Brandin Cooks provides ‘paranoia level’ for defenses

Earlier this offseason, there was speculation that Brandin Cooks could be a trade candidate given his veteran status on a rebuilding Houston Texans team. Instead, Houston signed the receiver to a two-year contract extension to keep the 28-year-old.

Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said Monday that the Cooks’ return ensures Houston will have an inescapable threat that defenses must schedule a game for each week.

“I think when you just look at the production that Brandin may have had over the last few seasons, but over the course of his career, he brings a certain level of paranoia to our opponents, and that’s going to open up the opportunity for us to balance our attack,” Hamilton said, via the team’s official website. “We have to improve our running game, but at the same time we go out with the objection of scoring. We want to outclass the opposition in every game we play.”

While rebuilding teams usually tears up the foundation to the posts, retaining a player of Cooks’ caliber allows the offense to operate at a reasonable level while preparing the rest of the roster. Keeping Cooks is making it easier to assess young quarterback Davis Mills in a pivotal season for the signalman’s future.

Despite ignoring the NFL, playing for four teams in his eight-year career, Cooks remains ultra-productive. He gained at least 1,000 yards in six of those years, including both in Houston. Last year for the four-win Texans, the Cooks generated 1,037 yards and six touchdowns on 90 catches (a career high in receptions).

New coach Lovie Smith noted that signing Cooks for an extension was not just about keeping a talented player, but also ensuring there is a leader in the receiver’s room for young talent as the pick. from last year’s third round Nico Collins and whoever they matter this season. .

“Brandin’s been through a lot,” Smith said. “He’s a guy who’s done it in a few different places, but what I got to see from a different position last year is also how he went to work every day. You’ve got veterans you want on the team to show the younger guys how to play, how to be a pro Brandin feels really good to be here We talked about these other players who want to be here, Brandin is another who wanted to be here. He believes in this vision for our football team and what we can do. I’m delighted he’s coming back.”

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