Nearly everything Chris Cooley says is interesting and a recent post at Shtudown Corner by my favorite player proved no different. I listen when he discusses the relatively uninteresting story of a Reebok photoshoot so you can be damn sure I'm paying attention when he's discussing the draft from a player's perspective. And, in honor of this being the week of the Draft, I'll give you a few of my favorite snippets from the article, but encourage you all to check out the piece in its entirety. Enjoy:
I figured a little golf was much more relaxing. As it turned out golfing on a Saturday in Logan, Utah is a popular event. I made the rounds to four different courses, striking out at all of them. If the first round could have been Sunday it would have worked out great for me. No Mormons golf on Sunday, I would have had the course to myself.
I think Bill Parcells is, was, and will forever be a phenomenal coach. Even when he was in Dallas I had enormous respect for him for what he'd managed to do in many different coaching positions; it is unusual, nearly unprecedented, for a coach to enjoy the level of success Parcells had at so many different franchises. It was a testament to his methods which, although circumstances changed, simply worked. But he fucking wiffed:
My mind drifted back to a trip to visit the Cowboys. Everything was great until I made my way into Bill Parcell's office. After sitting down, the first words out of his mouth were, "I'll be honest, the reason you're here is because we like you as a special teams player. I don't think you'll ever be a starter in the league. We're thinking about taking you around the sixth round."
In 2005, Dallas and Bill Parcells traveled to FedEx Field to face a Redskins team that had won three straight and was beginning to challenge for a wildcard spot in teh NFC East. The Cowboys, at the time with 8 wins, would ultimately need the victory to remain in the playoff hunt, though the importance of that W was surely evident to them then as well. Second year player and former apparently special teams bound phenom Chris Cooley scorched the Cowboys for 71 yards and three touchdowns. The good guys would go on to the postseason, the bad guys would not.
It was a perfect thought as my little brother turned to me and said, "Oh yeah, some guy is on hold for ya, he's only been on hold for a couple minutes." I took the phone and Joe Gibbs says, "I hope you want to be a Redskin, we had to trade up for you." Joe Gibbs! A Hall of Fame coach wanted to trade up for me.
I'll end on this, but it speaks volumes about both of them. Chris Cooley is a great tight end because a Hall of Fame coach recognized that he was worth moving up in the draft to select a guy who turned out to be one of the best players on the team. At the time we gave up a hefty price; we swapped 5th rounders with the Saints in '04 but gave them our 2nd round pick in '05. As much as I hate trading away draft picks, I can't really complain because Cooley has definitely earned his keep with the team.
And it speaks volumes about Coach Gibbs. One of a thousand reasons he's in the Hall of Fame is his ability to identify a great, versatile player like Cooley, expend risk to get him, and then use him in a way that maximizes his talents. Joe Gibbs invented the H-Back , and he got the best one in the league.