Footage surfaced this week of Brandin Cooks being the good-natured person he is and giving a member of the Rams’ staff two tickets to Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Cooks is due to be an integral part of the Rams team going in to the Super Bowl against his former team, the New England Patriots. The twenty-five year old Oregon University product was picked by the New Orleans Saints with the 20th pick in the 2014 Draft, and since then, he has been ridiculously productive across three teams.
You would be forgiven for thinking he’s a bit of a troublemaker considering he has been traded twice over five seasons, but the truth is, he’s anything but. Cooks is a hardworking, quiet, and humble individual who efficiently racks up significant numbers whilst remaining a mature influence in the locker room.
The trades have been through no fault of his own; New Orleans had the issue of Michael Thomas becoming a star. They knew they needed to pay him, couldn’t afford to pay both, and New England came and said, hey, we’ll take him for our first round pick (32) and a later pick, and that was that. He went on to have an outstanding season with New England, fitting in to “the Patriot Way” as if he were born in to it, whilst racking up 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns on 64 receptions, and arguably, if he hadn’t taken that brutal hit to the head in the Super Bowl, he’d have a ring.
After that season, the Rams came in wanting someone to play with Jared Goff, someone to take a bit of the pressure off him, someone to be a truly effective outside weapon.
They offered New England their 23rd overall pick and a late pick, and New England bit their hand off to take it. This season, he has proven himself an invaluable asset to the Rams, and Sean McVay has constantly praised his star receiver, recently stating, “Everybody that’s been around Brandin, you can’t talk enough about the production. This is a special human being. The way he goes about his business. Guys like him are why you love coaching. I could go on and on about what he’s done for this football team. He’s been instrumental in us getting here. Love that guy and you can’t say enough good things about Brandin Cooks. I can promise you this: We’re not trading him.” Sean Payton, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady have all said similar things about Cooks.
Also, why would they trade him? Of course, McVay was joking about Cooks’ trade history; we know he won’t trade Cooks. His stats this year surpass any other year in terms of yardage (1,204) and his average per catch is only slightly lower than the year he was with the Patriots. The Rams is an offense that relies heavily on Todd Gurley, with other excellent targets at wide receiver, and doesn’t have Brady. Switching from Drew Brees, to Brady, to Goff, has not dented his productivity whatsoever.
Over five years with three different quarterbacks, Cooks has surpassed 1,000 yards in the last four, and over 1,100 in three of those. He has a total of 32 touchdowns across a five year period and is one of the most successful deep threats in football. He has 42 catches where the ball has been in the air for over 20 yards with three different quarterbacks. His football IQ is very, very high. To switch offenses the way he has and still remain as productive as he does is simply phenomenal.
Cooks is a massive factor going in to this Super Bowl and Stephon Gilmore has his work cut out.
In a sport filled with prima-donnas like Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr., Cooks is a refreshing professional, and the one silver lining for me as a Patriots fan is that if we lose, I get to see him win a ring. It really does give me some small joy, and it’s nothing short of what he deserves.