“Amazing,” Cooks said, when asked his first impressions of working with him.
“I think you can answer that,” the personable Cooks responded, with a bit of a laugh. “He’s an awesome quarterback. I’m glad to have an opportunity to be able to play with him.
“His attention to detail and how focused he is. It’s something that I look at him and try to [strive] for be just like that. Obviously, the game on TV, he’s amazing. But to see him now, in person and his study habits, is awesome.”
Cooks’ exchange with reporters came during a break in Phase 2 of the team’s offseason program. The Patriots have made players available to the media twice a week during the offseason program, and this was Cooks’ first in-person Q&A with New England beat reporters since he was acquired in a March trade.
It doesn’t get much better than that, although Cooks made it a point to say he’s not comparing the offensive playbooks of the two teams. He also noted that he’s worked with the team’s other quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, to get familiar with their terminology and playing style.
Some other nuggets from Cooks’ press availability, which was attended by a larger-than-normal crowd of about 30 media members (including photographers, reporters, etc.):
His impression of the Patriots’ personnel moves: “We’re on a mission. Whatever mission that may be, I don’t know, but we’re on a mission. That’s what it seems like.”
If he peeked at the schedule to see when he’d return to New Orleans (Week 2): “A little bit. It’s exciting. But it’s going to be another game. I’m not going to treat it any differently. It’s Week 2, so I’ll be focused on Week 1. Once Week 2 comes, that’s what I’ll be focused on. It’s not like I put an ‘X’ on the calendar for that game. I just want to go in and do my job and handle business, and let the rest take care of itself.”
Significance to his jersey number 14 after wearing No. 10 in New Orleans: “No big significance at all, really. I was 7 in college, so the way I like to think about it is double seven.”
If he tried to get No. 10 from Jimmy Garoppolo: “No, I didn’t even try. I didn’t even think about asking him. A new journey, a new opportunity, so I kind of wanted something different.”
Cooks on learning the playbook and flying solo in New England: “A lot of time. I want to make sure I can catch up so I’m not left behind, so every opportunity I get to study the playbook, I do. I’m out here by myself, so I have nothing else to do but to think football and study the playbook.”
If he’s raced any of his teammates to see who is fastest: “Nah, but that was probably one of the first things they talked about doing. Guys giving us a hard time. It’s all about getting better individually and taking care of business, but I’m sure that time will come.”
Adjusting to New England in general: “It’s a little cold, coming from New Orleans, but I love it. I originally grew up in the West Coast, so obviously I’m across the country now. But it’s a great atmosphere, going down to the city is amazing. I live in Oregon now during in the offseason, so I’m used to a little bit of cold, rainy days, but it’s a little different out here.”