Moving to a new environment. Learning a new offense. Getting to know a new set of teammates.
All three of these factors would be challenging for many NFL players. But for Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks, they’ve become second-nature. This season marks Cooks’ third offseason program in a new location over the last four years — as he was drafted by the Saints in 2014, before heading to New England last season.
But after being traded to the Rams in early April, the Oregon State product has made quick work of his transition to Los Angeles.
“I think it’s going great,” Cooks said after the first day of OTAs. “I think just first of all being around the guys, working out with them, getting used to the system and being coached by [Rams head coach Sean] McVay — it’s great.”
The receiver wasn’t the only one happy with his progress. McVay praised Cooks’ approach to the offseason, noting how even as a new addition to the roster, the wideout was already setting the tone on and off the field.
“One of the things that’s been really impressive about Brandin is how smart and conscientious he’s been in the meetings — his attention to detail — being able to translate some of the stuff from Phase II, and then watching him compete today,” McVay said. “You can feel him in a lot of different phases of our offense.”
During the first week of OTAs, quarterback Jared Goff has connected with Cooks on several deep balls downfield. The coaching staff has also been able to involve the receiver in a number of different ways, both on the outside and in the slot.
“It’s a great guy to have in the room with those other guys,” Goff agreed. “I think he did a great job today. I
know Sean will come up with ways to use him and put us in the best situation possible.”
“He’s great and it’s not just on the field that you see, [it’s] when we walk back into this building here, the attitude that he brings and the way that he pushes people,” wide receiver Cooper Kupp said. “His work ethic is not just in the weight room, it’s in the film room, all those things. He just elevates everyone around him.”
And though Cooks’ isn’t completely sure of what exact role he will end up playing come the regular season, he did express confidence that McVay would put him in the best spot to succeed.
“It’s early, but [it’s about] trusting coach,” Cooks said. “He’s been known to put guys in their best spots, I think I’m just going to continue to trust that process. As we go along, I’ll see that shape.”
For now, Cooks is just enjoying the chance to continue learning the Rams’ offensive system, while getting the opportunity to challenge himself against two of the league’s best cornerbacks.
“It’s a dream, to be honest, to be able to go against guys like that in practice every single day,” he said of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. “As a receiver, that builds my confidence come game time. I think it’s huge for the receivers, and, quite frankly, for the quarterback as well.”