Underhill article: The evolution of Brandin Cooks (1 Viewer)

crosswatt

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Go back and re-watch Brandin Cooks’ rookie season

It’s like watching a different player than the one who has established himself as one of the better wide receivers in the NFL during his second season and cemented it in 2016 by racking up 1,173 yards. There’s a reason Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson said Cooks is “emerging as one of the top guys in this league.”

But during his first season, New Orleans just wanted to get the ball in Cooks’ hands. It didn’t matter if it was a screen, something over the middle, or even on a handoff. The team wanted him to get the ball in space and make defenses miss. It worked with varying degrees of success, but the vision for Cooks evolved as he developed into a complete receiver.
The evolution of Brandin Cooks: How the wide receiver developed into one of New Orleans' best weapons | Saints | theadvocate.com
 
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crosswatt

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With the quick emergence of Michael Thomas, the continued development of Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead's consistent contributions, and even Brandon Coleman starting to make some nice plays, John Morton deserves some serious credit as the receivers coach. He's simply doing a phenomenal job.
 

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Typical great read by Nick. Guess he didn't send this one to an editor for proofreading though. Lots of grammatical errors/missing words and things not typical of his pieces. Despite that, good read after analyzing every route Cooks has run since being drafted. That's the kind of dedication to his job that makes Underhill so far superior to those clowns over at nola dot com, especially Duncan, who only seems to write editorial type pieces criticizing the Saints - regardless of what they've done.

Thanks for posting.
 
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crosswatt

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Typical great read by Nick. Guess he didn't send this one to an editor for proofreading though. Lots of grammatical errors/missing words and things not typical of his pieces. Despite that, good read after analyzing every route Cooks has run since being drafted. That's the kind of dedication to his job that makes Underhill so far superior to those clowns over at nola dot com, especially Duncan, who only seems to write editorial type pieces criticizing the Saints - regardless of what they've done.

Thanks for posting.
I think Nola has some decent writers, but they have them constantly trying to get twitter followers to join them in a chat in the comments section of chat articles unabashedly for the page clicks. Wen they're not doing that, they have them busy writing human interest pieces or provocative and sensationalist hot takes on team business, again, for the page views.

I get the competition for page views as it relates to advertising, but sacrificing all content and journalistic licence for the effort to pull in casual sports fans at the expense of the more hardcore sports reader seems counter intuitive to me. But that's just my opinion.
 

RevDeuceWindham

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Posts like this are why Nick's my favorite media member. Good stuff
 

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I wouldn't trade our WR corps for anyone's.
I think this will become known throughout the league in 2017, rather quickly.

Thomas will establish himself as a top 5 type of WR.
Cooks will EASILY be looked at as the best "#2" WR in the league.
Snead already is the best "#3" WR in the league, and it probably isn't terribly close.

These guys can all win 1-on-1 matchups in their own way, and to top it all off, they are all really, really young.

Heck, Brees really may play until he is 45 years old, lol.
 

Meachemdat

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I think this will become known throughout the league in 2017, rather quickly.

Thomas will establish himself as a top 5 type of WR.
Cooks will EASILY be looked at as the best "#2" WR in the league.
Snead already is the best "#3" WR in the league, and it probably isn't terribly close.

These guys can all win 1-on-1 matchups in their own way, and to top it all off, they are all really, really young.

Heck, Brees really may play until he is 45 years old, lol.
Gotta get the guard play back to what it was from 2009-2011.
 

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Don't forget Jordan Williams-Lambert training up on the PS. That guy's got potential.
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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The fact that underhill uknowingly pointed it out is funny but I'm one of the loudest voices on saying Teams can spot the development of a player and how good he can become and what are his best uses rather quickly.

When we initially drafted Cooks we wanted him opposite #1 CB's as the Z receiver formerly manned by Henderson. Only problem was Cooks wasn't making the types of plays we expected based on his earlier route tree

Cooks began to emerge as the receiver he is now during Week 8 of his rookie season against the Green Bay Packers. In the six games prior, he was only targeted once on a go route and once on an out-and-up. There were a few deep plays, such as a 32-yard gain on a post route against the Falcons, but nothing else over 20 yards. Instead, he was making his living on curls, out routes, screens and slants.
Fast forward 2 years and guess who got the bulk of those types of routes and produced? Michael Thomas. IF you chart his routes I bet he ran a lot of the above heavily with great success. Anybody care to humor me?


Hate to beat a dead horse and I'm glad he's progressed and we have uses for him but trust me....the Saints were expecting Cooks to be able to do a little bit more. Pedigree/Speeds and other things suggested he'd be at least a lower tier Steve Smith but unfortunately he's not a big RAC guy and he doesn't win many 50/50 balls. Most of those routes he was running up until week 8 are routes designed to get you some Yac after the catch if you can just make one defender miss. Run a guy off on a curl, catch it, force him to make the tackle coming up, and zoom by him. Ditto on a screen as well as slants and out routes. Thomas was making his 1 defender miss on a high percentage of those plays.


Not pitting them against each other but just found a way to validate my unpopular opinion hidden in that article that we thought we were getting a more dynamic WR when trading up to select him.
 

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The fact that underhill uknowingly pointed it out is funny but I'm one of the loudest voices on saying Teams can spot the development of a player and how good he can become and what are his best uses rather quickly.

When we initially drafted Cooks we wanted him opposite #1 CB's as the Z receiver formerly manned by Henderson. Only problem was Cooks wasn't making the types of plays we expected based on his earlier route tree



Fast forward 2 years and guess who got the bulk of those types of routes and produced? Michael Thomas. IF you chart his routes I bet he ran a lot of the above heavily with great success. Anybody care to humor me?


Hate to beat a dead horse and I'm glad he's progressed and we have uses for him but trust me....the Saints were expecting Cooks to be able to do a little bit more. Pedigree/Speeds and other things suggested he'd be at least a lower tier Steve Smith but unfortunately he's not a big RAC guy and he doesn't win many 50/50 balls.
Keep in mind, it took players like A. Brown years to develop into the split-end type receiver that they did. Even if he doesn't become that, there's a reason why that style receiver fits Thomas' mold and not Cooks'.

He can run the entire route tree, but he's going to have to get stronger before we can start relying on him as an over the middle and contested receiver when facing top tier CBs.
 

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The fact that underhill uknowingly pointed it out is funny but I'm one of the loudest voices on saying Teams can spot the development of a player and how good he can become and what are his best uses rather quickly.

When we initially drafted Cooks we wanted him opposite #1 CB's as the Z receiver formerly manned by Henderson. Only problem was Cooks wasn't making the types of plays we expected based on his earlier route tree



Fast forward 2 years and guess who got the bulk of those types of routes and produced? Michael Thomas. IF you chart his routes I bet he ran a lot of the above heavily with great success. Anybody care to humor me?


Hate to beat a dead horse and I'm glad he's progressed and we have uses for him but trust me....the Saints were expecting Cooks to be able to do a little bit more. Pedigree/Speeds and other things suggested he'd be at least a lower tier Steve Smith but unfortunately he's not a big RAC guy and he doesn't win many 50/50 balls. Most of those routes he was running up until week 8 are routes designed to get you some Yac after the catch if you can just make one defender miss. Run a guy off on a curl, catch it, force him to make the tackle coming up, and zoom by him. Ditto on a screen as well as slants and out routes. Thomas was making his 1 defender miss on a high percentage of those plays.


Not pitting them against each other but just found a way to validate my unpopular opinion hidden in that article that we thought we were getting a more dynamic WR when trading up to select him.

I usually like your posts but this is hogwash. What is your problem with Cooks?
 

dapperdan

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I think this will become known throughout the league in 2017, rather quickly.

Thomas will establish himself as a top 5 type of WR.
Cooks will EASILY be looked at as the best "#2" WR in the league.
Snead already is the best "#3" WR in the league, and it probably isn't terribly close.

These guys can all win 1-on-1 matchups in their own way, and to top it all off, they are all really, really young.

Heck, Brees really may play until he is 45 years old, lol.
May want to pump the brakes there. I love our WRs but this is overboard.
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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Keep in mind, it took players like A. Brown years to develop into the split-end type receiver that they did. Even if he doesn't become that, there's a reason why that style receiver fits Thomas' mold and not Cooks'.

He can run the entire route tree, but he's going to have to get stronger before we can start relying on him as an over the middle and contested receiver when facing top tier CBs.
No doubt but I think just going back to the article, you don't draw up those types of plays for him if you didn't think he could do it. Furthermore you don't minimize his role in those plays if it was something he was particularly good at.

I agree it takes time to develop but right out of the box we tried him as a Punt Returner and on the stated routes because you would expect a kid with his speed/agility based on the combine to make something in those areas or on those routes.

He failed miserably at Punt returner and then as we began to understand he wasn't the RAC monster we thought we were getting we utilized him differently.

I just read an article on Steve Smith where the particular WR coach that year said they were fond of guys who were Punt Returners in college because it means they could out of the box effect the game there and likely had good RAC ability. All they would need to do was develop him. They didn't think Smith would be who he became but the logic was sound.

Cooks only returned 3 punts in college (may be off on that number) but yet we still tried to line him up as one and have yet to give him back those duties though its arguable its because he's important but when you were as bad as we've been the last 2 years on PR's youd at least try him there if you thought he was good.

He's not...suggesting a bit of a misevaluation of the player on our part.


IT happens....all the time. Sometimes guys exceed expectations, sometimes they don't but you never stop developing them. I just don't know if his vision is going to just poof and come out of thin air. He'll improve on other things but vision is one of those things you either have or you don't. IMHO
 

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