For anybody who isn’t sure about it, I’ll tell you right now that Riley Cooper is here and he’s going to play this year.¬† He’s a big receiver, who is deceptively fast and catches any and everything that’s thrown his way.
He’s had an outstanding camp so far and has stood out more than any of the other rookies.
A big receiver like Cooper is the kind of wide out, former 49ers head coach Bill Walsh was thinking about when he designed the west coast offense.¬† His receivers have to be able to catch the ball over the middle, take the hits from the linebackers and safeties, then run with the football.
Today he got into a fight with Ellis Hobbs but didn’t back down.¬† He’s got to have that attitude as a big receiver.¬† Defensive backs are going to try to intimidate him so he doesn’t use his strength and size on them¬† when the ball is in the air but he can’t back down from the challenge.
So far he’s been using his hands to pull, push and frustrate the defensive backs who have been trying to cover him.
He’s a smart young man, who has picked up the offense very quickly, which is forced on him because Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg have been lining him up everywhere.¬† I’ve been very impressed.
He still has a long way to go, especially with the fade route and slant in the red zone.¬† He could do a better job of extending his arms to catch the high pass.¬† Some time he glides out of his breaks rather than exploding out of them.¬† Still he’s in good position to get playing time in his rookie season.
Here’s a conversation I had with the young man after a practice earlier in the week.