FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One of the biggest questions facing the New England Patriots offense is how it will adjust without injured receiver Julian Edelman. Trade acquisition Brandin Cooks will be a big part of the plans, and quarterback Tom Brady shared what stands out to him about Cooks.
“I’ve been so impressed with his professionalism. For a 23-year-old, he has a maturity about him that, for our team and our offense, is so critical to your development,” Brady said Tuesday during his weekly interview on WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan” program.
“It’s not like we’re satisfied if you go out and catch three or four passes. We expect to perform at a championship level every day. For a 23-year-old to understand that and to buy into that, and then to work at that level, has been very impressive from my standpoint.
“Being around a lot of young receivers, that’s one thing that’s probably held a lot of people back. Brandin, I just love working with him and [I'm] excited for him this year. He’s been out there every day. It’s taken a lot to get to this point.”
When Brady references the time it takes to get to this point, he is highlighting the trust he works hard to build with each of his pass-catchers. The goal is that they see the same picture he does, so he can rely on them to be in the correct spot with no hesitation.
That hasn’t manifested itself in game action yet, as Cooks slipped under the radar during the preseason. He played in two games, totaling 48 snaps and catching two passes for 15 yards from Brady. He was targeted three times and dropped one pass.
Last week, when asked how he was feeling physically through the grind of training camp and the preseason, Cooks flashed a magnetic smile.
“I feel amazing. I’m 23 years old,” he said. “I feel like I’m playing Pop Warner again, just running around, having fun.”
In the process, he’s impressed Brady.
“Brandin’s done such a great job acclimating himself to our system and doing everything the coaches have asked,” Brady said on WEEI. “He shows up to work every day ready to kind of put it all out there.”