Tag:Chris Cooley
Posted on: October 17, 2010 11:53 pm
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Shanahan: 'Something was wrong' with Cooley

Posted by Will Brinson

Chris Cooley left the Redskins loss on Sunday night with a concussion -- his first as an NFL player, and potentially up to his fourth, since he claimed he suffered three in college.

He never returned to the game, and given the word from the Redskins, doesn't seem like a great bet get back on the field quickly.

"Just looking at him, you could tell something was wrong," Mike Shanahan said after the game.

We'll have more news as Washington gives Cooley tests, but for now, his injury is one of very many concussions suffered on a Sunday that may be remembered for making the NFL toughen up even more on potential brain-damaging hits on the field.
Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:46 am
 

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Obviously on Sunday the focus in Philadelphia will be on Donovan McNabb. But what about the rest of the other 21 players on the field? The 1-2 Redskins are dangerously thin – emaciated, even – at the skill positions. Wideout Santana Moss can stretch the field. Fellow wideout Joey Galloway can stretch the field only theoretically. The 16th-year veteran has just three catches on the season.

You can’t count on Galloway or any of the backup wide receivers to provide much. Thus, one key for Washington will be finding ways to avoid a Moss-on-Asante Samuel matchup. Moss’ game is predicated on speed and quickness. Samuel’s off-ball style of coverage naturally neutralizes these elements.

Chris Cooley is often Washington’s X-factor. In this game, he’s a XX-factor. The Eagles struggled mightily last season in covering tight ends. Hence, the trade for speedy underneath outside linebacker Ernie Sims. By using Cooley in motion and aligning him in a variety of areas (the slot, backfield, etc.), Washington can force Sims – or, ideally, strong safety Quintin Mikell – to react presnap. This will make Philadelphia’s blitz schemes easier to diagnose.

A key factor will be whether rookie left tackle Trent Williams is healthy enough to block Trent Cole one-on-one (Williams was inactive in Week 3 but returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to play.) The Redskins would hate to have to keep Cooley in as an extra pass-blocker. In fact, they’d probably use Cooley as a de factor receiver and refer to second tight end Fred Davis for blocking duties. In that case, fullback Mike Sellers might off the field, which could dilute the play-action threat.

The Redskins must incorporate their run game to avoid getting into a shootout. Running will be tough given the issues at left guard (incumbent starter Derrick Dockery has fallen into a serious job competition with Kory Lichtensteiger). Philly’s Mike Patterson and Broderick Bunkley form one of the more vociferous defensive tackle tandems in the league. Plus, backup Trevor Laws is coming off one of his best games as a pro.

And let’s not forget, Clinton Portis is nearing the point where he’s only effective as a fourth quarter closer (assuming he’s still fresh in the fourth quarter). Plus, Portis’ bruising style won’t be as impactful against 258-pound middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Ryan Torain is Washington’s best runner – especially in Mike Shanahan’s zone scheme. Don’t be surprised if Torain wears the hat on Sunday.

Ron Jaworski thought McNabb had perhaps the best game of his career against the Texans in Week 2. That still came in a losing effort. McNabb’s return trip to the City of Brotherly Love could be a reminder that talent is important, but equally as important is the talent around you.

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Posted on: September 11, 2010 1:59 pm
 

Haynesworth drama isn't cooling

Posted by Andy Benoit

Kudos to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio for putting together a few puzzle pieces on the latest Albert Haynesworth developments. Florio explains why the Haynesworth saga/distraction/nightmare might have been even worse this week than people realized. A. Haynesworth

Late in the week, Chris Cooley told D.C. radio station 106.7 The Fan that Haynesworth spent a majority of his time working with the scout team. Florio says Mike Shanahan was furious that this information went public.

"It's unusual for Chris to tell people who's working with the scout team," Shanahan said. "I've already talked to Chris."
Florio explains the possible impact of all this:

Despite Shanahan's effort to downplay Haynesworth's work with the scout team, there would have been no reason for Cooley to mention it if it was a normal, everyday occurrence. Obviously, Shanahan wants the Cowboys to think Haynesworth will play a key role on Sunday night, even if he won't.

Meanwhile, we're hearing that the Redskins "definitely" are willing to trade Haynesworth, but that Shanahan refuses to take the best offer available. Instead, he won't budge off his demand, and we continue to think that Shanahan is hoping that a Week One injury will create a demand elsewhere for Haynesworth's services -- and thus increase the price another team is willing to pay.


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Posted on: August 6, 2010 5:01 pm
 

Chris Cooley pranks Donovan McNabb

Posted by Andy Benoit

Redskins creative maestro Chris Cooley pulled an excellent training camp prank on Donovan McNabb. Click here to see the video.

(And kudos to Yahoo’s Chris Chase for pointing out that this prank probably wouldn’t have been as calm and peaceful in the Washington Wizards locker room.)

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Posted on: July 21, 2010 11:25 pm
 

Cooley gives it straight on Haynesworth

Redskins tight end Chris Cooley had an interesting take on the Albert Haynesworth situation today: Cooley said of the disgruntled defensive tackle on the Mike Wise show:

"First of all, he's doing what he wants to do, or what he thinks he needs to do. I just thought the guy's got to come back in unbelievable shape, because if he comes back out of shape, looks bad, I mean, he's just gonna get murdered. But I felt like if he came back in shape, ready to play football, he'll be there two days and everyone will forget what happened."

-- Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 15, 2010 12:26 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2010 3:29 pm
 

Position rankings: tight ends

A. Gates makes a TD catch against Cincinnati last year (Getty). Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on tight ends.

Josh Katzowitz's top five

5. Vernon Davis, 49ers

4. Dallas Clark, Colts

3. Jason Witten, Cowboys

2. Antonio Gates, Chargers

1. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons

To pick a top-five list of tight ends, you can go the easy route or you can get it right. It’d be easy to sit back, click on last year’s receiving stats and pick the tight ends who had the most catches and/or touchdowns. But it’s not just about pass-catching ability. You also have to block the defensive end, linebacker or blitzing safety. Duality is important. You can make a lot of money catching passes as a TE, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily top-five in my eyes.

Gonzalez isn’t only top-five currently; he’s top-five all time. Heck, he might be No. 1 all-time, and even though he’s 34, he’s found new life with the Falcons. He’s been catching and blocking well since 1997.

Gates has grown into his TE role. He’s 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds – who can defend him? Not a linebacker – he’s too fast for him. Not a safety – he’s too big for him. Who then? Defenders have to hope that maybe the plantar fasciitis from which Gates is suffering will slow him.

I really like Witten. He blocks well in the run game, he catches a higher percentage of the passes that are thrown to him than just about any other tight end and he’s made the Pro Bowl six years running.  Dallas Clark had 100 receptions last year. That’s just impressive. Vernon Davis has great blocking skills to go with his ’09 78-catch, 13-touchdown season. The No. 5 spot was between him and Kellen Winslow, but ultimately, I like Davis’ consistency just a little more.

Andy Benoit's top five

5. Dallas Clark, Colts

4. Owen Daniels, Texans

3. Vernon Davis, 49ers

2. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons

1. Antonio Gates, Chargers


Tight end is one of the most difficult positions to rank. We’re basically in agreement on Gates and Gonzalez. Gates might be the greatest mismatch exploiter in the NFL. And you’re right about Gonzalez’s blocking. Vernon Davis is a monster athlete. He’s not the most natural all-around receiver – changing direction as a route runner and tracking off-target passes can challenge him at times – but he is far and away the best seams weapon in the sport. Mike Singletary has called Davis the best blocking tight end he’s seen. That’s a little hyperbolized, but only a little.

Most people will think I’m a joke for leaving Witten off. To be honest, I feel like a joke. But Clark is a lynchpin in arguably the best offense in football, and I can’t have a top five list without Daniels. He has become the best pass-catching tight end in football. Privately, I’ve heard a few well-known, universally-respected NFL analysts say he is THE best tight end – period. He is coming off major knee surgery, though.

I’m going to give you a prediction: by this time next year, every intelligent football observer will have Packers tight end Jermichael Finley No. 1 on their list. Finley is Gates with more size and athleticism.

Josh’s rebuttal

So, you’ll see my Bobbie Williams, my Jon Stinchcomb and my Manny Lawson, and you’ll raise me a Jason Witten. A bold move, my friend. Obviously, I don’t agree with you excluding Witten – at the very, very least, I’d pick him over Clark – but I don’t think you’re a joke. Maybe a pun that isn’t very funny, but not a joke. Honestly, I think Daniels is a sturdy pass-catcher, but his blocking is too much of a factor (or a non-factor) for me to consider him a top-five guy.

Andy’s final word

I’m fine with criticism of Daniels’s blocking, but in Houston’s system, it really doesn’t matter. Since we’re on the topic, I’ll take this opportunity to give props to Broncos veteran Daniel Graham, who is far and away the best blocking tight end in the NFL. And Kellen Winslow, who Josh mentioned earlier, is the league’s best route-running tight end.

To anyone out there who feels the urge to say “Hey! What about Brent Celek?!” or “Hey! Aren’t you forgetting Visanthe Shiancoe!?”, save it. Both players are classic examples of guys who benefit from having stars around them. Celek gets to operate against linebackers on just about every snap, and Shiancoe is primarily Brett Favre’s dumpoff option.

I’ve also noticed that Steeler fans are particularly sensitive about Heath Miller. Yes, Miller has soft hands and he’s incredibly sound fundamentally, but he’s also the fourth option in Pittsburgh’s offense. Just to finish things off, don’t try to sell Chris Cooley, either. Josh and I both put a better version of Cooley on our list, called Dallas Clark.

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 25, 2010 10:35 am
 

Chris Cooley Photos

For some reason, SI.com is running a slideshow of Redskins tight end Chris Cooley. Click through it if you want. Personally, I chose to use this as an excuse to Google “Chris Cooley wife” (again). You can do the same. I've even posted the Google images link for you. Click here.

--Andy Benoit

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Tags: Chris Cooley
 
 
 
 
 
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