NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans running back David Cobb spent the first eight games of the season on injured reserve, and in Week 9 he was inactive.
Cobb was used sparingly in the second half of the season, before he got a big opportunity in the season finale against the Colts.
Sounds like patience was needed, huh? It also sounds like Cobb's first two college seasons.
"It is kind of the same thing I went through at Minnesota,'' Cobb said. "I didn't get to play my first couple of years, and I didn't get the ball. I just had to work, and keep working. Eventually things kind of fell in line and I got an opportunity.
"The key is when you have an opportunity to have to take advantage of it."
Cobb ended up rushing for 2,893 yards and 20 touchdowns in his final two college seasons at Minnesota, after gaining just 65 yards on 11 carries in his first two college seasons.
He was a fifth-round draft pick by the Titans in the NFL Draft, but spent the first part of the season on injured reserve because of a calf injury he suffered in August.
Cobb got an opportunity in the season finale in Indianapolis.
In his only start of the season, Cobb ran for 73 yards on 19 carries. He scored his first career touchdown on a one-yard run. Cobb finished the year with 146 yards on 52 carries.
The experience in the season finale helped, he said.
"I thought I played OK. I wish I had a couple of runs back, I wish I had a couple of plays back. But at the same time I was happy to finally get out there and let loose, and feel the emotions of a full game. That went well, but in the offseason there is a lot to work on,'' Cobb said.
"But I think it gives me just a little confidence going into the offseason. … Just to get back out there healthy and run around with it, that was good."
Cobb has much bigger plans heading into 2016.
In his second NFL season, he wants to make an impact every week.
"I want to be a starter next year,'' Cobb said. "That is my expectation. Not to be cocky, but that is what I am going to work toward and if I fall short I am going to keep working until I get there."
Antonio Andrews led the Titans with 520 rushing yards in 2015. Dexter McCluster (247) and Bishop Sankey (193) were behind quarterback Marcus Mariota in rushing yards, just ahead of Cobb.
Cobb's experience from his days at Minnesota helped him grow, and motivate him, he said.
"You can't get down on yourself,'' he said. "You can't give up. It could be easy to get down when you are coming to practice and working hard and then the game comes and you are getting seven to 10 snaps.
"It would have been nice to get in there a little more this season, so it was frustrating. You want to get into a rhythm and in a flow, but it didn't happen. So I am definitely not satisfied. You have higher expectations when you know you can play. But I plan to work hard this offseason and put myself in a position where I'll be ready to go next year. I want to be a guy who makes a difference."