BOSTON (CBS) — With the addition of a young and dynamic receiver like Brandin Cooks to an already powerful offense, the Patriots are expected to be even more of a force in 2017.
But Cooks hasn’t had time to think about the expectations for his new offense, and has instead immersed himself in the New England playbook since the team acquired him for a first- and third-round pick in last month’s NFL Draft. He’s spent every free moment learning the plays and terminology in hopes that when training camp rolls around in July, he’ll be all caught up in the new system.
“I want to make sure I can catch up so I’m not behind,” Cooks told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. “So every opportunity I can get to study the playbook, I do. I’m out here by myself so I have nothing else to do, but to think football and study the playbook.”
Cooks was all smiles on Tuesday, the first time he’s taken the podium in Foxboro. Now that offseason workouts are underway at Gillette, it means Cooks is finally catching some passes from Tom Brady. The receiver needed just one simple word to sum up working with the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
“Amazing,” he said. “He’s an awesome quarterback and I’m glad to have the opportunity to be able to play with him.”
Cooks said everyone knows why Brady is as great as he is, but added that it’s his attention to detail and focus that sets him apart from everyone else.
“I look at him and thrive to be just like that. The game on TV, he’s amazing, but to see him in person, it’s awesome,” Cooks explained.
The 23-year-old has been working with all three New England quarterbacks, but surprisingly, he did not ask Jimmy Garoppolo for the number that he wore in New Orleans, No. 10.
“I didn’t even try. I didn’t even think about asking him,” Cooks said with a smile. “It’s a new journey, a new opportunity, so I wanted something different.”
He’ll now wear No. 14 for the Patriots, doubling the No. 7 he wore during his college days at Oregon State. Cooks is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for the New Orleans Saints, catching 162 passes and 17 touchdowns over the last two years. He’s not sure where he’ll fit in just yet with Brady’s numerous options, but is eager to get to work with guys like Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and Rob Gronkowski.
“I’m excited to join a group like this,” he said, adding that he loves the way the Patriots run their organization. “To come here and do my job and do what I have to do to help this receiver core be better and help the offense, that’s what it’s all about.
[graphiq id=”bqTEeUJ0FG5″ title=”Brandin Cooks 2016 Season Receiving Stats” width=”600″ height=”746″ url=”https://sw.graphiq.com/w/bqTEeUJ0FG5″ frozen=”true”]
“[I’m] trying to learn the offense as a whole, because I have no clue where I’ll be put. The best thing for me is learning the concept so when the time comes, I’ll know everything,” he said.
Cooks will square off against his former team when the Patriots visit New Orleans in Week 2. In true Patriots fashion, the newcomer said that will just be another game on the schedule.
“It’s exciting, but it’s going to be another game and I’m not going to treat it any differently,” said Cooks. “It’s Week 2, so I’ll be focused on Week 1 and when Week 2 comes that’s all I’ll be focused on. It’s not like I put an ‘X’ on the calendar for that game. I just want to go in and do my job, handle business and let the rest take care of itself.”
Cooks On Facing Saints In Week 2: