Houston Texans News: Brandin Cooks ready to help team win

Brandin Cooks #12 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Brandin Cooks #12 of the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Thursday, the Houston Texans news was Brandin Cooks spoke with the media for the first time since joining the franchise.

As the Houston Texans news broke when DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, that left a big spot open open on the wide receiver depth chart, but that is where Brandin Cooks comes into the picture.

In a video meeting with the Texans news media for the first time since joining the franchise, Cooks gave his thoughts on varying issues and happenings with the team, and that included being compared to Hopkins, who is on a very short list of greatest Texans receivers.

Cooks joins the Texans this offseason by being a player who has injury issues when it comes to concussions. He also joins a group with Will Fuller, Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills who all will be looked at in comparison of Hopkins this upcoming season as well by how well they play without him on the roster.

Though it isn’t fair to Cooks or the rest of the receivers on the Texans to be compared to Hopkins — as Cooks didn’t ask to be involved in the differences general manager Bill O’Brien and Hopkins might have with each other — Cooks, if he can stay healthy, can give the Texans some serious production, and that’s what is important moving forward.

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Cooks spoke about joining the Texans with transcripts provided by HoustonTexans.com:

"“First and foremost, I think just being brought in in general as far as specifics of being brought in for a guy like DeAndre Hopkins or anything like that, I wouldn’t necessarily say that. You’re talking about a great player that’s played a lot of great football in his years as a Texan. I’m just looking at it from the standpoint to just come in and help the team win as best as I can, so that’s the way that I look at it.”"

Granted, last season for Cooks wasn’t great by any means compared to his play in previous seasons. The Texans news this offseason has been they are having a fresh start on offense with new receivers and running backs. Not only are there the top four wide receivers previously mentioned in the Texans offense, but the depth chart also includes Keke Coutee and DeAndre Carter, and the Texans drafted Isaiah Coulter in the fifth round this year.

If there is one thing certain about the Texans offense this upcoming season, it is the fact the wide receivers have a lot of speed. Quarterback Deshaun Watson will have ample opportunity to find a receiver like Cooks looking to use his speed to his advantage downfield.

In his chat with the Texans news media, Cooks also spoke about gaining chemistry with Watson for the upcoming season:

"“As far as gaining that chemistry with a new quarterback, I think that’s coming with throwing, whenever that may be, whenever we can get together and throw, but not just that, from this time when we’re doing Zoom meetings, asking Deshaun (Watson) what he’s looking for, what does he like to see from his receivers, what is he seeing in this defense and the way that he likes to throw things.”"

Cooks for his career has played with future Hall of Fame selections Drew Brees while with the New Orleans Saints and Tom Brady with the New England Patriots. Cooks has also had Jared Goff as his quarterback while a member of the Los Angeles Rams, so Cooks has played with a few different style quarterbacks during his career and has most likely learned how to transition to different quarterbacks.

When he’s healthy, his numbers are excellent with career stats of 88 games played (77 starts) catching 402 passes (618 targets) for 5,730 yards and 34 touchdowns. His career-best reception went for 98 yards in 2016 while with the Saints, and for his career, Cooks is averaging 14.3 yards per reception.

From 2015-18, Cooks had the following stats:

2015: 84 receptions (129 targets) for 1,138 yards, 9 touchdowns, 13.5 YPC
2016: 78 receptions (117 targets) for 1,173 yards, 8 touchdowns, 15.0 YPC
2017: 65 receptions (114 targets) for 1,082 yards, 7 touchdowns, 16.6 YPC
2018: 80 receptions (117 targets) for 1,204 yards, 9 touchdowns, 13.5 YPC

Those excellent seasons are bookended by two seasons of fewer than 600 yards receiving as a rookie, where in 10 games Cooks had 550 yards on 53 receptions (69 targets) with three touchdowns. Then this past season with the Rams, in 14 games, Cooks totaled 42 receptions (72 targets) for 583 yards and two touchdowns.

Being only 26 years old, Cooks is still young, and if he’s able to avoid concussions, the Texans news will be the new wide receiver will fit in well with Watson as his quarterback. More so than that, he will make life a little easier on Fuller because he’ll take some of the pressure off of him as well.

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None of the wide receivers are going to be the next Hopkins, and that’s fine, but Cooks coming into the mix makes the Texans offense faster than usual, and the speed by the receivers will be what makes or breaks the offense in 2020.