As wide receiver Brandin Cooks prepares for his first NFL season with the Houston Texans, he’s excited about the offense he’s joined and what 2020 may hold.
Cooks appeared in a video for NFL Network to discuss his adjustment to coach Bill O’Brien’s offensive scheme and the unique talents of the players around him. One of those players is Houston’s electrifying 24-year-old quarterback, Deshaun Watson, who already boasts two Pro Bowl selections and two AFC South titles in three seasons.
“I don’t think he’s far away (from being legendary),” Cooks said. “In fact, I think he’s already there.”
Watson’s ability to keep plays alive with his legs and still find open receivers sets him apart from many other quarterbacks. Cooks said it’s actually a scenario that Houston practices.
“From a receiver standpoint, you gotta be where you need to be for [Watson],” Cooks said. “You all can’t be jumbled in the same spot because you talk about a guy that can launch it anywhere around the field, so you just gotta have that correct spacing. When we’re out there at practice we’re definitely getting that in as well.”
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) August 23, 2020
And while Cooks is excited to catch Watson’s passes this fall, he’s also excited by the Texans’ other weapons in the wide-receiver room. Despite trading DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona, Houston added Cooks (via trade with the L.A. Rams) and veteran Randall Cobb to add to speedsters Will Fuller, Kenny Stills and a host of other young but talented receivers. Cooks told the NFL Network that he has noticed the unselfishness of his fellow Texans wide receivers.
“We’re all playing for one another,” he said, “… It’s great to be a part of it.”
Cooks added, “I just look forward to being the best that I can be, having a complete receiving corps and just doing everything that we can do to make these folks’ job easier. And when we can do that, I think we’ll win a lot of games.”
Cooks and his Houston Texans teammates are confident they will be prepared for their Week 1 matchup in less than three weeks against the defending Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are the team that eliminated Houston from last season’s playoffs and stand between Houston and a Super Bowl appearance of their own.
“With this year that’s been so unprecedented, we just gotta go in there and be ready for KC in Week 1. But how do we do that? We gotta come out in practice, work hard every day and do the little things right,” Cooks said. “And I think at the end of the day, as we all know, the smarter football that you can play, the better off you’re going to be in those games and come out with those W’s, so little details [are] a big thing around here. Everything matters, and I think we’re seeing that when we go out to practice.”
In addition to getting a receiver with four 1,000-yard receiving seasons in his six years in the NFL, the Texans are also getting a spiritual leader. His faith was on display after his Rams team lost Super Bowl LIII in 2019, as Cooks still praised God. During media sessions before the big game, Cooks discussed his faith with Sports Spectrum.
“I think that’s the most important thing in life,” Cooks said. “You know, we’re never going to be perfect, but that’s why Jesus died on the cross for us, to be able to die for our sins and wash us clean with His blood … I try to give Him all the glory I can.”
Cooks is very vocal about his faith on his Twitter page, often referencing Scripture and passing along words of encouragement and thanksgiving.
Thank you for taking my place on the cross Lord
— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks) July 6, 2020
Cleanse me Lord of my unrighteousness 🏹
— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks) July 24, 2020
Confess your sins and believe in your heart 🏹
— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks) August 14, 2020
One of Cooks’ favorite verses is Psalm 144:6, which says, “Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy; shoot Your arrows and rout them.”
Cooks explained in 2017 the meaning behind his trademark arrow celebration.
“My faith is the biggest part of my life and I feel like the reason why I am where I am today with the gifts that I have. It’s just another way to be able to glorify God rather than just pointing to the sky [after a touchdown],” he said. “Just bringing a unique way, so my hope is when fans see me, they see God in me. That’s the biggest part of it all. If anything, I’m shooting it at God. It’s my way of thanking Him and bringing a little twist to it.”
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