BOSTON (CBS) — You’d think Brandin Cooks would set out to make the Saints regret trading him to the Patriots upon his return to New Orleans. But in classic Patriot fashion, Tom Brady’s newest receiver is treating Sunday’s game like any other contest.
“It’s just another away game,” Cooks said when asked about what his return to New Orleans means to him on Wednesday. “That’s the way I look at it.”
When asked about any emotions that might fill him when taking the field at the Superdome, he said: “[I’m] taking the field on an opponent’s territory. That’s how I look at it. I don’t look at it any other way.”
It may be hard to believe that Cooks would feel the same way playing in New Orleans against the Saints as he would in, say, New York against the Jets. But although the Saints shipped the dynamic receiver to the Patriots for a first-round pick in the offseason, that doesn’t mean he is harboring any resentment toward his former team.
“There’s no bad memories at all. I loved every bit of playing [in New Orleans],” said Cooks. “They gave me an opportunity, first team coming into the NFL, you’ve got to respect that. I respect the owners, Micky [Loomis], Sean [Payton], for believing in me, and there were a lot of great memories made.”
Cooks did acknowledge that the Patriots need to come out “with a sense of urgency” against the Saints after Brady implied that they were lacking in that department against the Chiefs. He said that it was being instilled in the team as soon as the clock ran out on their 42-27 season-opening loss.
“I felt the sense of urgency right after that last game,” said Cooks, “to just get going, getting on the same page in all aspects of the game.”
The Saints allowed 470 total yards of offense to the Vikings in their own season opener on Monday Night Football, including 346 yards through the air from QB Sam Bradford and 250 combined receiving yards from Vikes receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. There’s little reason to believe that they won’t have similar struggles against Brady, Cooks & Co. on Sunday.