New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks sits down for a quick interview to talk Michael Thomas, the Green Arrow, the showing of solidarity before the Saints/Falcons game, and a budding partnership with Mercedes-Benz.
First thing's first, how did the Archer celebration start?
It actually started from me being enamored with the show Arrow and then the movie The Hunger Games, and then when I was reading my Bible, I cam across the scripture Psalm 144:6 that says, "Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy; shoot your arrows and rout them." So it just became one of those things to say to myself and remind me to stay humble through all of the success and gifts that I receive from Him.
So you are technically not the youngest in the wide receiver in the Saints young receiving corps, but you are now the longest tenured NFL-receiver. Have you taken a leadership role with the group of receivers?
It's one of those things where we all lead in different ways. I feel like the group that we have is such a good group and we all listen to each other. It's not necessarily one guy like me leading, I think it's all of us just in different ways.
You still lead the team in targets and yards, but barely so far. A close second is Michael Thomas. What are your impressions of Mike Thomas this season?
I didn't really know that about the numbers so far. It's one of those things that I don't really pay attention to. I'm having a slow start to the season myself, but that means I'm only going to go up from here. But as far as Mike, he's come a long way in his offense and holding down his side of the field. It's always good to have someone like that playing alongside of you, especially with guys like B-Cole and Snead as well. It opens all just opens everything up for each other.
So "B-Cole?" Is that the name the players use to distinguish between you and Coleman?
The players will usually say "The Archer" when they're talking about me or "B-Cole" or just "Coleman," so we never really get confused inside the locker room.
Many analysts (not really Saints fans) are waiting for the eventual Drew Brees decline, noting it's inevitable. However, some people are already pointing to this season as evidence. Are you noticing any decline in the player of Drew?
*laughs* That's funny. That's actually really funny to me. I don't notice any decline at all. It's just one of those things where everyone has their opinions but I practice with the guy every day and I play with him every week. He can still sling it and there is no difference from when I came in as a rookie and now.
Now I was actually at the Monday Night Football game versus the Falcons, and I was curious to see what the "show of solidarity" was going to be. Before the decision of linking arms before the game, was there any talk amongst Saints players to kneel for the national anthem?
No. There was no talk between any of the players about that. No.
Whose decision was it to do the locked-arms deal?
Coach Payton. It was his idea. Then he talked with the Falcons coach [Dan Quinn] and then Coach Payton told us one day after practice what the plan was that we were doing and that if you were in you were in, and if you were not then you were not. But he thought it would be a pretty special deal and we all bought into it and we did it.
So the idea was well-received then?
Yes. Definitely yes.
I saw on Instagram that you were on the set of a TV show here recently. Is that right?
*laughs* Yeah, I actually stopped by NCIS: New Orleans the other day for a little bit just to spend time with some of the people and leading actors. It was fun. It was actually my first time being in on a TV set, and I always dreamed of being an actor one day. So maybe that's what I do in my free time.
So you didn't get in front of the camera at all?
No. We were trying to figure out a way to make something happen, and if it could happen that'd be great. But it'd be hard with my schedule and their schedules but don't be surprised if you see me on TV soon.
So you mentioned NCIS: New Orleans and then the CW's Arrow...
*interrupts* Oh yeah! I'm going to have to talk to them at the CW about trying to make an appearance on their show too! I'm going to see if I can somehow get onto Arrow and show up as a special guest or something like that. That'd be fun.
So what are some of the TV shows do you watch when you have the time and you're not watching film?
I watch Arrow like I said. I watch NCIS. I watch Pretty Little Liars too *laughs*. But that's really it. Other than that I don't really get a chance to watch TV too often.
Now I was talking to Zach Strief not too long ago and he said he doesn't think any of the Saints players play fantasy football. Are you in any fantasy leagues right now?
No. I don't think any of our guys partake in that in our locker room.
Did you ever play fantasy football before you got into the NFL?
Naw. Not really. I was always so busy and focused on trying to get myself in the NFL I didn't have the time to play fantasy football really.
Well just on a side note, Brandin, I've got you in a few fantasy football leagues, so I'm going to need you to step up and have a big game on Sunday, OK?
*laughs* OK, man. That sounds good.
So in addition to showing up on the set of NCIS and everything else you're doing, you also have a partnership with Mercedes-Benz right now. Could you tell us a little more about that as well?
Yes. I'm working with Mercedes-Benz and Uber, working to give Saints fans free rides and tickets to Saints games for every home game that we have the rest of the season. Basically all Saints fans have to do is pull up the Uber app on Sunday morning and use the promo code "MBDRIVESNOLA" and be on the lookout for the vehicles around the area. Then if you're one of the lucky fans that wins you will win a free ride to and from the game and two free tickets. It's 25 fans who will win, and it's a pretty special deal. Because too it's about safety first. Our fans can get rowdy on Game Day so it's nice to have an option like this with Uber and Mercedes-Benz.
And now Mercedes also has a special place in your heart for you personally too, right?
Yeah, so when I got drafted one of the first things I bought was I bought my mom a Mercedes-Benz, even before I bought myself a car. It was always one of those things where it was a dream to be able to buy my mom a car.
As of today, Cam Newton remains in concussion protocol. If he plays, what kind of pressure does the presence of Cam Newton put on the Saints offense to extend drives and put up points?
No pressure. No pressure. We go out there and play our game Whoever plays on the other side plays, but we're going to stick to our scheme on offense.
Predictions for the game?
We win. As far as my stats go, I know I'm just going to go there and go to work and whatever happens, happens.
Thank-you, Brandin, for taking the time to talk with us today. Saints fans, make sure you follow Brandin on Twitter @brandincooks, and if you're interested, for more details about the promotion with Mercedes-Benz and Uber, click here to see what you need to do to win free tickets to a Saints game and ride to the stadium in style.