Amari Cooper Is An Elite Receiver, But Alabama Fans Already Knew That

Amari Cooper Is An Elite Receiver, But Alabama Fans Already Knew That

Cooper has revived his career after a mid-season trade to the Dallas Cowboys.

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About seven weeks ago head coach of the Oakland Raiders Jon Gruden let it be known to the media that Amari Cooper was not really in the future plans of the franchise. At that point in time, Cooper had been really struggling. He was having a career-worst season, even when coming off of a down season the year prior. It was obvious that a change needed to be made and made quickly. Then came Jerry Jones. He offered the Raiders a first round pick for Cooper and the sports world was a bit puzzled. It was a steep asking price for a player who hadn't really been playing great but Jones and the Cowboys were confident in Cooper's skills. And looking back at the trade, it was an absolute steal.

Since the trade Coopers change in production has been night and day. With the Raiders, Cooper had just 22 receptions for 280 yards and a single touchdown. But in Dallas Cooper has caught 40 passes for 642 yards and six touchdowns. Oh, and by the way, the Cowboys have won 5 straight games since Cooper joined the team, and are in first place in the NFC East. It looks like all of those takes about how Cooper was washed up haven't aged well. I'll be the first to say that I may have been one of these people.

Amari Cooper Insane Game-Winning Deflection Catch | Eagles vs. Cowboys | NFL YouTube

Regardless, if you were to ask me if I was surprised that Cooper was capable of this kind of impact on a team I would answer that question with a resounding no. I've known that Amari Cooper had the potential to be great for years.

Just look back at his career here at Alabama. Cooper started as a true freshman at a time where Nick Saban's teams were riddled with upperclassman and nearly every freshman that came in surely had to redshirt. But not Cooper he came right in and made a huge impact. He was able to add balance to an Alabama offense that was extremely run heavy. He had 59 catches for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman and came up huge in the SEC championship with a late go-ahead touchdown. But his big moments did stop there.

As a junior Cooper broke records. He has 124 catches for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns all of which are school records. Cooper also had a monster game against Auburn in the Iron Bowl that year, when he helped lead a second-half comeback with just stupid numbers. 13 catches for 224 yards and 3 touchdowns. It might have been the greatest performance I've ever seen by a receiver at any level.

So if you've paid any attention to Alabama football over the last couple of seasons, you aren't really surprised at how Cooper has been able to light the league on fire.

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn't sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It's obvious your calling wasn't coaching and you weren't meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn't have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn't your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that's how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “It's not what you say, its how you say it."

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won't even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don't hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That's the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she's the reason I continued to play."

I don't blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn't working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The NEW New York Jets Will Change Sports Culture And How Other Fans View The Team

I do think as a collective group, us Jets fans finally believe it is our time, our opportunity to finally win something.

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December 30th, 4:00 p.m. eastern time, another year has just completed for the New York Jets. A year in which finished quite similar to all the rest, a lot of losing and a blowout loss in week 17 to the future Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

However, there was one difference with the end of the 2018 season, and that was Sam Darnold, the Quarterback.

As a Jets fan, for the last eight-plus years, there has been little to no hope after the season ended because they did not have that franchise changing QB every team covets. But this year, this offseason everything seems different, and everything is different.

Entering the 2019 NFL offseason, the New York Jets boasted the second most cap space in the NFL, and the buzz across the league was that they were going to spend all of that cash in order to build the proper foundation around young star QB Sam Darnold. One week into free-agency it is safe to say they are doing just that, and they are not just spending their boatloads of money just to spend it, they are spending it smartly.

Although extremely early in the process it seems this new Jets regime seems to have it figured out, where others, (as us Jets fans sadly know) simply did not. I have heard many fans of the NFL tell me that the Jets are overspending, they are giving players money that doesn't deserve it, i.e. Leveon Bell. However, there is no justification for not giving a star player a little extra cash to ensure he will not join another team. That point is especially true when you have a young franchise QB like the Jets currently have... DAMN, that sounds good to say... but I digress, The last time the Jets won a super was... well, actually let's have some fun with this... clearly I was not born, my parents were not born, gas was $0.35 a gallon, and we had yet to land on the moon.

If that does not put in perspective for you then well I guess I am trying to say to you is ITS BEEN A LONG FREAKIN' TIME. 52 years exactly. Why emphasize instead of just telling you the number of years? Well because I wanted to, and if you are not a Jets fan, you needed to know just how astonishing, painful and LONG it has been.

However, I do think as a collective group, us Jets fans finally believe it is our time, our opportunity to finally win something. We are not a greedy fanbase and you would be surprised on how much even a home playoff game would mean after sharing a division for 18 years with Tom Brady, Bill Bilichek and the Patriots. Although with all hope their needs to be some type of grounding reality, some pessimism, because we are and will always be the "Same old Jets"... So until we win something that motto cannot be changed and will not be changed(not even with new uniforms)... but hey Jets fans, at least we're not currently Giant fans? Right? Buckle up, this may be the year.

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