2017 Packers Recap: CB Damarious Randall
Damarious Randall is never short on confidence.
Rightly or wrongly, he always seems to believe he’s the best player on the field, and his performance in 2017 showed both ends of that spectrum.
Coming into a season with new pressure to perform, Randall stumbled out of the gate but rallied to become the Packers’ best cornerback last season. That may be damning with faint praise, but it’s praise enough for a player whose season looked like it could be heading towards disaster early on.
- Appeared in 14 games with 12 starts (717 snaps on defense, 47 on special teams)
- 38 tackles, 4 interceptions (career high), nine passes defensed
Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Met
What we said after 2016
Packers 2016 Recap: CB Damarious Randall – Randall was thrust into the spotlight of being a team’s top cornerback, and the light quickly proved too bright. In Week 2, Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs caught 10 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown, followed next week by a 205 yard and two touchdown performance from the Lions’ Marvin Jones Jr.
Analysis: Randall bounces back but still has work to do
Primetime meltdowns have a way of skewing opinions, for good or ill, but Randall’s sideline tantrum during the Packers’ Week 4 romp over the Chicago Bears would have been too unusual to ignore no matter when it happened.
Beat for a touchdown late in the first half, Randall appeared to snap at a teammate and his histrionics continued all the way to the bench area. After halftime, Randall didn’t re-enter the game and eventually left the field.
But despite a certain former beat writer calling for him to be cut and a wonderful, prestigious, excellent podcast pointing out disturbing similarities between Randall and former cornerback bust Ahmad Caroll, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy stood firm. Randall would not be cut or otherwise disciplined. “When we come back Tuesday,” said McCarthy, “Damarious will be ready to roll with the rest.”
And he was. Despite recurring bouts of maddening inconsistency in the short term, Randall bounced back in a big way over the rest of the season. Following the Chicago debacle, Randall intercepted a pass in each of the next three games and regularly made himself a pain for opposing passing attacks. There were lapses, but also big improvements, culminating with two downright great games against the Steelers and Panthers.
Randall has been a good player in the past and showed he can continue to be a good player in 2017. The question, as always, will be one of consistency. Randall was the best corner the Packers had in 2017, but if he wants to continue to be, there’s still work to be done.