Eskimos preparing for Cobb (two articles)

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Esks know the job on Cobb

By CON GRIWKOWSKY, EDMONTON SUN; SUN MEDIA

5th August, 2009

When you hear the story of DeAndra Cobb's improbable rise to respectability, it's amazing enough.

At 28, and two years out of football, Cobb was timed at 4.38 seconds over 40 yards at a Hamilton Tiger-Cats evaluation camp in California.

He started training camp at No. 4 on the running backs depth chart, behind Kenton Keith, Terry Cauley and Tre Smith.

Cobb was pressed into action when all three players ahead of him were forced out of the lineup with injuries, the latter two during the opening week of the CFL season.

Cobb responded with an offensive Player of the Week performance in Week 2 and yesterday was again tabbed for the accolade.

When the Edmonton Eskimos travel to Hamilton for Saturday's game they'll have a first-hand chance to assess for themselves if this guy's for real.

There's some question on the degree of difficulty.

Cobb earned both his honours against B.C. -- a defence that has struggled in the absence of Cam Wake.

The Eskimos managed to keep Avon Cobourne and the Montreal run game at bay last week and will need to bring their 'A' game again.

"My first glimpse of Cobb was last weekend," said Esks defensive lineman Dario Romero, a runner-up for this week's defensive Player of the Week.

"He's a great running back. He's quick. He's got good vision. We know what we're going up against. We're prepared. We feel like we're pretty good at stopping the run.

"He's good. That's all there is to say about that."

Maurice Lloyd and Kai Ellis each made key stuffs on Cobourne last week in the Esks gap-cancellation scheme, but Lloyd cautioned that it's dangerous to get worked up over one player.

"If you concentrate on one player, you mess up what you need to focus on and that's just playing the game," said Lloyd.

"He's a great running back. I ain't taking that from him and I don't take anything away from the offensive linemen, but we don't go out there trying to shut down one player.

"Our run defence has been No. 1 since Day 1, and nothing's going to change, period. We've been stopping the run, making the other team one-dimensional.

"When we stopped Cobourne, that was because everybody played their position. Nobody tried to be a superstar, nobody tried to be no Superman.

"We did what we had to do. Everybody had a gap and everybody had their responsibility."

Many players have started out their CFL careers with a splash and have drawn comparisons to greats in the game. Cobb's speed and his ability to hit holes that seem to not be there adds a different dimension.

"Watching him on film, he's similar (to Cobourne), but a bigger back," said Ellis. "He has great vision. He sees different holes. He gets out pretty quick.

"We're really going to have to focus. We have to make sure we're really in our gaps this time."

Cobb has been named the CFL's top offensive player in two of the four weeks he's started in his meteoric rise to stardom.

If nothing else, he's been a good story so far.

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Eskimos turning their attention to Cobb and the Tiger-Cats
CFL's No. 1 rushing unit

Mario Annicchiarico, Canwest News Service
Published: Wednesday, August 05, 2009

They stood the test against Wes Cates and the Saskatchewan Roughriders two weeks ago.

Next up was Avon Cobourne and the powerful Montreal Alouettes.

The Edmonton Eskimos now turn their attention to DeAndra' Cobb and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats -- the No. 1 rushing unit in the Canadian Football League, amassing 634 yards in five games and a league-leading 126.8 yards-per-game as a team.

Cobb, the five-foot-10, 196-pound product of Michigan State, will attempt to shred the Eskimos defence, coming off a 167-yard performance on 17 carries against the B. C. Lions -- an outing that earned him offensive player of the week honours.

"Mr. Cobb is an extremely talented young football player and he's added a second and third dimension to Hamilton's offence, not only as far as him carrying the rock, but also being a very significant receiver out of the backfield," admitted Edmonton linebackers coach Dan Kepley.

"With his significant speed, it will put us, as linebackers having to cover this guy, in a little bit of a panic situation. Hopefully we can run a whole lot faster scared than he can mad."

Cobb is fifth in the league in rushing with 325 yards on 49 carries, but his 6.6-yard average leads all starting running backs.

It all comes down to patience and cancelling gaps, something the Eskimos have improved immensely over the last two weeks. Against Montreal, they allowed Cobourne 58 yards on 11 carries, 16 of which came on one run midway through the fourth quarter.

"We stopped Cobourne because everybody was in position. Nobody tried to be a superstar, nobody tried to be a Superman. Everybody has a gap, everybody has a responsibility," stressed middle linebacker Maurice Lloyd. "Until then there's no peeking, no guessing, there's hard-nosed football in the trenches."

It will be much the same against the Tiger-Cats in a battle of two 3-2 teams on Saturday afternoon at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

"He's a really good back, quick feet, can change directions quickly and he's a big back, so we need to stay in our gaps and stay in our assignments," said defensive tackle Kai Ellis, who leads the Esks in tackles with 22, tied for eighth in the league.

"Watching him on film he's almost similar to [Cobourne], maybe a bigger back, but he has great vision and sees different holes. He gets out pretty quick."

The B. C. Lions would agree, having been ripped apart twice by Cobb.

"We have to make sure we're really in our gaps this time, you can't make a mistake because he's eight and out the gate," Ellis said in reference to his quickness.

It feels so nice when teams are taking us seriously and, dare i say, are worried when taking us on.

Great read...

My favourite quote from those two articles was, "Hopefully we can run a whole lot faster scared than he can mad." I had a good chuckle when I read that. I highly doubt any of Edmonton's linebackers will catch De-Jay if he turns up field or rounds the corner and gets out side the tackles.. I can't wait to see the havoc Cobb will cause if they give him room this week.

I think we could see a huge game by our receivers if their defense focuses on Cobb to much..

Focus on Cobb with no mention of P-Rod, Davis or ABIII. Have fun.

Ticats Have to stick with the running game, even if the Esk,s D shuts it down early on, IMHO Play action to keep the LB,s in the box, will open things up over the middle for Ticat recievers, If Cobb can mannage a few big gains in key situations i.e first downs would be more improtant than a 100 yd game . oskee wee wee :rockin:

It's excellent to prepare, of course that's a given. But I like what Cobb said after the game when interviewed. He talked about execution and used that word repeatedly, he said everyone was executing. If the offense executes like they have been doing and getting better each week, it will be tough to stop our run game with Cobb or anyone who is a decent back. If the blocks are made, a good back doesn't need big holes. That brings up the linebackers a tad and bango, quite passes to the receivers.

And that's exactly the point....for a change, we have all these weapons that all the other team's defenses have to worry about........I just wonder whoooooooooooooo they are going to double-team and whooooooooo that springs open for a big game.....

last week, Cobb.........this week?.......Bruce?..P-Rod?

I'm really liking this !! :rockin:

Yes, interesting how they didnt mention the weapons in receiving corps. or how Cobb can be used as a rec. too. Alot of fans might not know how many weapons this team has and how much potential there is for far more firepower.

They did mention his receiving skills and I'd guess since the interviews are with lineman and Linebacker coaches that they are better off focusing on Cobb than on receivers.

Just because two reporters write stories on the topic du jour (and they can never seem to resist taking the most obvious angle, can they?), I wouldn’t assume that means the Edmonton coaching staff and players are ignoring our receivers in their game prep.

Gotta love how the running game has already opened up the passing game... and the game hasn't even started yet....lol

This is a good test for Cobb. This may be the first team that is gunning for him. He walked on as an unknown. Well, his cover has been blown now.

The O-line just needs to give him a crack. Don't let the D-line get penetration and stop him in the backfield like Winnipeg did. He's good but every RB needs to get that first step. Once he breaks the line of scrimmage he's scary.

Good luck Turbo!

id like to see the cats line up in the jumbo offence and load the line up at te position with a couple big ot’s(rottier) etc and pound the ball and force the esks to go away from their 3-4-5 defence and line up at least 4 dlinemen instead of 3. that being successful could open up a passing game. hoping on top of cobb’s work we get terry caulley involved and keep things fresh.

The good thing is that Mr. Cobb seems to be a character guy and realizes that at times, his numbers may not be too high in a game because he might be double-teamed and therefore his role may be as a decoy which allows another team mate to shine and get the big numbers......it's all about "TEAM"

How about not doing that?
They haven't had one good run out of the 7 man line yet. They've tried it several times and usually lose yards.

Since I left for vacation the day after last Friday's game, I have been CHOMPING at the bit to discuss D Cobb.
The man was simply AWESOME, and B.C will be glad to be done with Cobb for the remainder of the season.

Being the ASTUTE observer that I am - the thing I NOTICED about DCobb that SEPARATES him from others, and makes him SPECIAL, is his CUTTING ability ... I lost count of the number of defenders he made MISS TACKLES !

The Eski-schmoe's can game plan all they want, but you can't TACKLE what you can't TOUCH !

RUN, DCobb, run!

Looking forward to watching him tomorrow night!

Peace.

The thing i like is that when he gets into the second layer, he covers the points of the football with two hands, many a time have i seen a player bust a gain and try and break the final tackle and fumble the ball, this guy has smarts. Hopefully he can have a good game against a team not named BC. I have to give the Eskimos props in that interview, they sound like a very classy outfit.

id like to see us dictate the run and force edm's hand from the 3-4,,, i remember when we ran vs the argos 3-4 with success a few years back with troy davis.

Cobb had another great game, and to his credit he pointed to the tremendous play of the O-line. Not to take anything away from Cobb, but most of the time it looked like he had an alley 5 yards wide to run through to the secondary. His speed, decisiveness and vision proved to be great assets.

Let's see a big game from ALL of the people who make the Cat offense work.

Well, seems the Eskimos didn't get the handle on Cobb they'd like to have......what a great game again !!

That 40 yard rip down to the 1 yard line to set up the winning touchdown was magical !!

Mr. Cobb strikes again! :rockin: