Cooks' first-year contributions to Pats leave Brady, others in awe

Marc Narducci, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News on

Published in Football

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Listen to what the New England Patriots are saying about Brandin Cooks.

The voices are impressive, but what they are saying is even more so.

Cooks figures to be one of the headaches for the Eagles defense when the two teams meet in Super Bowl LII on Sunday. No player scares a defense like one who can stretch the field to its limit. And that is what Cooks does.

Cooks couldn't have made a more favorable impression in his first year with the Patriots after three strong seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

This season, Cooks had 65 catches for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 16.6 yards per reception, which was seventh in the NFL and the best in his career. He had 15 catches of 25 or more yards, which tied for third in the NFL. Cooks had six catches for 100 yards in the Patriots' 24-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC title game.

All of this is impressive, but to understand the true value of Cooks, just listen to others.


"Brandon Cooks has been an incredible player for us since he got here," quarterback Tom Brady said. "His attitude, approach to the game for a young player, his maturity is what really stuck with me."

That is the other thing about Cooks: He is young but plays beyond his years -- he won't turn 25 until September.

"He is one of the last guys off the field every day," Brady said. "He is always working on catching technique, tracking the ball so he can improve."

Normally that would be enough insight on Cooks as a player, but Brady couldn't stop himself.


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