Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Browns rookie wide out Josh Cooper has gone from an undrafted free agent, to a practice squad player, to know someone who has made some plays for the Browns in his rookie year.
The 23-year-old has seen it all already in 2012, going through the growing pains as a rookie. He joined “The Animal House” with Adam “The Bull” and Dustin Fox on Thursday, and said having to start the year on the practice squad made him work harder to make it to the active roster.
“It was frustrating but it made me work hard,” Cooper said. “I was just trying to go out and work hard everyday and work on the things that I needed to do to improve on.”
The college teammate of Browns rookie QB Brandon Weeden had his options this summer to make it on another team, but liked the situation with the Browns, and was excited to get a shot to team up again with Weeden.
The wide out said that coming to Cleveland was a decision that he had time to think about, but one that he liked due to his background with the Browns first round pick in Weeden.
“It’s hard to pass up something like that, they run the West coast offense, and I knew we would have that chemistry out there,” Cooper said. “Stepping onto the squad was a big thing for me, and I hope to stay there for awhile.”
Weeden and Cooper did a lot of winning in college, and so far in the pros that has yet to happen with the Browns going 2-7 in their first nine games. Cooper was asked if it was difficult coming from a program like Oklahoma State to the Browns, where right now the winning just isn’t there.
“It’s tough coming from a winning tradition, but we’re a young team and we’re rebuilding,” Cooper said. “This is a good group, and every game we play in is a dogfight, and after the bye week we can start pulling out those wins.”
So far this season Cooper has pulled in 6 catches for 92 yards with a long grab of 28 yards. He’s getting to know the pro game quickly, and said to Bull and Fox that getting off the line has been his toughest adjustment to date.
“Going from mostly zone in college to press coverage,” Cooper said. “I’m not the fastest guy I’m not going to lie to you, it’s been tough, it’s the one thing that got me in training camp, getting off the line, it’s been tough so far, those guys are big out there.”
Last week in the loss to the Ravens, Cooper got to see first half some of the issues the Browns have had over the past two years with Pat Shurmur trying to get the right players on the field and in the right positions.
He saw as the team had to waste some timeouts, and was asked about what happens on the sideline during the games, to which he gave a rather stunning answer as to who actually is making the calls on offense.
“I couldn’t tell you what goes on in those headsets, who actually even calls the plays if it’s Pat or it’s (offensive coordinator) Brad (Childress) up in the (coaches) box,” Cooper said. “I couldn’t tell you.”
Cooper was asked by the hosts again to clarify if he knew who was calling the plays – coach Shurmur or OC Childress, and Cooper says to him – it’s a total mystery.
“Honestly I’m not sure if it’s Childress or Shurmur calling the plays, I don’t know,” Cooper said.
He’s learning a lot on the fly early in his rookie year, and maybe by the end of the year, Cooper, along with Browns fans, will all find out who exactly is making the calls for the team.