05-11-2005, 12:30 AM
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Steelers WR Cobb making an impression
This kid is really impressive, as he was last year in camp. and 4.4 speed to boot !! We've gained significantly in the speed dept. this offseason !.
Wide receiver Zamir Cobb looks like he jumped right out of the pages of an anatomy and physiology book and onto the football field with the Steelers.
His muscles are neatly sculpted, one overlapping the other. His body fat is untraceable.
Those attributes are part of what makes him an interesting prospect, not to mention his speed (4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash), his pass catching skills and his ambitious nature.
Cobb could end up being the Steelers' fifth receiver next season, but his goals are even higher.
"I'm not one to say something crazy, because I don't know what's going to happen," said Cobb. "But everybody's mindset is to be a starter. You can't come in with a 'Make the team' mentality. That's like going to school and saying, 'I'm going to work to get a C.' That's average. And who wants to be average?"
Clearly not Cobb, who was on the brink of grabbing a roster spot as an undrafted rookie out of Temple last year until he broke his left fibula in the preseason. He was placed on injured reserve Aug. 24.
He subsequently underwent a surgical procedure in which a metal plate and screws were inserted into the bone. That was followed by an eight-month rehabilitation process.
"He's back to full speed, and he's going to be pushing for a spot," said wide receivers coach Bruce Arians, who has a special place in his heart for Temple alums, considering he was the head coach of the Owls for six seasons. "He was impressive last year. He had a great camp. It might have been a blessing that he broke his leg and got to sit around and watch good players for a year."
Cobb arrived at training camp last season with little fanfare, despite a college career that saw him set school records for receptions in a season (74 in '03) and in a career (165). He was a first-team All-Big East selection as a senior, alongside Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald, and was named Temple's MVP.
Still, nobody wanted him in the draft, perhaps because he played in a program that struggled to win games. Cobb, though, believes he proved himself week in and week out.
"In my senior year, we played four bowl teams in Pittsburgh, Miami, Louisville and Cincinnati," Cobb said. "I had over 100 yards receiving in my first six games that year. I played against defensive backs like Mike Rumph (Miami) - talent was everywhere. It was football, good football, and I live for this stuff. I've gone against some talented players and I've been pretty successful with it."
Cobb hopes to duplicate that success at training camp in July, because he could find himself fighting for a roster spot with four-year vet Lee Mays (nine catches in '04) and special teams ace Sean Morey. The Steelers kept five wideouts last season, and, if they do the same next fall, that would mean Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El, Cedrick Wilson (a free-agent signee from San Francisco) and fourth-round pick Fred Gibson will likely grab the first four spots, leaving that fifth spot available.
Cobb is ready for the competition, which could prove interesting in coming months. The Steelers open voluntary workout sessions in six days.
"I can't let up," Cobb said. "Every time I go out there, I want to make something good happen."