If the best is yet to come from
Cooks had his second consecutive 1,000-yard season (a career-high 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns on 78 receptions) and provided a few signature scores – a franchise-record 98-yarder against Oakland in the season opener, an 87-yarder against Carolina and a 65-yarder against Arizona.
His work to become a more complete receiver, to become known as more than a “deep threat,” continues to come into focus as he climbs the team’s receiving charts. In 2016, he became the first Saints receiver to record consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since Marques Colston in 2009-10.
BEST GAME: Cooks is a competitor, so he openly greeted the opportunities last season to play against the league’s elite cornerbacks and secondaries. Arizona’s was one of the league’s best; Cooks touched up the Cardinals for a career-high 186 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches, including a 65-yard catch-and-run in which he caught a pass on an underneath crossing route, found a seam and outran every defender, even those who temporarily might have had an advantageous angle on him.
BEST QUOTE: “I work so hard, I feel like I work my tail off to be great. You never hear of a receiver – for the most part – that is considered great who is one-dimensional, or just a speed guy. Any time you talk about a great receiver, it seems like they’re the complete package – catching balls across the middle, blowing the top off, running routes, blocking. That’s the way I want to see it.
“I don’t play this game just to say I played in the NFL. I play it to be considered great, and I have a long way to go before that, so that’s why I don’t want to be considered a speed guy or just one-dimensional. Now, don’t get me wrong, that’s my strength. But I don’t feel like that is something where there’s a tap on my shoulder and just being labeled as that and being used as that.” – Cooks.