Former Kentucky star Randall Cobb missed much of the pre-season because of bruised knees, but that hasn't stopped the Green Bay Packers' coaching staff from counting on the rookie to turn around its return game this season.
"My expectations are high, No. 1 for our football team," special teams coach Shawn Slocum told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I think we are going to play at a high level. I think our special teams units are going to do the same thing.
"We'll find out (about Cobb). He hasn't played much, but I have confidence in the direction we're going and I expect us to go forward."
Barring a setback with his knees, Cobb is set to make his official NFL debut returning kickoffs and punts on Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints.
"I think he reads the ball off the punter's foot well," Slocum told the newspaper. "I think he squares up on the ball well. Once he catches it, he gets off the spot well. And I think he's a good runner."
Cobb said he hopes to make a significant impact on the Packers this season:
"I hope to and I plan to," Cobb said. "I want to give us another threat. I want to put us in better field position. But it's not just going to be me; it's going to be the blocking scheme and the guys up front getting their job done. Then it's me getting my job done."
Cobb already has fullback John Kuhn's endorsement.
"I think he runs really fast and hits the hole hard, so he's got all the potential in the world to be top-notch," Kuhn said.
Jaguars release Garrard
The Jacksonville Jaguars released quarterback David Garrard on Tuesday, making a "pure football decision" that will save the franchise $9 million in 2011.
Whether it saves Coach Jack Del Rio's job remains to be seen. Team owner Wayne Weaver has said Jacksonville needs to make the playoffs for Del Rio to stick around for a 10th season.
Del Rio made it clear late last season that he had grown tired of Garrard's inconsistent ways, but the coach remained steadfast through training camp and the pre-season that Garrard was his starter. That changed Tuesday, when the Jaguars parted ways with Garrard after nine up-and-down seasons.
"He just couldn't get it going," Del Rio said. "I had met with him a couple of weeks ago and brought him in and said, 'Hey, listen, you're my guy. I need you to get it going.' He was given every opportunity. He was somewhat apologetic that he wasn't able to deliver."
Del Rio turned the starting job over to Luke McCown, who outplayed Garrard and rookie Blaine Gabbert in the pre-season. Playing mostly with and against second- and third-teamers, McCown completed 12 of 18 passes for 133 yards, with two touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks.
Hartline back with Colts
Indianapolis added former Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline to its practice squad. Hartline spent training camp with the Colts, but was waived before the NFL's mandatory cut-down day.
Around the league
Bengals: Cincinnati released quarterback Dan LeFevour from its practice squad and replaced him with quarterback Zac Robinson, who was New England's seventh-round pick last year.
LeFevour was on the roster as the No. 3 quarterback last season but didn't get into a game. Robinson spent time last season with the Patriots, Seattle and Detroit, but didn't get into a game. He played in all four pre-season games for Detroit this year, going 9-for-15 for 91 yards with a touchdown. He was waived on Sept. 4.
Giants: Linebacker Jonathan Goff will miss the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Goff, in his fourth season with the Giants out of Vanderbilt, suffered the injury during Monday's practice. He had 80 tackles and one sack last season.
Last week, the Giants lost backup linebacker Clint Sintim to a season-ending knee injury, and all told, they've lost five key members of the defense for the season since training camp opened.