LAST year Riley Cooper burst on the scene with 47 catches, 835 yards and 8 TD’s. Because of those numbers, fans are expecting more production from him in 2014.
Until yesterday (despite him being the #2 WR), I really wasn’t dwelling much on the idea of Riley Cooper . Then Jeremy Maclin pulls up lame for a second time since the start of camp, and now I can’t stop fixating on Cooper. Let me explain.
Should Jeremy pull a Maclin, we’re left with Cooper and a rookie as Nick Foles top targets. While Jordan Matthews is a talented player, there are wrinkles of this game that he has never seen before. And while he can study coverages on tape, it’s different having to play against them. He’ll in all likelihood need some shakedown time. In which case our #1 WR would be Riley Cooper. But can Cooper really carry us there?
Of his 47 catches last year, 8 of them occurred over two weeks in games versus injury depleted teams, Oakland and Green Bay. In those two games he also collected 241 of his 835 yards and 5 of his 8 TD’s.
Setting aside Oakland and G.B, in the remaining 14 games, Cooper’s numbers are just 39 catches, 594 yards, and 3 TD’s. While no player has a static level of production week in and week out, that level of fall-off is staggering. (Especially in light of his contract extension.)
I can’t say that I’m emotionally prepared for the fallout of Cooper being the #1; and I can only assume that the idea of Maclin being out for any length of time has to be costing Foles’ agent at least a little sleep. Up until now I thought that Maclin need to stay healthy for the sake of his financial future. Now it seems like so much more is riding on his fragile shoulders. I just hope we catch a break.