The cryptic post from New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been met with a variety of theories in just a short time. If you haven’t seen it by some chance, the post from the third-year wide out said, “They tell you it’s a business. Well I guess I have to turn into a businessman. #shootyourarrows”
Now, I’ve personally found it hilarious to see some of the conclusions drawn from his post. For instance, Cooks should be traded. Cooks should just shut up. Cooks will demand a trade. Cooks will just wait until he becomes a free agent. Cooks is just one-dimensional anyways. Of course, most of it is speculative, and outlets are picking and choosing how they want to address it. You name it, and it’s probably been said. Here’s what Sean Payton had to say about when asked about Cooks’ frustration:
“I’m not concerned. We’ve spent a lot of time. Cooks is a real good football player and we work extremely hard on these game plans. It’s a little unusual we have a game where he’s not targeted. The first play of the game is supposed to be his play. We don’t get the right coverage look. We’ll keep working it and finding those opportunities for him to receive those touches. He’s a fantastic player and a great man and we have a great relationship. It’s hard when you do have a game with a lot of numbers like that and a guy like Brandin who works his tail off doesn’t have a target or a touch. That can happen. But I would say that’s rare. He’s been explosive this season. He’s certainly a primary target for us in what we do and I think that’s evident.”
Last year’s matchup against the Detroit Lions saw Cooks targeted 13 times, and he hauled in 10 receptions for 124 yards and a score. The Saints also had him field two punts that went for 12 yards. Payton hasn’t forgotten, and talked about the lack of use for Cooks was more to the way the game unfolded.
“Last year we saw (Darius) Slay, he traveled with Cooks. Sometimes Cooks is going to draw some of those matchups. Sometimes he isn’t. It depends on the team. But I think it was more the way the game unfolded. Like I said, the first play of the game was actually a down the field shot play intended for Brandin. We received man to man coverage different from what we were hoping to receive. Things happen during a game, a progression takes you off a read high and you end up underneath. It happens. I wouldn’t have known Josh Hill was going to have that many catches in that game, but that’s the way it unfolded. Fortunately we had enough of them.”
Cooks is putting up some strong numbers in 2016. The 51 receptions for 736 yards and 6 receiving touchdowns is certainly outshadowed by Michael Thomas’ production, but even if Cooks keeps his current pace, he’d still put together a very stellar season similar to 2015.
Some food for thought, but the Saints offense put up 555 yards and didn’t include their No. 1 receiver from last season in that mix. How scary could that actually be when you think about it? I fully believe it will come full circle for Brandin Cooks, as teams that will start focusing more on rookie Michael Thomas or Willie Snead can help him. That’s something that would greatly benefit Drew Brees and company should they be able to get into the postseason.
For now, we’ll just wait and see how Cooks responds when his team desperately needs him the most.