can't make the run he made (the one where he gets stacked up at the LOS and then breaks it outside for a very long run) without excellent lateral speed.

    I had the "pleasure" of watching the Redskin game last Saturday on the DC feed (I live in MD) and none other than John Riggins was doing color commentary. When Cobbs made that long run slashing over the right tackle, Riggo exclaimed "Hey the kid has some serious giddyup!" Coming from Riggo (another RB who wasn't the fastest but used what little speed he did have in well-timed bursts) that was a very telling comment.

    I love the fact that Patrick took on a double major. In answer to MiketheBrit's question on that, yes, the double major is significant. I'd be willing to bet no more than 3-4% of all NFL potential college football players take on a double major. By that, this kid shows he is willing to work and take on challenges.

    There are certain players, for certain reasons, that make it very personal for me to see that they make it in the NFL, if not on the Pats. Patrick Pass has been one for the past few years ever since he so maturely handled the terrible comments from his then-current Pats position coaches in Michael Holley's book. Ben Watson, because of his tremendous college career with charities, etc is another. Cobbs has become one of them for me this pre-season..
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2006
  18. meangreenfan

    meangreenfan Rookie

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    Cobbs was excellent on ST in college. Including blocking a punt picking it up and running it for a touchdown in one game during his 2003 season. One of the things that kept him around in the spring, as I understand it, was his punt blocking ability.

    As for his pass catching ability, I don't think he has a drop yet in preseason and has some fairly large gains receiving and again here he was excellent in college.

    In terms of punt returns that goes to his speed. We always had alot faster players out there returning punts though I believe Cobbs was out there a few times in his career. I would have to look back and see how he performed.

    As for the stat that NTs running backs have a higher YPC vs OOC opponents rather than conference opponents I can only say I was unaware of that. It seems odd considering the quality of OOC opponent that we played while Cobbs was here vs. what most people would consider the quality of opponent within the Sunbelt Conference. NT is famous for pounding the ball in OOC games and opening the passing game up more in conference game so that may have something to do with it.

    I do see where the comment was made that Cobbs was merely part of the system where Thomas was plugged in and performed exceptionally but I would contend Thomas is an exceptional talent and may be better than Cobbs. He is definately faster and does like to try and get around the end. How many backs in the nation in 2004 put up 257 yards against Colorado? Watch UNT this year with Thomas starting and healthy again (he was hampered by a hamstring last year leading to his low totals) and you will see why he lead the nation in 2004.

    I know someone talked about 40 times earlier and there are alot of things that can make those decieving and like was said Cobbs didn't run at the combine with like conditions to other highly touted RBs. Here is a great article on the decption of 40 times in the NFL and college.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050418/news_1s18forty.html
  19. Dragda

    Dragda Yes, it's really me... PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I read an article praising BOTH the running backs (Cobbs and Thomas). So it wasn't strictly Thomas this article was quoting and it was quite vague. I no longer have the link handy but Googling his name will bring it up in the top ten hits.
  20. TNPatsFan

    TNPatsFan Rookie

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    Not really. Take Reche Caldwell for example. He's a second string talent (at best). He hasn't done squat playing against first string defenses even though he's playing with the Pats first string offense. The little bit of production he has had has been with the second and third stringers on the field on each side. Some guys just have second or third string talent, regardless of whom they are playing with or against.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Cobbs a lot and I think he can probably play in the league eventually. But I don't think he's ready for a roster spot over someone like Evans who is experienced and has produced at the NFL level. And I don't think other teams are going to rush to pick him up. Every team in the league has a couple of these guys in preseason that are unknown and produce big numbers. Give him some time on the practice squad. And if some team does steal him away, there will be someone else just like him next year.

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