As the NFL mini-camps continue, teams are starting to get a feel for their rosters and what they have heading into the 2017 NFL season. With training camp only a month away, the entire league will be aiming for a Super Bowl title.
Amari Cooper has established himself as a cornerstone for the Oakland Raiders as the wide receiver has proven to be a big-time playmaker for a dynamic offense. While Derek Carr will receive most of the headlines, Cooper’s ability run down field and snare catches is what makes the team’s offense so dangerous. According to Michael Gehlken of Las Vegas Review-Journal, Carr has noticed a shift in Cooper’s mentality:
“That dog in him is coming out,” Carr said. “That thing you saw at Alabama where he’d just take games over. Not to say that he hasn’t because he has, but I think it’s not just becoming a thing of, ‘What game is it going to be?’ It’s becoming a thing of, ‘That’s who he is.’ (Defensive backs) better know that he’s really taking it serious, that he’s trying to go attack them this year. He’s not going to let them come to him this year. That just comes with age.”
Carr’s praise came after a practice where Cooper got the best of teammates Sean Smith and David Amerson during drills. The 22-year-old’s play was up-and-down at points last season, but early signs out of the offseason indicate that he is ready to show he can be a consistent threat on the field.
After a season where they surpassed expectations, the Raiders look to be a lock for another postseason appearance with Carr and Khalil Mack leading the way. However, it may be Cooper who teams should be looking out for.