When the New England Patriots traded for wide receiver Brandin Cooks, analysts and fans alike pondered where Cooks will be plugged in when the offense takes the field.
With Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola commandeering the slot, it is almost hard to tell where he fits in that area. Most fans look at his size and deduce that because he is 5 feet 10 inches tall, he would play there.
But they couldn’t be more wrong. Cooks has played outside the numbers most of his short career and some argue that he is one of the best big play threats in the game today.
The stats don’t lie. On passes that went 20 yards or more, Cooks had 11 catches which was ranked fifth in the league all in thanks to his speed which gave him an average of two yards of separation between his defenders.
With all those catches and all that speed outside the numbers, Cooks accumulated 544 yards which ranks number one among deep threat receivers. Let me put it simpler terms. No other receiver in the NFL had more yards accumulated after a 20+ yard throw than Brandin Cooks.
Cooks is undoubtedly more used as a deep threat still totaling 1,173 yards while placing at second on the team in targets behind Michael Thomas.
All these statistics seem enticing to say the least. But what about the playbook? The Patriots offense has been made notorious by being extremely complex. Experienced receivers such as Chad Johnson, Torry Holt and Joey Galloway have tried and failed to grasp the system and flunked out of Foxborough. That and the pressure from coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady who demand the absolute best from you on every snap in game situations and practice.
Despite all the pressure of being one of Brady’s targets, Cooks told the Boston Globe that he is very excited to play with arguably best quarterback to ever play the game.
“To be able to play with somebody like this, a Hall of Famer, a guy that’s so competitive, that’s what you look forward to,” Cooks said. “I’m just thankful for the opportunity and I just can’t wait to get started.”
Cooks has even gone farther stating how he is honored to be playing with the five time Super Bowl Champions after seeing their drive in joint practices.
“When we practiced against (the Patriots), it was always competitive, and this is the type of team that you want to go against to better yourself,” Cooks said, “so to be on this team now is amazing.”