Before the 2017 season, Brandin Cooks never played in a playoff game. Now with the New England Patriots, Cooks is the number one receiver and is set to face the Philadelphia Eagles in his first Super Bowl.
In the offseason, the Patriots sent the New Orleans Saints their 2017 first and third round draft picks in exchange for Cooks and a fourth-round pick. The Saints used their newly acquired first round pick to acquire a franchise right tackle in Ryan Ramczyk. For the Patriots, Cooks has helped them get back to the Super Bowl.
Cooks is known for his speed that stretches an opposing defense to create big plays. He had a career high in yards per catch with 16.6 to go along 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns. It is his third consecutive season with over 1,000 yards receiving and at least seven touchdowns.
“I look at it as one of those things as a great validation,” Cooks said on the Patriots decision to trade for him. “I just try to come in here, work hard everyday and doing the job the best way I can so they never regret that decision.”
While in New Orleans, Cooks shared a lot of chemistry with a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees. But when Cooks was traded, he had to establish new chemistry with another future Hall of Fame quarterback, Tom Brady. He admitted him and Brady started off not being on the same page in the beginning, but kept working on their chemistry.
“Throughout the season we kept building that rapport and still have a lot of room to grow together as a tandem,” Cooks said on building his chemistry with Brady from the offseason till now.
When Brady throws, he is very detailed-orientated. In 2016, Patriots receiver Danny Amendola explained to the Wall Street Journal’s Kevin Clark how Brady makes sure his receivers are lined up correctly, getting the right amount depth on their routes, and the speed they having coming out of their brakes.
For Cooks, he started finding better success when he figured out what Brady wants.
“Really it’s just me knowing what he wants and where he wants his guys to be,” Cooks said. “Juts being at the spot at the right place, at the right time and letting him know he can trust me being there even though he may not be looking at me right away.”
The Eagles secondary does a great job in limiting yards per catch, ranking third in the league at 6.5 yards allowed. Cooks downfield opportunities may be limited, but when there, he and Brady need to connect for the Patriots to increase their chances of winning.
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