BOSTON (CBS) — With his blazing speed and great hands on display at just about every practice session, Brandin Cooks has been turning heads since the day he arrived in New England.
Fans, opponents and teammates were shaking their heads again on Tuesday when Cooks hauled in another one-handed grab in the Pats’ joint practice session with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette, his second one-handed snag in as many days.
“B-Cooks, Cookie – he’s a great energy around us,” fellow Patriots receiver Julian Edelman said of his new teammate. “He works hard, he’s disciplined, he’s fast and he does a lot of things, makes great catches, but more importantly, he’s just a great teammate. It’s exciting to have him in our room. It’s exciting to have him on our team because he’s going to make us better, so it’s been great.”
While it looks like Cooks and quarterback Tom Brady are already on the same page, the 23-year-old receiver says there is still a lot of work to be done. That’s why Cooks has been spotted putting in some extra work with No. 12 after practice on a handful of occasions, taking advantage of any extra time with the quarterback that he can.
“That’s one of the smartest things you can do with the limited amount of time we have on the field, to figure out what he’s thinking and getting on that same page,” Cooks said of his extra reps with Brady on Tuesday. “I think it’s going well. It’s not perfect and there’s a long way to go, but with that being said, if we get better every single day I think we’ll be fine.”
New receivers who enjoyed successful stints elsewhere haven’t always worked out in the New England offense. Brady is one of the most focused and precise quarterbacks there is in the NFL, and sometimes he doesn’t have patience with a newcomer who can’t catch on. If they aren’t doing things the right way, or at least showing signs that they’re learning, they may never see a meaningful pass from Brady again.
Cooks is A-OK with that.
“I think that’s a great thing. When you have a guy like that, who knows what he wants, there isn’t a lot of gray area for a receiver,” said Cooks. “He knows what he wants so it’s my job to figure it out and get there, and not take forever to get there.
“The motto around here is ‘Do Your Job,’ so you know a guy like that is going to come in and do what he has to do every day,” Cooks said of Brady. “You don’t have to worry about what he’s going to do; just do your job and bring those pieces together and something special will happen. I think that’s what is going on.”
It looks and sounds like something special is definitely brewing between the quarterback and receiver, and the duo appears poised to take the New England offense to new heights in 2017, however unimaginable that may be. Brady said last week that Cooks has been great to play with and he loves his work ethic, but building that cherished rapport is a season-long process.
They may get their first chance to show off what they’ve built so far in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Jaguars, but with most starters likely sitting that game out, chances are we’ll probably have to wait another week or two to see that new duo in game action. So for now, we’ll have to settle for highlight reel catches in practice, which Cooks chalks up to “second nature.”
“When the ball is in the air you just try to find a way to come down with it,” he said with a smile.
That’s something Tom Brady will greatly appreciate come September 7.