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Struggling Packers CB Damarious Randall: 'I'm going to make a lot of plays'

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- He watched -- and was largely responsible -- as Stefon Diggs caught nine passes for 182 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 for the Minnesota Vikings. He came back the next week against the Detroit Lions and ripped an interception away from Eric Ebron only to get burned time and again by Marvin Jones, who caught six passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns.

Yes, Damarious Randall had plenty to think about during last week's bye and plenty to work on when the Green Bay Packers reconvened this week.

"That's life for a cornerback in the NFL," Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said.

Even Randall will admit he's given up more plays than he's made, and it's part of the reason the Packers rank 29th in the NFL in passing yards allowed despite having the league's No. 1 run defense.

"I know we've been struggling, me in particular has been struggling," Randall said as he returned from the bye. "The great thing about that, I'm not struggling because of the receivers. I'm struggling because of myself. I know I'm going to bounce back. That's really the best part about the bye week -- to know that it's me.

"If it was the other way around, then I'd be in trouble. If I was doing everything perfectly great and was still getting passes caught on me, that’s when I'd be worried and probably thinking my name might be coming down here soon."

So it was a welcome sight for Randall that the coaches presented him -- and the rest of the players -- with individualized specifics to work on based on the first three games of the season.

"I wanted each player to have substance from the evaluations that the coaches did throughout the bye week and apply it in the meetings today and then work on it on the practice field," McCarthy said Monday.

So where has Randall gone wrong early in the season?

He has plenty of theories.

"I see a guy that was a little bit off his technique, a guy that was a little banged up," Randall said when asked for a self-evaluation. "But, you know, that's part of the NFL and that's part of being great and that's part of me wanting to be great. I see a guy that's going to bounce back, because I know myself. I'm just looking forward to the challenge this Sunday -- a Sunday night, prime-time game against the Giants. They have a great, great receiver corps and a great quarterback. I'm looking forward to it."

He also sees a league where Atlanta's Julio Jones can go off for 300 yards receiving like he did this past Sunday.

"That's what the NFL wants," Randall said. "With all the rules that they have that we can't touch guys, and I know a lot of guys don't like getting flagged, and obviously they let most receivers get a last little tug at the end and the receiver catches the ball and the fans start hollering, 'Yay, touchdown!'"

And then there's the injury factor. He said he injured his left thumb early in the Week 2 game at Minnesota and therefore couldn't play as much press coverage as he usually would.

But in the end, he knows it comes back to him, especially given that fellow Packers cornerback Sam Shields is expected to miss at least another game or two while he recovers from his Week 1 concussion.

"Maybe I've just got to focus more," Randall said. "Maybe I've just got to put in more work in the film room. Even when we're facing guys that aren't Pro Bowl-caliber receivers, just maybe if I take each and every guy more and more like they're talented receivers, just like every receiver up in the league is talented.

"One week I have a great week against a Pro Bowl receiver and then the next week I didn't have a great game against the Vikings or a very great game against the Lions. That just goes to show that every receiver at any given time can catch a pass on you and any receiver can make plays. We're in a passing league, and that's why corners get paid a lot of money."

Yet the Packers' first-round pick in 2015 doesn't lack for confidence. That much has been evident from Day 1, and it was present again this week with the New York Giants coming to town for a Sunday night game at Lambeau Field.

"Honestly, I'm going to make a lot of plays this year," Randall said. "I'm going to give up a couple plays, but for the most part everything is going to start sinking in sooner than later. And that's the great thing about the coaching staff and this organization because everybody knows how good I am. And obviously I know how good that I can be whenever I'm at the top of my game. Just kind of looking forward to that this Sunday and just for the rest of the season."